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 Thursday, July 24, the 205th day of 2014. There are 160 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The Rev. R.J. Humphrey, once a clergyman in this city, was reported killed in a quarrel in New Orleans. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rock Island Citizens Improvement Association held a special meeting to consider the proposition of consolidating Rock Island and Moline. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The home of A. Freeman, 806 3rd Ave., was entered by a burglar while a circus parade was in progress and about $100 worth of jewelry and $5 in cash were taken. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The million dollar dredge, Rock Island, of the Rock Island district of United States engineers will be in this area this week to deepen the channel at the site of the new Rock Island-Davenport bridge. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Argus "walked" to a 13-0 victory over American Container Corporation last night to clinch the championship of Rock Island's A Softball League at Northwest Douglas Park. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Immediate Care Center emergency medical office at South Park Mall is moving back to United Medical Center on Sept. 1. After nearly six years in operation at the mall, Care Center employees are upset by UMC's decision. The center is used by 700 to 800 people each month.