Cincinnati Electronics, which traces its roots to Cincinnati industrialist Powel Crosley, is facing the loss of a $70 million NASA contract and 40-50 engineering jobs because of proposed cuts in the agency's Constellation manned space program and its Ares I heavy lift program. Cincinnati Electronics employs over 600, developing and producing infrared detection and space electronics such as flight-control avionics boxes for the Ares first stage solid rocket booster.
President Barack Obama cancelled the Constellation program as part of NASA budget cuts.
James Wimmers, Cincinnati Electronics president, said if the NASA program is cancelled the 40 to 50 jobs it supports at the plant will be lost.
"We wanted to bring (Portman) up to speed on what's at stake," said Wimmers. "He was very receptive."
Cincinnati Electronics is completing a 30,000 square-foot clean-room expansion to produce semiconductors and other electronics which will give pilots of the F-35 JSF 360-degree awareness on their flight helmet visors of what's around them.
Besides space and defense, the company is also producing infrared imaging technology for U.S. border security and monitoring.