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 Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.