Almost 60 workers will be leaving Hanford by June 25 in the first phase of a two-part layoff by CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co.
The Department of Energy Hanford contractor plans to lay off as many as 400 workers total between this month's layoff and a second round in September, as CH2M Hill announced in April. It had about 1,800 employees then.
This month's layoffs include 14 people who volunteered for layoffs and 44 involuntary layoffs, with those workers notified Monday, said Dee Millikin, CH2M Hill spokeswoman. The layoffs include workers directly employed by CH2M Hill and the 11 subcontractors who have been with CH2M Hill since it took over the central Hanford environmental cleanup contract in 2008.
There likely would have been more layoffs Monday, but more people resigned or retired this spring than anticipated, with some of those jobs not filled, Millikin said. Most of those who received layoff notices Monday were nonunion employees.
Most will be offered the standard Hanford severance package, which includes one week of pay for every year worked up to 20 years.
Union employees who are laid off may be eligible to take the jobs of less-experienced employees working for other Hanford cleanup contractors.
CH2M Hill also has been consolidating some management positions and adjusting some administration functions. The most high-profile example has been making Ty Blackford, the vice president of waste and fuels management, also the vice president of decommissioning and demolition when Kurt Kehler left that vice president position.
The staff reductions are needed in part because some work with federal economic stimulus money that carried over into the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1 now is finished, Lehew told employees when the layoff plan was announced in April.
The economic stimulus work included some decommissioning and demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant and operations at some facilities used for waste that had been retrieved from temporary burial.
The planned reductions also are driven by a need to shift work priorities to align with DOE's 2015 Vision, employees were told. The DOE plan calls for completing most environmental cleanup along the Columbia River, knocking down the Plutonium Finishing Plant and getting systems operating for remaining ground water cleanup.
Toward that plan, CH2M Hill has finished construction of a large ground water treatment plant in central Hanford that should begin operating soon. CH2M Hill also has finished some engineering work for treatment of sludge from the K Reactor basins.
Now it needs to have the workers with the correct skills to move to the next stage of work, according to CH2M Hill. That will include operating the new central Hanford ground water treatment plant, removing all K Basin sludge and preparing the Plutonium Finishing Plant for demolition.
The layoffs are in addition to about 1,320 positions cut in the last fiscal year that ended in September. CH2M Hill had hired up as it did work with $1.3 billion of economic stimulus money, most of which was spent as planned by the end of September. The positions that were cut included new hires and experienced workers to adjust the mix of skills needed on the central Hanford contract.
The CH2M Hill subcontractors with workers that may be part in this year's layoffs include Fluor Federal Services, Areva Federal Services, East Tennessee Materials and Energy Corp., ARES Corp., Babcock Services, GEM Technology International, Intera, EnRep, Ascendent Engineering and Safety Solutions, Cavanagh Services Group and Project Services Group.
-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org