Editorial | Johnstown joined the jet project Lockheed | Editorials

During a visit to Johnstown a decade ago, Lockheed Martin's Systems Integration President praised our region's partner companies for their efforts to work with him on crucial defense projects.

"What we have found in Johnstown is" attitude ", said Frank Meyer in 2008.

The attitude remains in effect despite everything and came back to prominence last week when the Bethesda-based corporation, Maryland cut the tape at a new facility in Richland Township, where local workers will help Lockheed produce F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.

We thank Lockheed for locating this division in the Johnstown market, and we applaud everyone those who helped bring this news to fruition

23 people were already working on the new Lockheed site on Jari Drive, in the former location of Planet Ice, by 2019, that number should rise to 50, said Thomas Carrubba, vice president of production operations for Lockheed's F-35.

It's not about 1,000 new jobs, or 10,000, the numbers that would free the Johnstown region from its position. s of Bethlehem Steel.

But this new Lockheed plant represents what can happen through the collaboration and dedication of individuals at all levels: political leaders, business recruiters, business leaders and workers who inspire confidence that important projects can be addressed here . 19659002] Crucial elements to attract new companies or convince existing companies to expand their local operations include the presence of potential business partners and skilled workers, and efforts to provide a place for work to happen.

For the Lockheed project, that meant converting a 56,000-square-foot skating rink into space for high-tech manufacturing, it's not an easy task.

"I think the team here in Johnstown did a phenomenal job," Carrubba said, noting that work included "taking apart the building, rebuilding it and, in some cases, replacing part of the concrete, and … getting all the tools production and the production equipment they need to produce doors and panels and coverings that go along with them. "

Rob Gleason, a Johnstown businessman and former president of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, said in a letter to the editor that President Donald Trump's fingerprints are in this local project. 19659012] "One of Trump's priorities is to build the army and selected the F-35 Lightning at the beginning of his administration as our next big fighter plane," Gleason wrote.

Senator Bob Casey attended the inauguration of the Lockheed Center and credited Johnstown workers for performing tasks "central to our national security."

The Senator said: "To be able to say that the people of Johnstown are producing workers who can do this job, which is very precise, highly qualified work, I think it is a tribute, not only to Lockheed Martin, but to a tribute to the people of Johnstown and this region. "

US Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Central County Republican seeking re-election in a new district that now includes much of Cambria County, also attended the Lockheed ribbon cutting.

"The components that are made here, as part of this fighter plane, are important, they are important," said Thompson. "It shows what we can do with a vision, a large skilled workforce, and technology."

They were joined by representatives of US Senator Pat Toomey and US Representative Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, and a political contingent it included state senator Wayne Langerholc Jr., state representatives Bryan Barbin, Tommy Sankey, Frank Dermody, Joseph Markosek, Cris Dush and Eli Evankovich, Cambria County Commissioner Thomas Chernisky, Somerset County Commissioner John P. Vatavuk and the Cambria County Controller Ed Cernic Jr., as reported by our Mark Pesto.

The work at Johnstown is part of the larger F-35 effort based in Fort Worth, Texas, where more than 90 jets will exit the line in 2018, Carrubba said.

Lockheed was forced to find space elsewhere to be part of that job, and chose Johnstown.

Carrubba noted that Johnstown offered "excellent facilities" and "a great team with skilled labor that we need for this type of work."

These are the attributes that Johnstown has always possessed, along with a candor durability or attitude.

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