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Updated Nov 14, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Goodyear blindsided by Lockheed Martin's closing of plant

The City of Goodyear has learned it will lose about 600 jobs when Lockheed Martin closes the plant.

The aerospace and information technology company announced Thursday it was cutting 4,000 jobs nationwide, about 3.5 percent of its workforce, as the defense contractor continues to look for ways to lower costs amid reduced government spending.

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said city leaders were bracing for cutbacks as defense spending drops, but not a shutdown.

``We knew at some point that Lockheed Martin was going to be affected by sequestration. We at the city of Goodyear did not know to what point,'' Lord said. ``But this isn't just about our city. This is going to affect our entire state.''

The plant in Goodyear is one of four to be shuttered by early 2015. Ohio, Pennslyvania and Texas are also losing plants.

"In the face of government budget cuts and an increasingly complex global security landscape, these actions are necessary for the future of our business," CEO Marilyn Hewson said in a statement.

The Goodyear plant, one of the largest employers in that city, specializes in information systems and global solutions.

Goodyear spokeswoman Romina Khananisho said the city was losing "well-paid engineering jobs." City leaders were in the dark about the Lockheed plans prior to receiving emails and texts about the announcement Thursday.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. is the maker of Patriot missile defense system and the F-35 and F-16 fighter planes.

Valley economist Elliott Pollack said the potential aftereffects goes beyond the loss of 600 jobs.

"I don't know if the West Valley has the ability to replace these jobs so people will leave or find jobs elsewhere in town," he said. "This doesn't bode well for Goodyear."

City spokeswoman Romina Khananisho said Goodyear will try to find another tenant for the facility, hopefully another aerospace company.

KTAR's Jim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

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