GKN Aerospace shuts down Bay County location

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In 2017, GKN Aerospace and local officials announced with great fanfare that nearly 200 high paying jobs were coming to a new facility in Bay County located by the airport.

GKN Aerospace has closed in Bay County. (WJHG/WECP)

Now, two years later, the promise of high paying jobs won't make its way to the GKN facility.

"It's obviously not good news, we wish it wouldn't of happened. It's obviously never a good time, especially around the holiday season," Bay County Commissioner Philip "Griff" Griffitts said.

Tuesday GKN announced it's closing its doors here for good, displacing 60 employees.

"We are going to be providing them an assistance program as well as contacting the states workforce development, or CareerSource Florida to help them in the transition employees with applicable skill will have the opportunity to transfer to other GKN Aerospace sites," said Wesley Bates, a GKN representative.

When the company first came to the area, it was offered financial incentives through state and local partnerships if the company met specific production goals.

But GKN never met those objectives, so the company never received any tax breaks or training grants.

"It was a five year project and they were only two years in. So they were on track to have 170 employees and their incentives were based on the job performance and so they never met certain thresholds to get the incentives with the job numbers," Becca Hardin, the President of Bay Economic Development Alliance, said.

While company representatives say this location is closing due to operational reasons, just last year Melrose Industries bought GKN.

"Melrose, on their website, it says buy, improve, and sell. So they buy a company, they improve it and then they sell off parts of it and I think this is just part of their plan," said Griffitts.

GKN representatives tell us this location will officially close in January.

According to Yahoo Finance's website, GKN also announced Tuesday it will open a new facility for Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS) in India.

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