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Evergreen to close main air cargo arm

UPDATE: State filing confirms shutdown, Nov. 30 to be last day of operations

Marcus Larson/News-Register<br><b>Evergreen Airlines, the key subsidiary of Evergreen International Aviation, headquartered on Highway 18, will close shop later this month.</b>
Marcus Larson/News-Register
Evergreen Airlines, the key subsidiary of Evergreen International Aviation, headquartered on Highway 18, will close shop later this month.

Nov 7, 2013

By Nicole Montesano
Of the News-Register

[UPDATE: State filing confirms Evergreen shutdown]

Evergreen International Airlines — key remaining component of Evergreen International Aviation, following the selloff of its helicopter division — has announced to employees by voicemail that it will be closing its doors effective Friday, Nov. 29, according to current and former employees. Calls seeking confirmation from the company were not returned.

The closure will eliminate most of the parent company's remaining workforce. However, it will not affect employees of the helicopter division, now owned and operated by Erickson Air-Crane; the non-profit museum complex across the highway; or, at least in any direct way, the company's agricultural or ground support subsidiaries.

Former employees said the air cargo arm, which once ferried freight around the world in a fleet of 747s, has been laying off employees to the point where it is already down to a skeleton force. They said this remaining force is due for lay off as well at the end of November.

Employment numbers for the company vary, but according to the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, the parent company listed local employment, across all of its divisions, at 463 last year. That was, of course, prior to sale of its helicopter division to publicly traded Erickson Air-Crane in a deal valued at $250 million to $276 million, depending on some performance clauses.

MEDP Executive Director Jody Christensen declined to comment, beyond lamenting the loss of jobs and noting it would clearly “have an impact.”

Meanwhile, the relationship between the for-profit company and the nonprofit museum operation on the other side of Highway 18 remains under Oregon Department of Justice investigation. The nub issue is whether the operations are truly separate, as required by law. DOJ opened the probe in November 2012 and confirmed late last month that it remained ongoing. So far, it has refused to discuss its progress or findings.

See article in Friday's News-Register for full story.

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