Canton Repository

November 1, 2002

Ohio flies high in aviation 

By OTTO KREISHER
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON — Ohio, which thinks of itself as the birthplace of aviation, ranks 10th in the nation in aerospace and aviation
employment with 62,475 jobs and $3 billion in wages, a national commission reported Thursday.

Most of those jobs were in air transportation, rather than
manufacturing, the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry reported. The home state of aviation pioneers Orville and
Wilbur Wright had only about 21,000 jobs in aerospace and
aviation manufacturing according to the latest data cited by the commission.

But the commission chairman said employment in the air transport sector — which includes airline, air cargo, air charter and airport operations — dropped significantly following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That decline is not reflected in the report,
chairman Robert S. Walker said.

Locally, Timken Co. and Republic Engineered Products make steel for aerospace uses, and Timken makes bearings for aerospace at its Super Precision facilities in New Hampshire.

The special metals division of the former Republic Technologies International on Harrison Avenue SW makes preforged landing gear parts. That division was sold to Patriot Forge of Ontario, Canada in bankruptcy court.

PCC Airfoils in Minerva makes jet engine parts, and Goodyear has an aircraft tire division. McDonnell-Douglas operates what used to be Goodyear Aerospace.

The aerospace and aviation jobs paid an average of $47,082 a year, well above the overall average annual wage in the state of $32,510, the report said.

“The significance of our analysis lies in the illustration of the importance of the aerospace and aviation industry to the economic health of every state,” Walker said in presenting the report.

The commission was created by Congress last year to assess the status of the aerospace and aviation industries, to study the factors impacting them and to recommend actions the government could take to help. Despite mounting international competition, aerospace products remain the nation’s top source of exports.

“A strong aerospace industry is essential to enable the United States to defend itself, compete in the global marketplace, maintain a highly skilled work force and provide all Americans with the ability to travel safely and securely anywhere in the world,” Walker said.

He said the data in this report will aid policymakers to “understand the economic stakes” involved as the aerospace industry struggles with homeland security, market forces and foreign competition.

The commission’s final report is due Nov. 18.

The employment report was based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on jobs as of 2001 and wages from the previous year.

It covers only commercial and civilian employment in the “core jobs” of the industry. It does not include military or Defense Department civilian workers in aerospace research facilities such as Wright Patterson Air Force Base, but does cover the NASA employees
at Glenn Research Center.

The data also does not cover support and service employees, such as janitors, guards and food workers, in the aerospace firms and aviation operations.

The Repository staff contributed to this story.