After Trump request, Lockheed keeps helicopter plant open

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Lockheed Martin has decided to keep its Sikorsky helicopter plant in Pennsylvania open following a request from President Donald Trump.

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Wednesday night's announcement came little more than a month after the company told the Coatesville facility's 465 employees the plant would close by the end of the year. The company planned to relocate production work and hoped to move many of the affected employees.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin chairman and CEO Marillyn Hewson said at Trump's request, she reviewed the decision and decided to keep the plant open while the company pursues additional work.

Trump tweeted his thanks, calling Lockheed Martin "one of the USA's truly great companies."

The company spent weeks reviewing its options, including "what work can be sourced to Coatesville and how we can maintain cost-effective operations," said Callie Ferrari, a Sikorsky spokeswoman.

"The downturn in the commercial helicopter market puts the Coatesville facility in a tough business situation, which is what drove our original decision," she said.

Major programs at the plant have included Sikorsky's S-92 and S-76D helicopter completion work, as well as Canadian Maritime Helicopter Program modifications and upgrades.

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This story has been corrected to show the proper spelling of the dateline is Coatesville, not Coatsville.