Bauer Business Focus

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Bob Mitchell | July 8, 2011

Published on July 5, 2011

Bob Mitchell, President of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, dropped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss the economic impact of ending the shuttle missions.

On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation about the end of the shuttle missions, and the economic impact on Houston with Andrew Schneider, business reporter for KUHF 88.7 FM.

Since the inception of NASA in 1958, the government agency has been a boon for technological advances, including now commonplace items like global positioning systems (GPS) and tire treads, and created numerous jobs, including locally at Clear Lake’s Johnson Space Center.

With the final NASA space shuttle mission scheduled for Friday in Cape Canaveral, many uncertainties lie ahead, says Bob Mitchell, president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

“There are 3,200 employees that work directly for NASA and 14,000 aerospace contractors that support NASA in the work that they do,” Mitchell said during a visit to Bauer Business Focus. “We’ve been pretty successful since the layoffs began on placing those employees in other industry sectors in the Houston area.”

Many companies, such as Dow Chemical, are picking up a number of employees from the aerospace program because “most of them were mechanical, electrical and software design engineers before they decided to go into the aerospace industry,” Mitchell added.

“Most people need to understand they’re not going to put the lock on NASA. It’s still going to be a thriving workforce, but it’s going to be changing somewhat, and we’re working to make those adjustments.”

Click here to hear the full interview.

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