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Parachute maker in Mass. warns of job cuts

NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford company that makes parachutes is warning it may have to cut some 360 jobs in February because of an expected drop in defense work.

Kenneth Bello, a lawyer for Niche Inc., told the Standard Times of New Bedford that the company does not have enough new military contracts on the horizon to maintain its present level of employment.

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The nearly 30-year-old firm employed 950 people at its peak in 2011. Niche let about 400 workers go in April, but 300 were later recalled to help complete an existing federal contract.

Bello says he still hopes the cuts can be avoided.

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