Rep. Estes Applauds Implementation Steps for Aviation Manufacturing Program
Washington, April 16, 2021 | Roman Rodriguez (316-262-8992)
WASHINGTON – Today Rep. Estes applauded the Department of Transportation for taking initial steps in implementing the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) Program – bipartisan legislation he introduced with Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Washington) in 2020 and helped reintroduce in this Congress. The new law allows aviation manufacturers to designate 25% of their workforce at risk of furlough due to COVID-19 to be eligible for 50% of their total compensation covered by the Department of Transportation. The employer will cover the remaining 50%.
"The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program is critical for south central Kansas, as aircraft groundings and the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly impacted our region," said Rep. Estes. "It's helpful for our skilled workforce that this bipartisan solution is moving forward, with the Department of Transportation providing resources and information about required documentation before applications open up later this year. I urge the Department to quickly open up the application process so that workers and small businesses in Kansas can have the security and stability needed as we reopen the country."
In a press release, the Department of Transportation announced a new webpage that provides helpful links and immediate steps aviation manufacturers can take to be prepared for the application process.
The Secretary of Transportation oversees the program operations along with oversight by the Department of Transportation. The AMJP Program also includes several safeguards, including restrictions on employers circumventing collective bargaining agreements, moving jobs assisted by the program out of the United States, using the program for stock buybacks or paying out dividends, or being covered under the "at risk" employee definition. The program also allows companies to recall or rehire workers. The program goes through April September 2023, given the unknown nature of the pandemic's impact on aviation manufacturing companies. Despite loan options within the CARES Act, many aviation companies did not take advantage of them because of certain restrictions.
Additionally, as required by law, the Department of Transportation released a Federal Register notice yesterday outlining the kind of information applicants will need to provide to DOT during the application process. Interested employers are encouraged to submit public comments regarding this process.