Rockwell Collins executives in Cedar Rapids held a rally Wednesday, highlighting Iowa’s stake in landing a major contract with the U.S. Air Force. Partnering with The Boeing Company, Rockwell officials are vying to build the new KC-767 tanker aircraft. Iowa Workforce Development Director Elizabeth Buck says winning the contract could be a big boost for the state.

Buck says they estimate the contract will include 16-hundred jobs and a 60-million dollar fiscal impact on the state. Boeing’s tanker vice president, Mark McGraw, says the Boeing/Rockwell plane has 85-percent American content, and more American jobs than European competitor Airbus.

He says a lot of Airbus’ suppliers are in the U.S., but he says 20-thousand of the jobs are in Europe. Second district Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Mount Vernon, hopes his seat on the Armed Services Committee will help bring the contract to Iowa. Loebsack says he doesn’t have the influence some might think, but he can put a pitch in for the best system. The Department of Defense expects to award the contract in the fall.