Killdeer Manufacturing lays off a dozen employees

In a time when filling job positions is hard for local business, one in Hettinger is letting them go.Posted September 12, 2013

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By JAMIE SPAINHOWER

Record Editor

 

In a time when filling job positions is hard for local business, one in Hettinger is letting them go.

Listed as the sixth top employer in Hettinger by the Chamber of Commerce, Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing laid off 12 employees last week. The company employed approximately 49 employees prior to the lay off.

“At this time the Hettinger-Regent military programs are experiencing government sequestration with the Lockheed Program in addition to LAIRCM production,” said company owner and president Don Hedger.

Hedger said the company found itself with 12 positions too many, and had to reduce the workforce accordingly.

Basically – due to government spending cuts, and a portion of the company’s income is in the form of government work, KMM isn’t getting some of the contracts it had before.

“We are looking for more work for Hettinger, but it is difficult to get it done really quickly,” he said.

Hedger said KMM paid each employee two weeks severance pay, and will continue health insurance through Sept. 30 of this year for those currently enrolled in its program.

“We also encourage those to apply for future position as they become available in the Hettinger area, as well as any of the other locations,” he said.

There are currently jobs available in both Killdeer and Dickinson.

He also encouraged those affected to apply for unemployment.

 

Company history

With locations in Killdeer, Hettinger, Regent and Dickinson, KMM celebrated its 25th anniversary last winter.

The family owned and operated business was founded by electrical engineer Don Hedger, and his wife Patricia in 1987, at the end of the last oil boom, after the Killdeer natives had moved back from Phoenix.

Incorporation papers were signed Nov. 1, 1987, and the company was on its way.

It builds circuit card assemblies, fiber optics assemblies, and wireless harness assemblies for aircraft as well as specialty coating. Basically, these parts are the brains and nervous systems of plains, helicopters and other aircraft. The company supplies gear to Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and other prominent aerospace companies.

A model of the Boeing 777, one of the company’s workhorse commercial airliners, sits in the lobby of KMM’s manufacturing facility in Dickinson. According to statements Hedger made last December, the company has about $38 million in annual sales.

The company employs 300 people in the four locations. It has opened a daycare at the Killdeer location to help employees and compete against the oil boom.

“From providing jobs to participating in community events, KMM strive to be an integral part of each community and North Dakota as a whole,”

In its release about celebrating 25 years in business, the Hedgers stated, “Thanks to the dedication, hard work and outstanding skills of all of the KMM team, the company is looking forward to another 25 years and beyond.”

The company is a family business. Don and Patricia Hedger are majority shareholders. The Hedgers’ children – Dan Hedger, Patrick Hedger and Deb Hedger – work for KMM, as do two of their grandchildren, Kristin Hedger and Erika Hedger Bauer.