Press Release

Florida Leaders, AAR and Space Coast Business Community Warn Against More Cuts to Aerospace and Defense

By SpaceRef Editor
June 25, 2012
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39,246 Florida jobs at stake

Melbourne, Fla. — Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.), AAR Chairman and CEO David P. Storch, leaders from the Space Coast business community and more than 250 local workers rallied today at the AAR Airlift facility in Melbourne to warn about the threat to U.S. economic and military strength posed by $500 billion in sequestration budget cuts scheduled for January 2013. A study commissioned by AIA last year found that Florida could lose more than 39,000 jobs if Congress does not act to stop these cuts.

In addition to Rep. Posey and David P. Storch, Dan Pearson, COO of Harris Corporation, Lynda Weatherman, President and CEO of EDC of Florida’s Space Coast and Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey addressed the community and raised concerns over the impending budget cuts. The speakers warned that, with only 190 days until the cuts go into effect, Congress needs to act this summer to stop the clock on sequestration and enact alternative means of deficit reduction.

“The number one economic challenge we face is jobs and we must create awareness of these impending cuts and their potential effects,” said Storch. “We need to do all we can to ensure an outcome that benefits our country and our communities while fostering productivity and innovation for our industry.”

Aerospace and defense supports more than 167,000 jobs in Florida, bringing $14 billion in revenue and fueling $5 billion in exports — an economic powerhouse that has needlessly been placed at risk.

“You can look long and hard in Washington to find anyone who thinks sequestration is a good idea,” Blakey said. “Mostly you hear worlds like ‘catastrophic’ and ‘devastating.’ The Congressional Budget Office says it would be like leaping off a ‘fiscal cliff’ – and landing right back in another recession.”

AIA began its Second to None campaign to educate our leaders, elected officials and the general public about the threat sequestration cuts pose to our national security, economy and industrial base capabilities. Rallies like today’s event are being scheduled across the nation to bring home the risk to innovative companies like AAR and their communities and to urge Congress to find an alternative to sequestration cuts as soon as possible to avoid massive disruptions in our workforce and businesses.

SpaceRef staff editor.