IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

VAFB to escape more layoffs

/ Source: Santa Maria Times

Staff report

United Launch Alliance plans another round of layoffs but doesn't expect any to occur at Vandenberg Air Force Base, company officials said.

Officials notified workers last month that the workforce will be reduced by 224 jobs in October, including 123 at Cape Canaveral, Fla., the East Coast launch site; 14 at Decatur, Ala., home to the company's rocket manufacturing plant; and 87 in Denver, where ULA headquarters is located.

The firm eliminated 63 jobs nationwide in a round of layoffs earlier this year.

At the time, officials said they might need a second round of cutbacks to slash up to 350 jobs.

In making the newest announcement, officials blamed a number of factors including completion of contracts, discontinued money for accelerating Atlas launches, and savings required "to meet competitive challenges and pricing assumptions."

In the first round, the company announced plans in fall 2008 for up to 350 layoffs, due to a market slowdown and program consolidations.

But in December, that number was reduced to 172, thanks to plans to trim travel and other internal measures. At the time, officials estimated 16 workers at Vandenberg would receive pink slips.

Undertaking additional measures meant that the firm could shrink the number even more, ultimately letting five people go from its Vandenberg staff and 60 overall, officials said.

With 4,200 employees overall, the firm has about 400 workers at Vandenberg and 775 for the East Coast launch site at Cape Canaveral.

August 10, 2009