At least one supplier to Wichita’s aircraft industry, Cox Machine Inc., although dealing with the business cycle problems with which the entire industry is coping, is working toward future growth.
When the aircraft industry slows down, the impact is felt first at machine shops, Frank reported, but Cox is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in new machinery, betting that aviation eventually will soar again.
Cox is one of Wichita’s larger aircraft suppliers, turning raw material into precision-machined airplane parts. It was among the first machine shops forced to lay off employees last year, reducing its work force from about 200 to 140, Frank said.
Some employees are on a shortened work-week and Cox is relying on the state’s workforce share program to help keep some on the job. The program allows employees on a shortened work-week to collect unemployment for the days they’re not working, Frank said. The benefit to that is the fact that employees can keep working and keep their benefits.