By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It’s a major hit to Sacramento business and the end of an era for Sacramento’s ties to the aerospace industry.

Aerojet-Rocketdyne announced Monday it is closing its Rancho Cordova manufacturing plant. More than 1,000 jobs will be eliminated or moved.

Employees left work for the first time with the startling announcement. As employees drove past the company gates, one stopped for a brief interview.

“Can you tell me what the mood is there with the announcement,” CBS13’s Steve Large asked the employee. “It’s not good, people aren’t feeling very good about it.”

The aerospace and defense company revealed its closing its manufacturing plant and 1,100 positions will be eliminated or relocated.

For the Sacramento region, it’s a loss of a major, high-profile private employer. The company has a rich American history; its engines were used in NASA’s Apollo program, that led to the first moon landing.

“When people talk about large, successful, companies in the region, Aerojet always ranks near the top,” Sacramento State finance professor Sanjay Varshney said.

Since the space race, the company had downsized, but remained one of Sacramento’s only publicly-traded companies.
Its decision to leave is a clear sign to Varshney this region is not doing enough to attract business.

“I’ve been here for 13 years now and I’m just tired of people continuing to suggest we are a mecca and companies will move in here, we are so attractive, but we see exactly the opposite happening,” Varshney said.

The company moved its headquarters from Rancho Cordova to southern California last year, a move that proved ominous.

“Well, I think the move of their headquarters probably meant that they were really taking a close look at their strategy,” Greater Folsom Partnership’s Mary Ann McAlea said.

Aerojet is moving its manufacturing from here to Huntsville, Alabama.  Its manufacturing operations will end in Rancho Cordova in 2019. The Aerojet-Rocketdyne CEO issued a statement reading it was a move that will save the company money.


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