McAuliffe Talks Future of VA Manufacturing at Mikro Systems

Posted: Updated:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is talking about the future of manufacturing in the commonwealth.

His latest campaign stop brought him to Charlottesville's Mikro Systems where the potential sequestration aftermath is raising a number of concerns. People at Mikro Systems say they are looking for a governor who can provide security in these uncertain times.

"I think I speak for many folks in Virginia: we're disgusted about the inaction that's going on in Washington today," McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe toured Mikro Systems for ideas on how to spur economic growth, as inaction in Washington could stand in the way of progress.

"The absolute ridiculousness that's going on in Washington that we are going to create all of this havoc in the economic models and what's going on in the economy, it's really going to hurt us here in Virginia. A lot of jobs are going to be lost here in Virginia. The studies show up to 200,000 jobs could be lost," McAuliffe said. 

The sequestration impact has CEO Mike Appleby keeping a close eye on what happens. In large part, Mikro Systems has developed its technology through small business government grants, and has several pending with the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy for aero- and land-based turbine technology. Appleby says the issue is not as worrisome as it is frustrating.

"All of the people of Mikro Systems have worked hard. We've done everything right, we've positioned ourselves to advance our technology and essentially we're going to have to sit on our hands until our elected officials decide to get their job done," Appleby said.

Taking on an even more cash-strapped state economy is a daunting task, but one McAuliffe says he's ready for.

"It's about bringing people in on transportation, education, focus, efficiencies and not on some social ideological agenda that's going to divide folks," McAuliffe said.

Twenty percent of Mikro Systems revenue comes from government funding. Appleby says when it comes to choosing our next governor, he and others at the company are looking for someone who can even the playing field for small businesses.