Finding jobs for workers affected by Northrop Grumman Corp.'s downsizing of its Bethpage operation, and ensuring the company continues to use local subcontractors for aircraft parts, were among the goals set by business executives, educators, economic developers and politicians at a meeting Friday.
The one-hour session was organized by the Aerospace and Defense Diversification Alliance in Peacetime Transition, or ADDAPT. It came four days after Northrop Grumman said 850 jobs out of 1,400 in Bethpage will be going to Florida and California.
ADDAPT president Jamie L. Moore said he realized there was a need to find work for Northrop Grumman employees after a conversation with an engineer at GSE Dynamics Inc., the Hauppauge-based defense contractor run by Moore's wife, Anne.
"There are ways the Long Island community can help these workers with new jobs or starting their own businesses," Moore said. "The skills these workers have can help other local companies to grow."
He and others noted that many local aerospace, defense and electronics firms were started by people who once worked for Grumman, Fairchild Republic, Sperry and other behemoths.
GSE president Anne D. Shybunko-Moore, who leads the manufacturing committee of the HIA (formerly called the Hauppauge Industrial Association), plans later this month to lobby Northrop Grumman chief executive Wes Bush to keep using local subcontractors for the E-2D Hawkeye Navy surveillance plane and other systems. GSE makes the E-2D's glare shield.
"We need to focus on the supply chain that is here; sending the message that our companies can deliver," she said.