Cantwell Urges Washington Aerospace Supply Chain to Apply for Grants Through the $3 Billion Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program Before Deadline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) urged Washington small businesses in the aerospace supply chain to apply for funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Cantwell-led Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) program, which passed part of the American Rescue Plan to maintain the United States’ critical aerospace supply chain workforce. The deadline to apply for the grants is tomorrow, July 13, 2021, at 5:00 PM ET.

In June, after the application system went live, Senator Cantwell released a statement encouraging Washington aviation manufacturers to apply. Cantwell said, “As our aerospace supply chain in Washington state and around the nation continues to feel the impacts of the pandemic, it’s critical that the more than 1,300 aerospace companies in Washington are equipped to maintain and rebuild a talented workforce to meet demand and the challenges of our increasingly competitive global aerospace industry.”

More than 1,300 aerospace-related companies in Washington employ more than 100,000 people. The health of the aerospace supply chain is critical to the U.S. aviation industry as a whole, which supports nearly 11 million jobs and contributes $1.8 trillion in annual economic activity. The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Program will support this critical workforce through grants to retain, rehire or recall skilled employees.  

Michael Marzetta, President of Altek, Inc. in Liberty Lake, WA said of the program, “As an aerospace manufacturer in a rural community, we are striving to continue to provide high impact jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program will help us immensely in this area. We appreciate the leadership of Senator Cantwell and others in securing this essential funding.”

Darrell Bussard, General Manager of Onamac Industries in Everett, WA said, “The ability for companies to retain skilled workers and tradesman is vital to the successful rebound of the Aerospace Industry.  We look forward to utilizing this program to aid in that effort.”


Tom Gentile, President and CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, said, “We appreciate the work of Congress and the Department of Transportation to put the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program in place during this period when air traffic is beginning to recover but aerospace and defense companies still face uncertainty. We especially appreciate the leadership from Senators Cantwell and Moran as well as Congressman Larsen and Estes.  This program will help aviation manufacturers retain a skilled aerospace workforce necessary to compete globally.”

Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Southwest Airlines, said, “Throughout the course of the pandemic, we have been grateful for the leadership of Sen. Maria Cantwell and the entire Senate Commerce Committee for their forward-thinking approach in ensuring the livelihoods of aviation workers are protected during the worst economic crisis in the history of commercial aviation. The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) program follows Congress’s enactment of the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which ensured that U.S. airlines did not permanently shrink as a result of the pandemic and that the employee base would be in place for the eventual economic recovery. Just as the PSP was a lifeblood for the retention of airline jobs, the AMJP is equally important to ensure there are people in place in critically important aviation manufacturing jobs, which are needed to fulfill new aircraft orders and to meet our aircraft maintenance needs going forward.”

Highlights of the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program:

  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) will administer a $3 billion payroll support program to support the retention, rehire, or recall of employees in the aviation manufacturing industry.
  • The 6-month grant involves a cost share: the federal payroll contribution is 50% of the employee’s salary, including health care benefits, with the employers responsible for the other 50%.

Eligible Employee Group

  • The payroll support grant covers up to 25% of the aviation manufacturer’s workforce as of April 1, 2020.
  • Eligible employees are those U.S. employees engaged in aviation manufacturing activities and excludes employees with a total compensation level of $200,000 or more per year. 

Eligible Employers

  • In order to qualify, an employer must demonstrate that there is a need based upon (1) having involuntarily furloughed or laid off 10 percent of its workforce or (2) having experienced at least a 15 percent decline in revenues between 2020, as compared to 2019.
  • Eligible employers are aviation manufacturing companies that: (1) are actively manufacturing an aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or a component, part, or systems of an aircraft or aircraft engine under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) production approval; (2) hold an FAA certificate for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of aircraft, aircraft engines, components, or propellers; or (3) operates a process certified to SAE AS 9100 related to the design, development or provision of aviation products and services.

Grant Conditions

  • Participating employees may not be subject to involuntary furloughs or layoffs, or reduction in pay rates and benefits. 
  • Employers must agree to provide private contributions and maintain the total compensation level for the eligible employee group for the duration of the grant agreement.
  • The grant funds must be exclusively used for compensation and benefits, and to facilitate the retention, rehire, or recall of employees of the employer (i.e., funds may not be used for stock buy backs, dividends or executive bonuses).

For more information on the AMJP and the application process, please visit: https://www.transportation.gov/AMJP