U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln met with officials and employees of Boeing at the Melbourne plant April 1. The plant has made cutbacks and laid off 30 employees since the terrorist attack Sept. 11.
Lincoln was given a tour of the plant by John Frazier Sr., plant manager. She questioned officials at Boeing and asked if the state could help in any way with their dilemma.
She informed Boeing of a special projects team that specializes in resources, industries and communities that might be of benefit to the plant. She explained the special projects team reviews ways to help companies through use of training dollars, foundation dollars and federal dollars.
The senator reassured Boeing officials the airlines business would get back on its feet because it is the most popular mode of mass-transit travel.
"We really need to highlight Melbourne," Lincoln said. Her goal is to see employees back in the work force. She complimented Frazier on the facility.
Drew Goesl, Lincoln's press secretary, said the senator was trying to help make the plant remain a fixture in Melbourne. He said she was interested in input from the corporate level and from employees.
Throughout the tour Lincoln spoke with employees and told them to feel free to call her anytime about issues of concern.
Once her tour was concluded Lincoln met with Sharp County Judge Harold Crawford and employees at the Sharp County Court-house. At noon Lincoln was host to "Lunch with Your Senator" town meeting at King Catfish Restaurant in Sharp County.
Lincoln began her "Lunch with Your Senator" series in August 2000 as a way for Arkansans to voice their concerns over local, state and national issues.
Lincoln also visited with officials throughout Sharp County at the Cherokee Village City Hall about issues of concern.