Aug. 29, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Blakey: National Aerospace Week: Commemorating an American Success Story

The cost-benefit proposition for extending the tax credit is huge. On average, U.S. firms invest an additional $94 in research and development for every $6 the government invests through the R&D tax credit. More than 75 percent of the R&D tax credit dollars are earned on wages paid to individuals directly involved in research conducted in the United States.Chuck Gray, vice president and chief operating officer of Frontier Electronic Systems, can attest to how important the tax credit is for this woman-owned, Native American small business employing 150 engineering and manufacturing professionals in Oklahoma.Since 2004, the company has leveraged the tax credit to support its R&D for new product development involving several highly skilled professionals. Company projects include high-density battery technology for the aerospace industry and a composite carbon fiber equipment rack for ships and aircraft that is 50 percent lighter than current market offerings.The company would like to hire several more engineers for the R&D programs this year, but with the renewal of the tax credit in doubt, new hiring will be at risk, Gray said.These are real-world examples that could be replicated over and over — and not just in the aerospace industry, but in other industries across the country. Clearly, job creation is a nonpartisan challenge on which the administration and Congress need to join forces. National Aerospace Week is a time to press these issues. Established by Congress to occur during the third week of September, National Aerospace Week is an expression of gratitude to thousands of workers in businesses large and small who have the strength to lift America. Let’s hope our government doesn’t let them down.Marion C. Blakey is President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association and served a five-year term as administrator of the FAA.

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