Jo-Kell Chesapeake CEO Speaks to Congress on Defense Funding for Aircraft Carriers and the Impact on the Regional Economy
Chesapeake, VA (March 9, 2012) – This month, Jo-Kell Inc. CEO, Suzy Kelly will travel to Washington, DC, along with Jo-Kell Senior VP of Business Development, Jim Baur, to meet with members of the Virginia Congressional delegation to urge their support for sustained Congressional funding for the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier program. Kelly will take this opportunity to remind lawmakers that support for the aircraft carrier program is not only crucial for maintaining a strong military force, but also for preserving essential manufacturing businesses that employ thousands of highly skilled Americans.
As Members of Congress debate the national defense budget in Washington, DC, the impact of defense program funding on skilled U.S. manufacturing jobs should be a critical element of their consideration. These jobs provide the country’s workforce with steady employment and allow the production of cutting-edge defense products that guard our nation and enable us to respond to threats and crisis around the world.
“As CEO of Jo-Kell Inc. in Chesapeake, I understand firsthand the important role of these manufacturing jobs to our national defense and the economy of Virginia. At Jo-Kell, we provide circuit breakers, power panels, and wire-cable hangers for the production and maintenance of one of the United States Navy’s most critical and trusted military platforms, the aircraft carrier. U.S aircraft carriers are constantly on call throughout the world supporting our troops, responding to threats and providing humanitarian relief. My company is proud to be one of hundreds of companies from around the country that support these great vessels,” Kelly said.
“Uninterrupted funding of the aircraft carrier program allows for improved planning and more effective control of overhead costs. Disruptions in funding threaten the ability of our companies to continue to deliver the great quantities of specialized parts that carriers require. This would not only harm the defense industry, but would also threaten our continued ability to provide the parts and services critical to these ships,” Kelly said.
In addition, maintaining a five-year procurement schedule for aircraft carriers allows the industrial base to anticipate future manufacturing requirements which in turn controls costs for labor and components necessary to construct these vessels. If a significant change is made in the shipbuilding schedule, there will be a loss of “institutional knowledge” required to be the most powerful fleet in the world; thereby, compromising our national security.
“I look forward to representing my company as a segment of our regional economy as I speak to our Congressional delegation. Additionally, I hope I can contribute to their understanding of the importance of preserving our industrial base and strengthening our national defense.” Kelly said.
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