Northwest Aerospace News June | July Issue No. 15 - Page 50

Caring For You in the CARES ACT AFA advocacy ensured aerospace employers received federal COVID-19 relief By Emily Wittman, President & CEO — Aerospace Futures Alliance It is an understatement to say that 2020 is not the year that we expected. When we should be fighting for flights to Farnborough, the aerospace industry is fighting for our survival. Emily Wittman President & CEO Aerospace Futures Alliance AFA SPOTLIGHT Months before layoffs hit other sectors, aerospace employers were contemplating the word “furlough.” In early January, Spirit Aerosystems became the first 737 MAX supplier to publicly announce layoffs. At the same time, claims for MAX-related unemployment insurance were quietly filed in Washington State. Employers opted for the state’s Shared Work Program – reducing hours rather than lose talented workers – and anticipated a return to service within the year. How could they imagine skies devoid of aircraft, not just the 737 MAX? Aerospace manufacturing is an essential business, both for the security of our nation and for the resilience of our economy to weather economic crises. It was essential, then, that aerospace employers and the families they support received due consideration in the COVID-19 relief packages. As Washington’s aerospace trade association for advocacy, AFA represents the needs of the industry to local, state, and federal policymakers. We have been especially busy advocating for resources to help aerospace companies of all sizes remain resilient during this crisis. 50 NORTHWEST AEROSPACE NEWS