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Beechcraft Incentives Complicate Textron Transition

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As Textron works through the integration of Beechcraft into its newly formed Textron Aviation unit, some complications have arisen that put millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives in question. According to the Wichita Eagle, detailed discussions between Textron and state officials are planned to sort out the future of a total of $45 million in incentives that were originally aimed at keeping the former Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita about four years ago. The incentives, $40 million from the State of Kansas and $5 million from local government, came with employment guarantees that the new company has violated in its rationalization of the two workforces. 

Under the incentive package, Beechcraft was required to keep at least 3,600 people working to qualify for the yearly payments and if it doesn't maintain that level it has to pay back some of the money received in previous years. Textron spokesman Jim Walters said employment levels will be set in the best interests of the combined company and will live up to the obligations that might arise from those decisions. Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George said he gets that and the discussions will establish the future of the incentive programs. "I'm sure they've crunched the numbers a thousand different ways," he told the Eagle. "They have some obligations to meet. When we get into the nitty-gritty, we'll look at what the number of employees are (and) what agreement is in place."

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