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US DOT assigns $1.2M to 2 local co.’s to protect aviation industry jobs

The U.S Department of Transportation announced the allocation of $1.2 million from its Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program (AMJP) to two Puerto Rico applicants.

Aguadilla-based Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico LLC will get up to $1.2 million, with which it will protect 89 jobs, while ULD Services Corp. will get $40,560 to preserve three jobs.

The new jobs-saving program was created with a total funding allocation of $482.3 million distributed among 313 businesses, in 37 states and Puerto Rico to help protect 22,500 jobs nationwide.

“For the past year and a half, our aviation industry workers have helped keep this economy moving, including by supporting the delivery of lifesaving medical equipment and vaccines,” said US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg.

Before the pandemic, the aerospace industry was estimated to employ approximately 2.2 million workers, including 1.2 million who worked in various parts of the supply chain nationwide, according to industry sources.

The historic drop in air travel precipitated by the pandemic led to reduced demand for parts, repairs, modifications, and other services.

More than 100,000 jobs in the aerospace industry have been lost since the start of the pandemic, and estimates show hundreds of thousands more are at risk.

“As demand for aviation rebounds, these businesses are crucial to the safety and functioning of the aviation industry and the broader US economy,” Buttigieg said.

In addition to fulfilling statutory requirements of the AMJP program, the awards reflect two key Department of Transportation priorities — economic strength and equity.

The federal agency employed a broad range of strategies to contact potentially eligible businesses to lay out the application process and the eligibility rules established by Congress. Because of swift action, Transportation officials were able to notify eligible businesses of these awards six months after enactment of the law.

Many of the recipients are small businesses. Of the 313 companies receiving funds, 188 of them (60%) had fewer than 100 employees at the end of calendar year 2020, and 252 of them (80%) had fewer than 250 employees, the agency confirmed..

The AMJP funds can be used to pay up to half of the payroll costs for certain categories of employees engaged in manufacturing or repair, for up to six months. In return, the business must make several commitments, including not to involuntarily furlough or lay off employees (or reduce pay or benefits) within that group during the time the business is receiving AMJP payroll support.

A full list of the round one awardees can be found here.

The applications for the second round of funding closed Sept. 1st and additional funding recipients will be announced later this fall, the agency added.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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