I need some advice and input from my blog readers. Or some encouragement. Or something.
Matt works at one of the aircraft companies here in town, Hawker Beechcraft. Some of you may have read this article. Basically it indicates that a very large number of the HBC jobs here in Wichita may be leaving Wichita over the next two years.
Matt works in "flight" on their biggest jet. When the planes are fully assembled and come off the production line, his department runs it thru pre-flight checks to get it ready for its first flight, and then does whatever needs to be done to it after the flight to make it perfect. He's an FAA licensed airplane mechanic (to keep it simple).
Speculation ranges from general outsourcing of the smaller jobs, to them sending everything except final assembly and flight test (matt's stuff) elsewhere, even as far as selling off entire product lines. Whatever happens....things are looking a little dicey in the career outlook... and looking like Matt probably won't retire from Hawker Beechcraft.
Here's the million dollar question(s). What would you do? Would you start looking for other jobs now, before there are 1000s more people also looking for jobs and trying to sell their house? Would you wait to see how the cookie crumbles because you think your position would probably be one of the last ones effected? Would you wait because maybe in the end you would get offered a chance to relocate with your airplane or at least get a severance package? In a sense, buying more time? And is buying more time good when you have a kid in school? Would it be easier to move as a first grader than say, a 3rd or 4th grader? What do you do? Do you ride it out to the end, then take unemployment while wifey goes and finds some job in town?
The market in Wichita is going to be (even more) saturated with airplane folks looking for jobs. Matt thinks that if/when he leaves HBC or whatever, that we'd have a tough time getting out of the "low man on the totem pole" spot if he were to just go to one of the other companies. Since 9/11 there has been layoff/rehire/layoff/rehire cycles like crazy. We've been okay at HBC thus far because he has 13 years in. It might take 20 years for him to build up 13 years of seniority again locally. So relocation is likely if all this speculation turns into reality.. perhaps to work for a company that owns a few of the jets, etc.
We don't really want to move. We love our house. We love our school. We love our friends. We love having Matt's parents right down the road. My girls would be devastated to leave grandma and grandpa. Would they relocate too? Can we find something that is not any further away from my family than we already are? Could we find somewhere with a decent cost of living and salary so I could continue to stay home with the girls? There are so many unanswered questions, and we just don't know what to do?
Actively look now? Just put out some feelers? Ride it out and hope for something good in the end?
What would you do? Have you been in this situation? What did you do? Please impart some advice or wisdom or encourgament. This is probably the biggest predicament / decision/ don't know what to do moment either of us have ever had, and definately ever had in our marriage!
Help. Pray. Buy an airplane. Whatever you can do to help!
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