June 10, 2024

BAE lays off workers just months after Ball Aerospace acquisition

Company leaders had said in February that layoffs were not expected

BROOMFIELD — BAE Systems Inc. Space & Mission Systems, the Broomfield-based subsidiary of British defense contractor BAE Systems PLC, recently laid off workers in Colorado, the company, which established a presence in the Boulder Valley in February with its $5.5 billion acquisition of Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., confirmed to BizWest. 

Leaders at BAE told reporters in February — just after the Ball Aerospace deal closed — that there were no plans for major job cuts

“I can confirm that we did have a few recent layoffs. Unfortunately, we do sometimes have to make small-scale shifts in our workforce as a result of changes to customer scheduling as programs ebb and flow through the factory, which was the case in this instance,” a BAE spokesperson told BizWest in an email. “While difficult, these decisions are infrequent and made to better support operations to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers.”

BAE did not immediately provide BizWest with details about the number of layoffs, the location of workers affected (BAE operates locally at the Broomfield headquarters, at a production facility in Westminster and at the large ex-Ball Aerospace campus in Boulder), or the types of jobs that were eliminated. 

About 5,000 former Ball workers moved to BAE with the acquisition. 

During a February media event, BAE Systems Inc. Space & Mission Systems president Dave Kaufman said the company did not intend to implement significant staffing changes.

“We’ve invested billions into the facilities, the capabilities and the people in Colorado. The acquisition was acquiring that investment. We’re absolutely staying in Colorado,” he said. 

The sale to BAE “isn’t going to really affect our staffing plans,” Kaufman said. “We had been operating as a separate division of Ball Corp. here in Colorado, and we’re now going to be operating as that same separate division as part of another larger corporation.”

The BAE acquisition is a “chance for us to increase that presence in Colorado and beyond,” Kaufman said. “… Our focus is on growth rather than consolidation.”

BizWest asked Kaufman in February whether the BAE’s Space & Mission Systems division headcount in February 2025 will be larger or smaller than roughly 5,000 Colorado workers Ball Aerospace had at the time of the acquisition. “I’d say more,” he responded. 

Broomfield-based BAE Systems Inc. Space & Mission Systems recently laid off an unspecified number of workers in Colorado.

Lucas High
A Maryland native, Lucas has worked at news agencies from Wyoming to South Carolina before putting roots down in Colorado.
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