Ohio Lt. Gov. on closure of Akron Lockheed Martin facility: We are disappointed in the news

State: Evaluation process was to take 12 months

CLEVELAND - The closing of the Akron facility of Lockheed Martin seemed to catch the state by surprise. Not that they didn't think it was possible, but the timing of the announcement caught them off guard.

"We are disappointed in the news today," said Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. During a phone news conference, Taylor said the state was notified the Akron facility could close around the end of October. She said she was told by Lockheed Martin, "the closure is not a specific statement about Akron."

What became clear is the state never had a chance to try and keep the jobs in Akron. Kristi Tanner, managing director of Jobs Ohio, said they were led to believe the evaluation process would take place over several months - specifically, 12 months.

"We hadn't put anything in writing to them in terms of what we might be able to do," she said.

Lockheed Martin announced Thursday that they would be cutting 4,000 jobs across the country. A defense contractor tells NewsChannel5 the government is spending less money on defense contracts.

Akron could see as many as 600 people lose their jobs, with it closing by early 2015. Tanner said no formal package was offered to the defense giant, but informal talks had begun once the state learned of the potential closure.

"We didn't expect the announcement to come as quickly as it did," Tanner said.

NewsChannel5 did reach out to Lockheed Martin, but we were told no one would be available for comment.

"If there is an opportunity to keep those jobs in Akron, we will be supportive and push for it," said Taylor.

In the meantime, Taylor stated they "stand ready to help displaced workers."

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