Sequester puts RI's defense industry in line of fire - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Sequester puts RI's defense industry in line of fire

Posted: Updated:
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. -

Dozens of private companies on Aquidneck Island depend on defense contracts for their highly specialized work. It's a pocket of jobs that represents $ 700 million in annual payroll.

The executive director of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance warns there may be drastic losses if the automatic government spending cuts occur on Friday.

Molly Donohue Magee said uncertainty over current Pentagon spending is already holding back investments and job hiring, and a recent survey of her membership said a rollback would cost thousands of jobs.

"With what's happening now and what they anticipate to happen through the end September, a 21 percent reduction in their workforce. So, if you extrapolate that across the 12,000 defense jobs, that could be over 2,500 workers who are furloughed or out of a job between now and September," Magee said.

She said the arbitrary nature of these sequester rollbacks are the problem.

"We understand that the defense budget needs to go down in the long range, but we need to have a plan that looks at it in the long range, not a whiplash effect that takes across the board cuts that happen immediately," Magee said.

Despite warning bells from her industry and state governments, it appears the sequester will be imposed later this week.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said he hopes it will be addressed in March before a deadline at the end of the month.

  • Local PoliticsMore>>

  • Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:19:51 GMT
    President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
  • Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:01:33 GMT
    NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
  • Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
Powered by WorldNow

23 Kenney Drive
Cranston, R.I., 02920

Telephone: 401.455.9100
Fax: 401.455.9140
Email: news@wjar.com

Can't find something?

NBC 10 Outerwear Provided by:

NBC 10 Media Relations
Provided by:

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.