Originally created 12/13/01

Job mix studied for SRS



Savannah River Site's top contractor soon will submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Energy to address what it calls a "skill-mix" problem at the site.

The skill-mix issue was one reason Westinghouse Savannah River Co. sought cutbacks last year in the site's work force of more than 13,500. Westinghouse executives mulled layoffs before ultimately declaring them unnecessary.

The company allowed 239 employees to take advantage of an early retirement plan, however, and eliminated about 235 unfilled positions and retrained more than 400 workers to fill other jobs at the site.

A Westinghouse spokeswoman said Tuesday that it was unclear whether such a "work force restructuring" would be needed this fiscal year.

"I don't think at this point we know the answer to that question," Mickie Seitter said. "There will be more to come as soon as we know the answers."

The company is scheduled to submit to the U.S. Department of Energy within days a staffing plan that will address personnel issues.

Westinghouse's president, Bob Pedde, wrote in an e-mail to employees Friday that his management team was "taking a hard look at staffing issues."

"As we continue to reduce our administrative burden and eliminate tasks that don't add value, we expect to face some staffing issues," Mr. Pedde wrote. "Specifically, some of the skills we have today will not match with the skill mix we need to execute current and future missions."

The site has too many employees in some fields and too few in others, Westinghouse executives have said. Ms. Seitter said it was too early to say what fields might be affected this year.

"We're not at a point where we can define what the excesses and shortages are," she said.

Last year, Westinghouse executives singled out job excesses in the areas of training, maintenance, procurement and project management. The company needed engineers, lab technicians and radiation-control personnel.

Reach Brandon Haddock at (706) 823-3409 or bhaddock@augustachronicle.com.