Ball Aerospace offers separation packages

BOULDER – Seventy-seven employees took voluntary separation packages and left Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in November and December.

Boulder-based Ball Aerospace offered the separation package program because of funding uncertainty in the company’s particular segment of the aerospace market, according to Roz Brown, a Ball Aerospace spokeswoman.

The package consisted of one week’s pay for every year worked. Sixty-eight of the 77 employees worked in Boulder.
The company makes sensors and other equipment used in space for government and commercial customers. It is one of the largest employers in Boulder County.

Uncertainty about federal government aerospace budgets and contracts and about the national economy affects Ball Aerospace’s ability to plan, Brown said, when asked why the company decided to offer the packages.

“That’s what it comes down to, is our ability to plan, long-term, through the end of 2014. We’re doing the best we can with the information we have,” Brown said.

Every employee in the company was offered a voluntary separation package, Brown said. Most of the people who accepted the packages were approaching retirement age, she said. She did not immediately release details about the amount of money offered to each employee or the total budget for the program. Ball Aerospace has offered voluntary separation packages at various times in the past to employees, Brown said, without giving details.

Ball is a subsidiary of Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL) in Broomfield. About 1,800 of Ball Aerospace’s 2,300 employees work in Boulder. It has operations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and other locations.

Ball Aerospace’s has a $383 million government contract to work on the Joint Polar Satellite System. It also is building a weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which operates under the Commerce Department, the company said in July. About 160 people work on the project, which is slated to wrap up in 2017.

Ball Aerospace’s employees are helping build WorldView-3, an earth-imagery satellite for DigitalGlobe Inc. (NYSE: DGI), which has plans to move its headquarters from Longmont to Westminster.

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