WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and U.S. Representative Ron Estes’ (R-Kan.) Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act passed the Senate. This legislation will create a public-private partnership between the federal government and aviation manufacturers to protect the aviation manufacturing industry, workforce and supply chain impacted by COVID-19.
“Both in Wichita – the Air Capital of the World – and around the country, our aviation manufacturing plays a critical role in commercial and general aviation and within our defense community,” said Sen. Moran. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant financial losses leading to widespread layoffs and furloughs. This legislation will create a program to temporarily support aviation manufacturing in order to prevent workforce reductions, ensuring this invaluable sector remains intact when demand returns. I’m pleased our workforce retention bill was included in the relief package, however I could not support the final $1.9 trillion package because of the unnecessary spending unrelated to COVID-19.”
“Aviation manufacturing workers in Kansas and across the country have experienced furloughs and layoffs over the last year after two major crises – an FAA grounding and the coronavirus pandemic,” said Rep. Estes. “That's why we developed a bipartisan solution to keep these skilled workers in our region and support the Air Capital of the World. The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act is critical legislation for Kansas and makes sure that our workforce, manufacturers and suppliers stay connected and survive. I was grateful to introduce this legislation last fall with Republicans and Democrats in both chambers and am pleased that this targeted measure was included despite the many other failings of the $1.9 trillion spending bill.”
This legislation was passed as a provision included in the FY2021 Budget Reconciliation and would help prevent further layoffs and furloughs in aviation manufacturing by creating a public-private partnership, through which the federal government would provide 50 percent of the total compensation of an eligible employee group as long as the 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.
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