We are pleased by Lockheed Martin’s decision to keep the Sikorsky facility in Coatesville open until at least 2020. This morning we reached out to HR leadership at Sikorsky to reiterate the task force’s capabilities and support, should it be needed at any level in the future, and importantly, we are also planning to use the skills of the members of the task force to work with Sikorsky to explore all options that will secure a long-term future for the company in Chester County.
When Lockheed Martin first announced its plans to close the Sikorsky site, we went into immediate action to assemble the task force. This happened because our workforce development and rapid response strategies and partnerships at the county, state and federal level are strong. But the threat of closure at Sikorsky also reminded us that we can do more to communicate with significant employers in Chester County to understand their business challenges and work with them to get ahead of any potential employment reduction issues. That strategy is something that County-level members of the Task Force are now initiating.
Chester County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state – 2.6 percent. We have maintained, and will continue to maintain, that should it be necessary in the near future, we will find relevant skilled jobs for every one of the 465 Sikorsky employees who want to continue working in Chester County. We will also work to ensure the economic impact of a possible future closure to the very local communities will be addressed with support to smaller businesses, the municipalities and the Coatesville Area School District.
Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone, and Terence Farrell
Chester County Commissioners