Protect Aerospace Jobs | Commentary by Homer Marshall

homermarshallThis year marks the 70th year of operation for the Armstrong Flight Research Center. In those 70 years, this facility has seen everything from hypersonic flight to Antarctic exploration.

I have been a member of the United Aerospace Workers for 33 years and have seen hardworking men and women dedicate their lives to building the space shuttle fleet, B1-B bombers and performing various other flight-test operations. The history of the Antelope Valley has been shaped by the Armstrong Center’s influence in the industry, and the hardworking members of the community have played a large role in that influence.

NASA employs a workforce of more than 17,000 people. Nearly 600 of those employees are right here in California’s 25th District. The Armstrong Flight Research Center, located in the Antelope Valley, has played a crucial role in our district’s history since 1946 and has been instrumental in achieving the milestones in aeronautic innovation that have made America the leading nation in space exploration.

Congressman Steve Knight sees those 600 jobs as the perfect target for budget cuts. Bryan Caforio understands we need to invest in these industries, not de-fund them, to ensure that our national economy and more importantly our local economy keep growing. Bryan is committed to protecting the jobs of the hardworking people in this district; he wants to ensure that the Antelope Valley maintains its leading role as a premier atmospheric flight research center. The hardworking men and women at the Armstrong Flight Research Center were able to buy homes and pay for college because of this country’s continued commitment to scientific and aeronautic discovery.

Bryan has said: “Continuing robust investment in space exploration and aeronautics research not only makes economic sense and opens the door to potential discoveries we can use to improve the world, it serves to inspire a generation of Americans as we learn more about the universe we live in.”

Bryan, unlike Knight, understands that maintaining NASA funding to allow future innovation in space exploration and aeronautic science just makes sense. Bryan understands the major role that the Armstrong Flight Research Center has played in this community’s history.

I am confident that in Congress, Bryan will support NASA’s mission “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research.” I support Bryan Caforio for Congress because we can trust him to fight for jobs and protect workers’ rights in the industries that keep the 25th District strong.

Now is not the time to cut funding to innovative industries, such as NASA. It is the time to recommit to investing in the future. It is time to show those hardworking men and women that we are as dedicated to protecting their jobs and their futures as they have been to influencing this community’s history.

Homer Marshall is president of United Aerospace Workers Local 887.