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Rutland GE plant hopes to keep making engine parts for US Navy - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland GE plant hopes to keep making engine parts for US Navy

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

The General Electric plant in Rutland makes engine parts for the Navy's top line fighters and the company hopes that work will continue.

Governor Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont) joined executives from GE and Boeing Monday to call on the federal government to order more FA-18 and EA-18 jets for the U.S. Navy. "We're building Super Hornets and Growlers currently. The funding is for 22 more Growlers. It really is a critical year to sustain the product line," said Mike Gibbons, Vice President of Boeing.

Funding for the program would come from the 2015 fiscal year budget and would create roughly 40 more jobs at GE's Rutland location where they make components for the plane's engines. Supporters are urging congress to appropriate the funds to move the project forward. "Our congressional delegation feels strongly that this is the right investment for our military and that's why they're fighting for it. It's also the right decision for Rutland because it's going to grow jobs in Rutland," said Shumlin.

Governor Shumlin joined employees as they sat in a simulator to experience the real life capabilities of the aircraft.

"The uniqueness of the Growler though is the one that Congress and the Navy are talking about -- its electronic attack. It is the only capability of its kind. The entire department of defense needs it. The need it today. They need it even more so decades in the future," said Gibbons.

If the contract does not come through, GE executives say current employees who contribute to the program would be reassigned. "We've got just under 12 people here so they would be absorbed into other programs, but their jobs would change -- what they do day to day -- but it will be the same type of work," said Dan Dibattista, GE's plant manager.

GE and Boeing say they look forward to support from Vermont's political leaders and the creation of more jobs in Vermont.

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