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The pandemic's toll includes an airplane parts plant in Prince George County

Rolls Royce Plant
Posted at 12:20 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 12:20:31-05

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- A Rolls Royce plant in Virginia that builds turbine blades for jet engines laid off more than 100 workers earlier this year and plans to close the plant in June.

Former plant worker Alaina O’Berry found a job with another manufacturer, but is making less money.

That is the case for many of her co-workers who were laid off.

The Prince George plant is an example of the impact the pandemic has had on jobs in the nation’s hard-hit civil aerospace industry.

Rolls-Royce Plant
FILE - This May 2, 2011, file photo, shows the exterior of the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe research and manufacturing plant in Prince George, Va. The Rolls Royce plant in Virginia that builds turbine blades for jet engines laid off more than 100 workers earlier this year and plans to close the plant in June. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

One aircraft industry analyst said Rolls Royce builds engines for widebody jets that cross oceans and the coronavirus has been particularly devastating to international travel.

Economic development officials in the area hope the advanced manufacturing plant will be attractive to another company, possibly a pharmaceutical firm.