Florida Aerospace Jobs Effort Gets Underway for Post-Shuttle Era

Space Shuttle

Work starts on jobs plan
Florida Today

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez visited Central Florida Thursday as part of his efforts to develop a plan to invest $40 million to help soon-to-be-jobless space workers by bringing in industries that can put them back to work.

“We’re in the fact-finding mode,” Fernandez said in a telephone interview Thursday, before he delivered a keynote address at the Super Regional Leadership Conference in Kissimmee, an economic summit hosted by the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Central Florida Partnership. “We’re collecting data and information on a lot of the great work that’s already been going on in the Space Coast region. The next phase is going to be an aggressive outreach effort.”

Fernandez is laying the groundwork for the detailed plan, to be presented to President Barack Obama by Aug. 15, advising how the money should be spent to sustain the space industry work force. Some 8,000 workers will be jobless when the shuttle stops flying after two more missions….

“The goal is to give the President a plan in August that lays out how we would recommend investing that $40 million to mitigate the short term impacts of lost jobs and also develop a long-term strategy to diversify the economy,” Fernandez said.

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