Exelis Management Says "For Sale" Signs Don't Mean Fort Wayne Jobs Are Leaving Town

By Jeff Neumeyer

February 28, 2014 Updated Feb 28, 2014 at 6:24 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- A Fort Wayne defense contractor with a business focus that is "out of this world" insists a consolidation plan it's pursuing will not take the company payroll "out of town".

ITT Exelis is going public to calm the nerves of its employees.

That seems to at least be part of the reason for reaching out to reporters about the sale of a couple of buildings at its Cook Road campus.

Exelis says its local plant that produces weather satellite instruments is staying in town, though a loss of around 50 jobs may take place.

The company, that helps news stations with weather forecasting, will be putting up "For Sale" signs at its Cook Road complex on Monday.

Two of three buildings will be sold, because some workers are being shuffled to a different Exelis building down the street, where SINCGARS combat radios are made.

Officials insist the weather satellite operation is not on the chopping block.
" The weather business is really made up of the people here, the intellectual property that these people have over many years of tenure here, and that our customers value those things and because of that, the only possible solution was to stay here," said Rob Mitrevski, with Exelis Geospatial Systems Division.

The company was concerned that the placement of "For Sale" signs on Monday would have gotten the local workforce riled up.

Administrators spoke to staff Friday, to try and settle anxious feelings.

There is a bit of history that makes the workers nervous.

In 2010, ITT Exelis had about 2,000 people on the payroll in Fort Wayne.

That number is now about 1,200, and that's before the new consolidation plan.

Getting the word out that the weather satellite instrument business is secure here for the foreseeable future, is a message the company wants to communicate in no uncertain terms.

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