Secretary Locke visited Floridaâ€™s Space Coast today to tour a world-class laboratory at Kennedy Space Center and meet with displaced workers to discuss what the Obama administration, the Commerce Department and NASA are doing to improve the local economy as the Space Shuttle program winds down, and to hear from them about the challenges theyâ€™re facing during the transition. Locke stressed the administrationâ€™s continued commitment to getting people back to work and preserving the region as a hub for innovation.
During his third visit to the region, Locke toured the Space Life Sciences Laboratory at Exploration Park, a research and technology facility at Kennedy Space Center, and met with recently laid off NASA contractors. He was joined by Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas, Commerceâ€™s Assistant Secretary for Economic Development John Fernandez, NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Charles Scales, and Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana.
Locke and NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., are co-chairing the Presidentâ€™s Task Force on Space Industry Work Force and Economic Development, a $40 million, multi-agency initiative that is building on and complementing ongoing local and federal economic and workforce development efforts. The Task Force is leading the effort to grow the Space Coast economy and prepare its workers for the opportunities of tomorrow. Its report to the president is due in mid-August.