Gov. Rick Scott was happy to announce yesterday that Boeing is creating 550 jobs in Florida by 2015 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.
Aside from the fact that 500 jobs in four years doesn't quite offset the few thousand people laid off after the space shuttle program was retired, the governor's news release also fails to mention that those jobs will be created only if some of that federal government taxpayer coin gets into the mix.
We wouldn't know that based on what the governor's office says, but Boeing wasn't ashamed to admit it in a statement it provided:
"We selected Florida due to the cost benefits achieved with a consolidated operation, the skilled local workforce, and proximity to our NASA customer," says John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Commercial Programs for Boeing Space Exploration. "Pending the continued selection of Boeing for future Commercial Crew development and service contracts, and sufficient NASA funding, we project a Commercial Crew program workforce ramping up to 550 local jobs by our scheduled operational date of December 2015. The CST-100 will provide NASA with reliable, safe, and affordable transportation to the International Space Station and other destinations in Low Earth Orbit."
Let's isolate the important part there: "Pending the continued selection of Boeing for future Commercial Crew development and service contracts, and sufficient NASA funding..."
Well, it wasn't just Boeing that mentioned the need for federal funding for the 550 jobs to happen. Here's President Obama's quote from a statement released by NASA:
"The next era of space exploration won't wait, and so we can't wait for Congress to do its job and give our space program the funding it needs," the president says. "That's why my Administration will be pressing forward, in partnership with Space Florida and the private sector, to create jobs and make sure America continues to lead the world in exploration and discovery."
Boeing and its partners will be creating the Crew Space Transportation-100, which will take space explorers to the International Space Station starting in 2015, when those 550 jobs are expected.
Before that, 140 jobs are expected to be created in Florida as part of the program by 2013.
Here's what Scott has to say:
"Florida has five decades of leadership in the space industry, which makes our state the logical place for the next phase of space travel and exploration," Governor Scott says. "Boeing's choice of Florida for its Commercial Crew program headquarters is evidence Florida has the world-class facilities and workforce expertise needed for aerospace companies to succeed."
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.