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Aerospace Testing Alliance (ATA), prime contractor at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), will reduce its work force by 17 people in Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13).
The announcement, made on Thursday, comes roughly two months after the company issued a request for a voluntary reduction in workforce (VRIF), seeking volunteers to willingly give up their positions.
At the time that VRIF was issued, ATA Public Affairs director Kathy Gattis said that although similar requests in the past have been targeted at specific departments or projects, this time around the request came as the result of “budget and skill mix issues.”
“We thought we would offer it in the event that we may need specific layoffs” in the future, she said in July.
Evidentially, that request did not generate enough volunteers to avoid this week’s round of forced layoffs. The company will cut eight salaried and nine wage positions primarily because of skill mix issues.
“We were hoping to avoid an involuntary reduction,” said ATA General Manager, Steve Pearson. “We feel deeply for the personnel affected and we will do everything we can to help those employees. But the skills mix issue is real and is something we had to address so we could successfully accomplish the work.”
Pearson said some employees whose positions were affected by budget changes were offered open positions in other areas of ATA. However, the reassignment opportunities still didn’t prevent a forced reduction.
“Even though our workload for next year increased, the type of work we’re doing will shift to more testing, which in the end, is why we are here,” Pearson said.
ATA will provide job-counseling services including resume development, skills self-assessment, interview techniques, resume distribution and job search assistance.
Notifications for the involuntary reduction-in-force are being issued tomorrow, with a departure date of Friday, Sept. 28.
Twenty-eight employees volunteered for a reduction-in-force last month.
ATA has been the operating contractor at AEDC since 2003; the company employs 1,765 full-time personnel.