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State to lose thousands of aeronautics jobs

Colorado is among the states set to lose thousands of jobs and billions of dollars under a proposed shift in NASA's budget, yet state leaders have been largely muted in their efforts to preserve the jobs associated with the Orion spacecraft.

Meanwhile, thousands of workers remain in limbo as they await word on their futures.

"We should be leading this," said Dick Hinson of the Aurora Economic Development Council, noting Colorado ranks third in the nation in aerospace employment.

The Jefferson-backed study shows the Orion project has $301.3 million in annual direct and indirect economic impacts in the Denver area.

That includes a $236 million annual payroll for 837 full-time and 1,597 part-time Lockheed Martin Space Systems workers — with an average salary of $109,044 — and 2,961 workers for about two dozen subcontractors.

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