Business

Spirit's Turner meets with Biden

Spirit AeroSystems president and CEO Jeff Turner spent part of today in Washington in a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden opened a task force meeting on the future of manufacturing and its revitalization.

Turner was one of more than 20 manufacturers, government officials, economists and union officials who took part. He was the only one representing aviation manufacturers.

"I thought it was a very interesting, and I would say productive, meeting," Turner said.

The panel talked about global trade, government investment in research and development with a focus on innovation, the business climate, training and other issues, he said.

Turner spoke about Wichita's aviation industry and the difficult time it's going through.

He also spoke about work force development and the concept of keeping people working in tough economic times.

"The idea of figuring out how to keep people working, even if it's not full time, through tough times is a very important idea," he said.

So is the training and retraining displaced workers.

"The idea of having a process of incentives of keeping people at work, even if it can only be part time, also maybe a stipend so they'll go back and get additional training that... will strengthen our businesses and our competitiveness in America," he said.

The idea was received well.

"I think it resonated with a lot of people," Turner said.

Biden said a strong manufacturing sector will play a vital role in the economic recovery.

"I don't understand why we can't once again produce cutting edge technology that will create 21st century jobs that are here in America, not abroad," he said.

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