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More than 400 workers gathered at the Kaman Aerostructures facility in Jacksonville on May 21 to warn our leaders about the threat to U.S. economic and military strength posed by $500 billion in sequestration budget cuts scheduled for January 2013.
“We’re here because there’s a real crisis brewing for our company, for our industry and for our country,” said Kaman Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Neal J. Keating. “We need to do something about it. Together we’ll make sure that this company stays strong and that this country is always Second to None.”
Lt. Gov. Carroll added, “I've seen the effect of abrupt cuts; like the cancellation of the Constellation project and the retirement of the space shuttle. Experts say sequestration cuts will cost over 40,000 jobs in Florida alone. We cannot afford to lose these jobs.”
(Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll)
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. A study commissioned by AIA last year found that Florida could lose more than 39,000 jobs if Congress does not act to stop mandated cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
(Factory tour with Bob Kanaskie, Kaman Aerostructures; Neal Keating, Kaman Corp.; Marion C. Blakey, AIA)
Speakers at the rally included Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, Textron Inc. Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly, Sohacki Industries President Tom Sohacki, Kaman CEO Neal Keating and Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey.
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 are being scheduled across the nation to reinforce the risks sequestration impose on innovative companies like Kaman Corporation and to urge Congress to find an alternative to sequestration cuts as soon as possible to avoid massive disruptions in our workforce and businesses.
“You and I believe that the number one responsibility of our government is to protect American lives,” said Congressman Crenshaw. “The only way to keep America safe is to keep America strong. We've got to spread this Second to None message to make sure this doesn't become a reality.”
(Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.))
AIA's Marion Blakey closed the proceedings, saying “I’ve been going around the country making this pitch and I’ll tell you, the amazing thing is, everyone agrees. This “sequestration” is a ridiculous idea, they tell me. It’s an economic time bomb waiting to explode.”
For more photos form the rally, please visit our Flicker account.
AIA Souce: dan.stohr[at]aia-aerospace.org