Wichita's Aerospace Jobless Get Additional Aid

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A little help may be on the way for thousands of laid-off GA workers. As companies continue to lay off staff in the post-9/11 slowdown that has pummeled the industry, congress is working on passing legislation that would offer up to 26 extra weeks of benefits as part of a supplemental spending bill. While the help will be welcome everywhere, nowhere will it be more valuable than in Wichita, which is coping with the economic and social impact of 12,000 layoffs from the concentration of manufacturing plants there.[more] The assistance, which would cover aviation workers laid off after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is part of the non-defense spending in the $80 billion bill to finance the war in Iraq. This legislation applies to everyone laid off in aviation after Sept. 11, 2001, not just to those who have exhausted their benefits. "This has been a tough time on our aviation industry, and I am pleased the Congress will extend unemployment benefits to workers who badly need help," said Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Goddard).