Sens. Moran, Warner Introduce Legislation to Create Partnership to Preserve Jobs in Aviation Manufacturing
May 13 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) – co-chairs of the Senate Aerospace Caucus – today introduced legislation that would create a Private-Public Partnership between the federal government and aviation manufacturers designed to protect the workforce and industry impacted by COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drastic decline in air travel, and as a result, aviation manufacturing has experienced significant financial losses resulting in widespread layoffs,” said Sen. Moran. “Both in Wichita – the Air Capital of the World – and around the country, our aviation manufacturing plays a critical role in both commercial and general aviation, and within our defense community. This legislation would create a program to temporarily support aviation manufacturing in order to prevent more layoffs and allow the industry to make a faster recovery once this crisis has passed.”
“This cost-sharing public/-private partnership is an important step to support the aviation manufacturing, repair, and supply chain workforce,” said Sen. Warner. “The aerospace industry is essential to Virginia and the nation to ensure a strong economy and national defense.”
This legislation would help prevent further layoffs in aviation manufacturing by creating a public-private partnership, through which the federal government would provide up to 50 percent of total compensation for at-risk employee groups so long as a company commits to continuing their employment. Most importantly, under this arrangement employees remain on the job and fully compensated for their work.
This program is structured as a temporary, emergency program as manufacturers deal with the unprecedented crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This program ensures that an experienced workforce will be safeguarded and available to contribute as the industry recovers.
“We appreciate Senator Moran’s leadership to bring forward this plan to support aerospace jobs and the U.S. industrial base,” said Tom Gentile, President and CEO of Spirit AeroSystems. “This common-sense, targeted proposal to assist the aerospace and defense industry will help ensure the U.S. retains enough of the skilled workforce necessary to compete globally and support national security needs.”
“As our airline customers suffer, decline in air travel is also reverberating across the aviation manufacturing sector. The result is the cancellation of orders and a decreased demand for maintenance and repairs, which in turn, is helping lead to significant layoffs and furloughs in companies of all sizes,” said Eric Fanning, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association. “Temporary and targeted assistance is needed to help save these jobs. The private-public investment envisioned in this bill will provide such support by helping to keep at-risk employees on payroll, while also helping to unburden state unemployment programs. Senators Moran and Warner – bipartisan co-chairs of the Senate Aerospace Caucus – are showing real leadership in proposing this common sense plan to provide companies and employees support as they navigate this crisis and prepare for a strong American recovery.”
“The general aviation manufacturing and maintenance industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. "We applaud Senators Moran and Warner for introducing an innovative and constructive approach to bring industry and government together to support manufacturing and maintenance employees and facilitate the road to recovery in this vital sector of the economy.”
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