LITTLE ROCK — Legislators on Monday announced formation of a bipartisan legislative caucus to support the state’s aerospace, aviation and defense industry.
The goal of the Aerospace and Aviation Caucus is to produce a set of proposals by the 2015 legislative session to bolster one of the state’s largest industries and one of the top exporters, lawmakers said.
"If there is anything we can do to help the industry so we don’t have layoffs we ought to do it," said Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Little Rock. "The plan is to do tours ( of facilities) to get a better understanding and then come back … with a package of legislation to help the industry and hopefully expand it."
He said the caucus plans to work with the Arkansas Aerospace Alliance to develop programs, as well as with state colleges that offer courses and aviation degrees.
About 180 aviation and aerospace companies operate in Arkansas with more than 9,000 employees, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.