Alcoa Howmet has laid off over 20% of the workforce at its Hampton, VA, investment casting plant, citing weak demand for industrial gas turbines. Two-hundred and fifty positions were eliminated earlier this month; the plant reportedly had a workforce of 1,060 prior to the layoffs. Last summer Alcoa Inc. was planning to invest up to $25 million to expand the Hampton plant to increase production capacity for investment castings for IGT products. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership reportedly secured a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project, which, along with training assistance, was promised as an incentive for the aluminum producer to locate its expansion at Hampton. The Hampton plant produces a range of investment-cast turbine airfoils for the industrial gas turbine market, as well as superalloy and titanium structural aerospace components.