Things have turned out as well as they could have given that my dad's department no longer exists. My dad will be continuing to do essentially what he does now and remaining under his current boss; his workplace can't function without someone doing what my dad does, and right now he's the only one there with the necessary skill set.
His company handled the whole thing really poorly. The people making decisions displayed no understanding of what my dad actually does. My dad's boss's boss had to fight higher ups who didn't understand why they couldn't lay my engineer father off and just have machinists take over everything he does. They also laid off all of the machinists in the department, even though they knew they were going to keep at least two of them. Today they proceeded to call two of the machinists to offer them their jobs back, and they decided they needed them by the second shift tonight. The guys they decided to rehire were out job hunting and could not be reached.
There was one positive note for my dad. In the days following the announcement about his department, the leaders of two other departments stopped by to ask my dad to come work for them. He's happy to know he's valued, and even though he isn't planning to switch jobs anytime soon, having other options is nice.