Agreement: XCOR must meet salary obligations

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Midland Reporter - Telegram

XCOR Aerospace thus far has met its obligations as required by the economic development agreement signed nearly five years ago with the Midland Development Corp. and has collected $9 million in performance incentives, relocation payments and renovations. Still, the space industry company faces payroll, capital investment and rent obligations that officials said will be a challenge considering its financial status. 

The economic development agreement with MDC shows XCOR must meet obligations of $8 million in total salaries and wages this year and $12 million next year. 

Company officials told the Reporter-Telegram on Thursday that it was forced to lay off its 10 employees in Midland and 11 in Mojave, California. Key personnel would be hired back on a contractual basis, according to acting CEO Michael A. Blum. Where they are located would depend on the projects they are working on, he said. Engine development was a core task in Midland. Among the projects in Mojave, Blum said, was the Lynx suborbital spacecraft project. 

The layoffs announced this week were at least the second XCOR executed in the past 15 months. Blum said XCOR’s financials have been hindered by expected funding that did not materialize. The company had been working on an upper stage for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle. That contract was not continued, Blum said.