End Of Shuttle Program Leaves Thousands Jobless
by GREG ALLEN
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In Rockledge, another company is taking the Space Coast in a different direction: designing and manufacturing a new type of car called the Rivian.
R.J. Scaringe is the 28-year-old CEO of a start-up car company. At the company’s headquarters, he shows off what he calls Rivian’s launch vehicle: a sleek sports car he expects to have on the road by the end of 2013.
“As you can see, it’s a two-plus-two configuration, so a four-passenger vehicle set up with rear wheel drive, mid-engine,” he says. “So really, truly a performance vehicle. Very aggressive looks in terms of the styling. We tried to go for a look that gets you excited looking at it.”
Scaringe says it was built not just for style and performance, but also with fuel efficiency in mind. This model gets more than 60 miles per gallon and will be priced as he says, in the mid-$20,000 range.
Scaringe grew up in this area. His father is an engineer whose company developed refrigeration units used on the space shuttle. He’s planning not just to design, but also to manufacture his car here on the Space Coast. One reason, he says, is the available pool of experienced workers.
“There’s just a mountain of very talented, very capable technicians, engineers we can tap into, particularly on the manufacturing side,” he says.
Eventually, Scaringe says he may have more than 1,200 workers on site, plus those working for contractors and suppliers.
It’s the kind of emerging business that gives workers and officials on the Space Coast hope that the end of the shuttle may mark the beginning of a new, diversified economy.
Full Article – NPR All Things Considered