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The Honorable Can Le\1n U.S. Senator 269 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Le\1n: As we work to get our economy on track and reCO\A9r from the recession that hurt so many Americans, we need to focus on the types of projects that promise long term innovation and stability for our country. With the military looking to replace its aging fighter aircraft fleet with the state-of-the-art F-35, we have a rare opportunity to put Americans back to work and build on an industry where our country retains a competitive advantage. The F-35 program has already created important high technology aerospace jobs that help to build the kind of highly skilled workforce our nation needs to remain competitlve and prosperous. With 127,000 people directly and indirectly employed by the program, the F-35 is already an important job creator. These numbers will continue to grow as the program reaches full rate production. I write in support of the more than two dozen high-tech job provders in Michigan - one of them is located in Jackson - who are part of the F-35 supplier base for Lockheed Martin. O\A9r2,500 direct and indirect jobs are currently located at F-35 suppliers in Michigan because this project. As you know, our state is still dealing with double-digit unemployment. We need these highly-advanced technology jobs to be sustained and grow in the near future if Michigan is to ever reCO\A9r from this severe economic downtum. Unfortunately, there are some in the current Congress who are contemplating cuts in the F-35 program. think that's a bad idea. The F-35 production facility and supply chain were designed to maximize efficiencies and minimize costs with increased volume. Any slowdown in production now will increase costs and delay initial deliveries to our military. Reducing the number of F-35s we invest in also means less investment into a sector that provdes much needed jobs here in our state. With component parts coming from suppliers from across the country, reducing the number of F-35s we buy or even slowing down production will hurt more than just our national security. These are the kinds of projects that help us remain competitive with countries like China and Russia, who are making inroads on their own fighter jets. Working on the F-35, the most advanced fighter ever developed, shows the continued value and ingenuity of the American worker. As you go about the process of making critical decisions that will affect our nation's future, I urge you to support full funding for the F-35 - an important fixture for our nation's military security and a much needed job creator.
De obies City Councilman Jackson, MI