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Lockheed Martin missile facility closing in Horizon City

By: Stacey Welsh

HORIZON CITY, Texas -- The Lockheed Martin facility in Horizon City is set to close its doors in January 2014, forcing about a dozen employees to find new jobs.

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin told KFOX14 the Horizon City facility assists with production for the Army Tactical Missile System, but production has slowed down over the last 10 years.

This closure is part of a company-wide consolidation, and production at the Horizon City facility will move to another Lockheed Martin Facility in Camden, Ark.

"It helps us by supporting our customers' requirements in the budget realities that we live in today by integrating all of our production at that one site," Lockheed Martin spokesman Craig Vanbebber said.

Vanbebber said the Horizon City employees can apply to work at another Lockheed Martin facility at White Sands Missile Range, or they can choose to transfer to the Arkansas facility.
While the closure is happening close to the holiday season, Vanbebber said employees had "several weeks" notice.

"The actual transition will not take place until January and even later, early 2014 for many of the employees, because they will have to assist in relocation of equipment from Horizon City to Camden, Ark., so they've been given sufficient notice, absolutely," Vanbebber said.

Because the facility has been in Horizon City since 1988, Mayor Walter Miller said he will be sad to see the company go.

"Lockheed Martin has always been a good corporate citizen," Miller said.

Despite the closure, Miller expects growing development in Horizon City to make up for the loss in tax revenue. He also said it is only speculation what could take the company's place at this point.

Borderplex Alliance is a privately owned economic development organization that works to attract, retain and grow businesses in the El Paso area.

"We help them with their due diligence process and look at the competitive advantages and strengths of El Paso," Vice President of Business Development Cary Westin said.

Westin said Borderplex Alliance works with cities to give tax abatements and other incentives to new companies coming in.

Westin said ADP, a company Borderplex Alliance brought to El Paso in 2006, recently announced an expansion that is set to bring 585 new jobs.

He also said the company cannot speculate what could be coming into the Horizon City facility.

"We're under a nondisclosure until companies make an announcement," Westin said.