Fluor computer donations benefit Richland veterans' center

Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 13, 2013 

Jim Kion, director of the Tri-Cities Military Retiree Activities and Veterans Service Center, works with the computer and monitor donated by Fluor Federal Services.

FLUOR FEDERAL SERVICES

Fluor Federal Services is making good use of its surplus computers as it reduces staff at its Richland office.

They have been donated to Tri-City organizations that help seniors, veterans, students and others rather than being shipped to other Fluor offices. The gifts continue the Fluor tradition of donating surplus computer and electronic equipment to local organizations.

One of the most recent beneficiaries was the Military Retiree Activities Office and Veterans' Service Center in the Federal Building in Richland.

"The donation is particularly timely," said Jim Kion, the director of the center and a Navy retiree.

The office relies on donations for equipment and furnishings, but its only computer had died. It was temporarily making do with a short-term loaner.

Volunteers need to be able to look up benefit information on a computer and find and download forms to be filled out by people seeking their help. The office, open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, provides help with benefits and other issues to current and former military members and their families.

Fluor's donation to help those who have served their country "is one of many examples of why the Inland Northwest is the foundation of patriotism," said Col. Brian Newberry of Fairchild Air Force Base in a letter to Fluor.

Other Fluor computers have been donated to the Richland Senior Center, the Safe Harbor Crisis Nursery, the Washington State STEM Education Foundation, the Washington State Migrant Council, the Quest Youth Center, Columbia Basin College, Delta High School, the Skills Development Mission, the Benton-Franklin Community Action Committee and the Children's Developmental Center.

The latest donations were made after Fluor announced this summer that it would shrink its Richland office from about 200 employees to 15 or 20. The company employed about 3,500 workers in the Mid-Columbia when it was a prime contractor for the Department of Energy at Hanford.

More recently it has been a subcontractor to CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. That subcontract is ending as CH2M Hill plans to do more work with its own employees.

Fluor also is transferring some work unrelated to Hanford from its Richland office to offices elsewhere. Some Fluor workers are being hired by CH2M Hill and others are transferring to Fluor offices in Texas and South Carolina.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @HanfordNews

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