22-Aug-2021 Source: Chrissy Houlahan
Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) condemned the announcement from Lockheed Martin that it is closing its Sikorsky facility in Coatesville in March of next year. It is the facility where the Marine One helicopter is produced. Houlahan was notified by Lockheed that Sikorsky employees received this news earlier on Thursday
“After spending the last two years working with Lockheed Martin, White House officials in two administrations, and state and local partners to find ways to enable the plant to continue operating, I am frustrated and disappointed that we find ourselves here,” said Houlahan.
After learning in June of 2019 of the decision by Lockheed to shutter the Coatesville facility due to declining demand in the helicopter market, Houlahan engaged the company’s leadership to fight for the workforce and keep these jobs in Coatesville. Houlahan also worked bipartisanly with other members of Congress and local elected officials – President Trump weighed in as well – to find a long-term solution. The decision to close was temporarily reversed. Since then, Houlahan has worked with Lockheed to identify potential new work, passed legislation requiring the Defense Department to assess any national security risks associated with the possible closure of the facility, and engaged Administration officials including Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimundo, and White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese to find federal opportunities to match the skills of the employees.
“This is not the outcome we wanted but now my priority over the next seven months is helping these highly-skilled workers find new jobs in our community and finding a productive use for the facility that contributes to the tax base and the vibrancy of Coatesville,” said Houlahan. “As a former small business owner who represents this growing region, I have the privilege of meeting with different companies throughout Chester and Berks counties. My team is reaching out today to some I’ve recently visited which do advanced manufacturing and are hiring. In addition, I will be hosting a job fair at West Chester University on October 12 with a focus on jobs for displaced Sikorsky workers. Some of our region’s best and brightest are working in Coatesville and I will do everything I can to keep them here.”
Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She’s in her second term representing Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee.