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Textron Aviation announces layoffs

WICHITA, Kan. | Textron Aviation said the company is laying off an undisclosed number of workers, with most of the layoffs at its headquarters in Wichita.

The company announced the layoffs Thursday but did not say how many employees would be affected.

Company spokeswoman Stephanie Harder said in a statement the job losses would be mostly in engineering and business support. She said the layoffs won’t involve the direct workforce, such as hourly manufacturing and customer support. The layoffs will be effective Dec. 31.

KAKE-TV reported Textron offered a voluntary retirement program for salaried exempt employees.

Harder said Textron plans to continue hiring skilled advanced aviation manufacturing positions as they are needed.

Textron Aviation employs nearly 10,000 people in Wichita.

GM, Korea’s LG Chem in venture to build factory in Ohio

WARREN, Mich. | General Motors and Korea’s LG Chem have formed a joint venture to build an electric vehicle battery cell factory near Lordstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland.

The companies also will work together on battery technology to bring down the cost for future GM electric vehicles.

The new plant will create more than 1,100 jobs in the area around Youngstown, Ohio, and the joint venture plans to invest $2.3 billion in the plant and for battery development. GM said it will be among the largest battery factories in the world.

They’ll break ground on the new plant sometime next year, but the exact location wasn’t disclosed.

The joint venture likely will pay less than the roughly $30 per hour that GM pays unionized assembly plant workers. GM CEO Mary Barra said the plant will follow GM’s component manufacturing strategy, where workers are paid less than at assembly plants. She said it will have to be cost-competitive.

Average 30-year mortgage rate steady at 3.68%

WASHINGTON | U.S. long-term mortgage rates held steady this week amid mixed signs in the housing market. Rates remain at historically low levels as a lure to prospective homebuyers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged from the previous week at 3.68%. The benchmark rate stood at 4.75% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage ticked down to 3.14% this week from 3.15% last week.

— From AP reports