It's a move that's been looming on the horizon, with the end of the space shuttle program. About 510 employees have been given layoff notices, including 260 employees in Houston. Pending completion of the final shuttle mission, STS-135, the last workday for those affected will be August 5th.
The company says in a news release that it's trying to redeploy personnel to other programs, such as the International Space Station and Commercial Crew Development, saying it wants to retain as many skilled workers as possible. The company is providing layoff benefits and career transition services.
Boeing has taken part in every major human spaceflight program since Project Mercury, and has been a major subcontractor to United Space Alliance, NASA's prime contractor for space shuttle operations. The company designed and manufactured the space shuttle orbiters.