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CLOSE TO THE VETS LOCKHEED HONORED FOR HIRING PRACTICES.

Byline: Peggy Hager Staff Writer

PALMDALE - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was honored by state and local officials for its hiring of veterans.

Lockheed Martin's Palmdale plant hired 260 veterans last year, or more than 25 percent of new employees. Altogether the plant has 1,064 veterans in a work force of approximately 4,100.

``These people have the skills and abilities on the airplanes that we build and modify, and they understand what we're all about,'' said site director Bob MacPherson. ``They know teamwork. They have that commitment to excellence, perfect quality, knowing that just as they were in the military, that putting a pilot in the cockpit ... they have to make sure everything is perfect and safe and that the pilot returns home safely.''

The company received the Governor's Certificate for Employer Excellence in conjunction with the state observance of May as Veterans Appreciation Month.

Plaques and certificates were presented on behalf of the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster, the Antelope Valley Employer Advisory Council, state Sen. W.J. ``Pete'' Knight, Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, U.S. Rep Bill Thomas, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Kern County Supervisor Don Maben, the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, the Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce, Veterans of Foreign Wars District 10, American Legion District 20, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 and the state Employment Development Department-Lancaster Job Service.

Lockheed Martin recruiters travel to military bases to try to hire people finishing up their enlistments or looking to retire from the military, MacPherson said.

``We try to actually target those areas to hire employees from,'' he said.

Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford said the honors are appropriate.

``Our nation is looking for our veterans to protect our way of life. It comes full circle, where now we're recognizing our local employer for hiring the veterans, and that support that we talk about is actually unfolding right before our eyes,'' said Ledford.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

(color) J.D. Jiles of the state Employment Development Department, left, speaks with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' Rick Baker, center, and Bob MacPherson.

Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 13, 2003
Words:346
Previous Article:DAILY UPDATE.
Next Article:LOCKHEED MARTIN HONORS 40 COMPANY VOLUNTEERS.
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