GAMA held its 13th general aviation jobs rally at Piper Aircraft in Vero Beach, Fla., yesterday, drawing nearly 500 aviation workers and enthusiasts, as well as political officials, to the event. Industry and political leaders underscored the importance of general aviation to Florida, which ranks in the top-10 U.S. states for total industry-related jobs and in the top three for general aviation-related impact on GDP. “General aviation has been a big part of Florida’s history and economy,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) told attendees.
Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) noted that Florida’s Space and Treasure Coasts are home to 3,000 industry workers. “A strong aviation industry helps keep America at the forefront of innovation and is critical to our local and national economic security,” he said.
Embraer Aircraft Holding president Gary Spulak praised the highly skilled local workforce, which he said “has stimulated our expansion, especially in general aviation, throughout the state.” GAMA chairman and Hartzell Propeller president Joe Brown added that the industry employs 1.1 million workers and $219 billion throughout the U.S., “creating a powerful ripple effect that touches numerous segments of the U.S. economy.” Also speaking were the top executives from Piper, Avidyne, B/E Aerospace’s business jet segment, Extant Components Group and GAMA.