Former Senator Glenn, Governor Taft, Senators DeWine and Voinovich, John Lewis, John Ryan and Dennis Eckart call on community to lobby for NASA Glenn Research Center funding
An Action Plan to expand the role and secure funding for NASA Glenn Research Center was unveiled to a group of business leaders at a luncheon today in the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. The Greater Cleveland Growth Association, Ohio Aerospace Council (OAC), Cleveland Tomorrow and the AFL-CIO sponsored the event.
In the face of cuts in federal funding, the event sponsors called on Congressional representatives and community leaders to support an $80.1 million federal budget request and the designation of NASA Glenn as a Lead Center in four areas. Former Senator John Glenn, Gov. Bob Taft, Senators Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, OAC Chairman John Lewis and Growth Association President and CEO Dennis Eckart championed the action agenda. AFL-CIO Executive Secretary John Ryan attended to back the plan and express his support for NASA Glenn.
Lewis issued a call to action to the business community, detailing means by which the attendees can rally for the plan before the House committee mark- up, which takes place on July 10. The action plan comes on the heels of an announcement of a possible $52 million cut to the NASA Glenn budget. NASA Glenn is a critical part of Ohio's economy. It has a total economic impact of about $1 billion annually and total employment impact of more than 12,000 jobs. The Center directly employs close to 3,500 highly skilled, educated civil servants and contractors.
``The Center's economic impact reaches into virtually every aspect of Ohio's economy,'' Lewis said. ``Our community must rally around NASA Glenn. The time for action is now.''
The $80.1 million request for fiscal year 2002 focuses on funding nine projects that capitalize on NASA Glenn's core competencies.
The projects include:
In addition, the Action Plan calls for leadership roles for NASA Glenn in microgravity, in-space propulsion, aerospace communications and biotechnology.
``The important work being done at the NASA Glenn Research Center reaches well beyond the borders of Northeast Ohio. It is work our nation needs to remain the global leader,'' Eckart said. ``We must leverage the great assets of NASA Glenn Research Center as we re-invent our economy.''
At the luncheon, Governor Taft, former Senator Glenn, Lewis and Eckart personally encouraged business leaders to join in a concerted effort to promote NASA Glenn successes and potential, and persuade legislators and others of the importance of NASA Glenn and its work.
``We need to look to the future and work together to ensure that our nation continues to make investments in research and technology development that will improve the quality of life for all humankind,'' said former Senator Glenn. ``The Glenn Research Center is an important part of the future of our nation and our state, and it is imperative that the Center stays at the cutting edge of technology development.''
``The NASA Glenn Research Center is a critical component of the region's and nation's economic future,'' Eckart said. ``We must stabilize it, expand its role and secure its funding. We must leverage the Center's history of innovation into an even larger and more pivotal role within the space agency.''
Lewis pointed out NASA Glenn's extraordinary work, which has led to revolutionary advances in medicine.
``The work done at NASA Glenn has real-life application -- from blood pumps for heart patients to satellite technology that transmits mammography images directly to mammography experts for better diagnosis,'' Lewis said.
U.S. Senators DeWine and Voinovich sent taped messages supporting the OAC effort and addressing the importance of NASA Glenn to the region, state and nation.
The Ohio Aerospace Council is an independent non-profit organization allied with the Greater Cleveland Growth Association. Its mission is to maintain and increase visibility of NASA Glenn and its corporate partners among members of Congress; develop a coordinated statewide aerospace agenda and support a NASA budget with the greatest benefit to Ohio; and increase the community's awareness of the value of NASA Glenn.
The Greater Cleveland Growth Association is the nation's largest metropolitan chamber of commerce with more than 16,500 members. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for economic growth and jobs creation in Northeast Ohio. The Growth Association is committed to enhancing Greater Cleveland's competitive advantage through leadership, collaboration and innovation. ( www.clevelandgrowth.com )