Chicago, ILÂ â€“ Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today pledged to work with state agencies and Scott Air Force Base leadership to identify available resources for 110 civilian employees whose positions at the military facility are being eliminated.
Â Simon, who visited the base in September, learned of the cuts Wednesday evening from Col. Michael Hornitschek, commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base. As chair of the stateâ€™s Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC), Simon offered to work with Col. Hornitschek to identify resources that could help the displaced individuals and the base.
Â â€œScott Air Force Base is an economic engine in Illinois, and I am disappointed that the Air Force had to make this decision,â€ Simon said. â€œAs a native of Troy, a community near Scott Air Force Base where many citizens are employed by the base, I understand the social and economic impact these changes will have in the Metro East region and beyond. The state will use its resources to help get displaced workers back on the job.â€
Scott Air Force Base announced that 321 positions will be eliminated in response to a Department of Defense directive to freeze civilian job growth. Of those 321 positions, 122 were already vacant, 49 are held by employees who will voluntarily retire or separate from federal service by the end of December, and 40 are employees who will be moved from eliminated positions into other positions. This leaves 110 eliminated, occupied positions with employees who have not applied for incentive programs or for which no matching vacancy has been identified at this time, according to the base.
Â As chair of the IMBSEDC, Simon is visiting each of the stateâ€™s military installations to learn about the baseâ€™s operations, their impact on the state economy and relationship with local communities. The committee was established in 2005 in response to nationwide base closures, and it continues to make recommendations to local, state and federal policymakers on retention, realignment and reuse efforts.