...Bringing Change In Wichita

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Although the resurgence is being felt in every corner of the industry, there's one place in particular that is welcoming the news. Wichita-based companies accounted for the lion's share of the 2004 deliveries, shipping 1,277 airplanes (or about 43 percent) of the worldwide total. However, the hangover from the post-9/11 slump will likely be felt for years to come, particularly by rank-and-file workers in the industry. Thousands were laid off and, despite the recovery, not many are being rehired. Cessna will add about 600 people to its workforce this year but Raytheon and Bombardier, Wichita's other big manufacturers, won't be adding any. "The jobs issue will be an important one," Bombardier's Peter Edwards told The Wichita Eagle. "As we're raising rates of production, we're trying to improve the profitability of the industry as a whole." (We think that means building more planes with fewer people.)