SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Honeywell International is permanently closing its Smithfield facility, according to documents obtained by 12 News.
The company said in a letter to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training that the closure is slated for Nov. 17 and will prompt at least 122 layoffs.
Honeywell plans to start the layoffs on April 22 and will be shifting production of eye and face protection gear to other existing Honeywell sites.
“We realize this affects valued employees, which is why we will make extensive efforts to retain affected employees,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. “Honeywell will offer severance and outplacement assistance to supported eligible affected employees to help them pursue jobs within Honeywell or elsewhere.”
The Smithfield location was also in the national spotlight in March 2020, when the White House announced they had been working with Honeywell to ramp up mask production. Then-President Donald Trump himself mentioned the Rhode Island facility during a briefing.
“I’m pleased to report that Honeywell, a great company, has just announced it will immediately expand its personal protective equipment manufacturing operations in Rhode Island to produce millions of additional N95 masks,” Trump said then. “They’re very hard to get.”
Angely Francis, the HR manager for Honeywell, announced then they would expand production of safety eyewear, goggles, and face shields to create more than 500 new jobs at the Smithfield facility.
In 2021, the Thurber Blvd. facility laid off 470 people attributing the job cuts to the decreased demand for N95 masks as states scaled back COVID-19 mask mandates and vaccination became more common.