Kaman Exec Urges Congress to Keep Jobs; Aerospace Industry Is Worried about the Effects of Defense Cuts

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Byline: David Bauerlein

Kaman Aerostructure's workforce in Jacksonville has zoomed from about 80 a decade ago to roughly 470 today, and the company recently expanded its manufacturing space here with an eye toward hiring 200 more workers.

But the prospect of deep cuts in military spending has company officials worried about winning future defense contracts.

At best, Kaman would face a challenge just keeping the current number of workers if the Department of Defense cuts take place as required by budget law, Kaman Corp. CEO Neal Keating said during a visit to Jacksonvile.

Keating joined U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, and Mayor Alvin Brown at a rally calling on Congress to rescind the cuts in military spending.

"We're here because there's a real crisis brewing for our company, our industry and our country," Keating said told about 400 workers at a Kaman facility on the Northside.

Brown led the crowd in a chant of "No more cuts."

Crenshaw, Brown and Carroll argued that the military cuts - part of a $1. …