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Parker Bertea Expansion Could Trim Irvine Jobs

TIMES STAFF WRITER

What’s good for Utah could be an unwelcome loss of jobs in Orange County.

Parker Bertea Aerospace is expanding its manufacturing facilities in Ogden, Utah, and plans to add about 200 people to its staff there. Many of those newly created slots could be taken by employees transferred from the company’s Irvine headquarters.

“We are uncertain at this time how many positions will be filled by local hires and how many employees will be transferred,” said Parker Bertea spokeswoman Cheryl Morosco.

A 100,000-square-foot facility in Utah is scheduled to be completed next year, at which time the company will determine the number of people it would transfer from Orange County, Morosco said.

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Over the past three years, Parker Bertea--the aerospace division of Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corp.--has trimmed its Southern California staff by about 10% through layoffs and attrition. The company currently has 2,458 people on its Irvine payroll, making it one of Orange County’s biggest employers.

Morosco said Parker Hannifin is expanding its Utah site as part of a two-fold reorganization of its aerospace division.

Currently, Parker Bertea is divided into two units, one of which makes flight control systems while the other produces hydraulic devices that control moving parts such as wing flaps. Both systems have commercial and military applications.

Those divisions will be consolidated into one, Morosco said, and the company instead will split its focus between commercial and military products.

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After the consolidation, Parker Bertea’s Orange County location will design and service all of the company’s government projects, while its Odgen site will handle commercial clients.

“Our customers have very different needs,” Morosco said. “We felt this would be the best way to address those needs.”

Because of military cutbacks, Parker Bertea will strengthen its emphasis on commercial products, Morosco said. At this time, 45% of its projects are military-related and 55% are commercial.

Last year, Parker Hannifin reported profits of $187.1 million on revenue of $2.4 billion.

Transferring Orange County personnel to Odgen could reduce the likelihood of future layoffs in Irvine, she said. “The whole aerospace industry is downsizing,” she noted. “We are continuing to evaluate our organizational structure.”


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