York-based AMZ Corp. has told employees to expect layoffs and shorter work weeks.

Owner Jeff Adams said the company is coping with a reduction in its workforce of more than 33 percent as it continues to receive fewer jobs from defense contractor BAE Systems.

AMZ makes specialty paints for combat vehicles that are resistant to chemicals and increase survivability. About 70 percent of its business comes from defense and aerospace industries, Adams said.

As wars have ended, the defense budget shrinks and BAE grapples with an impending three-year shutdown of the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicles program, AMZ has struggled as a supplier to the defense contractor.

"As orders have fallen off, we've been the first affected," Adams said.

Layoffs: AMZ is in the final stages of layoffs that began six months ago. After 16 employees have been laid off, the company's headcount stands at 26 people.

"We're past cutting off the fat. We're cutting into meat now," he said.

Those who were let go were highly trained technicians making an hourly wage of $15 or more, depending on the job and skill level, Adams said.

"My big concern is what will happen with these trained employees. What they do you can't make up for with temporary labor," he said.

It takes more than one year of training to learn what laid-off employees know, Adams said. For those current employees facing potential layoffs, he said the company is "trying to help them get through this time with as much work as possible."

"We have enough work that we won't have to close the business," Adams said. "But this is going to be a very painful time."

-- Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.