March 23, 2006 – The IAM has taken the lead in working with State Representative Bob Allen of Florida (R-FL) in developing a creative mechanism to spur economic development and create jobs in the Florida space industry.
Rep. Allen has proposed a $250 million commitment by the State of Florida to invest in new space related businesses, and access to capital to improve existing space operations. The IAM, working with other unions and the Florida Aerospace Development Corporation, will seek additional investment capital to match the State’s commitment.
In a letter to Rep. Allen, International President Tom Buffenbarger said: “We look forward to working with you to develop the Aerospace Workforce Challenge Fund which we see as a key component to attracting and retaining the next generation of aerospace workers and the companies that will design, manufacture and maintain our nation’s competitive lead in space exploration.”
Steve Sleigh, the IAM’s Director of Strategic Resources, will be assisting local IAM representatives create the investment mechanism for receiving the State and private capital commitments.
“This is a great opportunity for us to partner with a private equity fund that has a track record for investing money wisely while creating good, union-represented jobs,” said Sleigh.