Early retirement packages are being offered to 200 workers at the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center.
The JMTC employs about 1,500 blue- and white-collar workers, meaning the workforce would be cut by 13 percent if all of the early retirement slots are filled.
A lump sum payment of up to $25,000 will be made to workers whose applications for early retirement are accepted.
"We did this to position the Rock Island Joint Manufacturing &Technology Center to be an economical option to the army and the Joint Services during a time of decreasing defense spending," said Rock Island Arsenal spokesman Rhys Fullerlove.
The early retirement program has been planned for a year, Mr. Fullerlove said, and has "nothing to do with the budget cuts or sequestration."
As the war in Afghanistan continues to wind down and with the war in Iraq now over, defense spending is expected to fall in the coming years.
Congress has until the end of next month to find a way to avert the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration that would cut billions from defense spending.However, there's bipartisan opposition to cutting the defense budget.
Mr. Fullerlove said the JMTC reserved the right to turn down applicants for early retirement if they are from critical positions. The window to apply for the program opened Jan. 22 and will close Feb. 5, and Mr. Fullerlove said he could not say how many applications have been received so far.
Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.