Protecting Aviation Manufacturing and Maintenance Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO, Pete Bunce, issued the following statement regarding the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R.1319), which has now been passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:
“Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the general aviation industry. Some of the hardest hit segments include our manufacturers, maintenance providers, the supply chain and their respective workforces. We appreciate the work done by Congress to help companies and their workers address the challenges they continue to face. We are particularly grateful for the leadership shown by Senators Cantwell, Moran and Warner, as well as Representatives Larsen and Estes, who all championed the innovative cost-sharing program to retain, recall or rehire the aviation manufacturing and maintenance workforce. This program will help strengthen our fragile supply chain, keep highly skilled workers in the industry, as well as support some of the smaller companies that need assistance to maintain operations.
“The aviation manufacturing and maintenance industry is an integral part of the U.S. economy and transportation system. The assistance provided from the American Rescue Plan will go directly to our highly skilled manufacturing and maintenance workers and protect this vital job sector. While our industry continues to face headwinds, it will be the resilience and dedication of our workforce that gets us beyond the pandemic.”
Provisions within the American Rescue Plan Act establish a $3 billion payroll support program within the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide grants to eligible manufacturers and their suppliers to maintain their workforce during the pandemic. The temporary program would require cost-sharing of 50 percent by employers and 50 percent by the federal government, and funds would be directed to an eligible employee group comprising not more than 25 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce engaged in aviation manufacturing or maintenance, repair and overhaul activities. The funds provided must be used to retain current employees or to recall employees who were previously laid off.