Layoffs possible at Stennis, Michoud
Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2016
A contractor change could result in layoffs of some contract employees at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
Starting Feb. 1, Syncom Space Services (S3) will assume power over the operations and a maintenance contract at two independent facilities —Stennis and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans— after they were re-awarded a 10-year contract from NASA in support of the Synergy Achieving Consolidated Operations and Maintenance Program.
Stennis spokesperson Valerie Buckingham said the consolidation will save costs at both centers by merging three contracts into one, but, in turn, cause layoffs.
“Most likely there will be some layoffs, we’re not sure of the number of layoffs at this time because the new contractor is still in the hiring process,” Buckingham said.
Meg LaBumbard, S3 gateway 2020 director, said that since December 2015, S3 employees have reached out to the affected NASA contract workers with Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Technology.
“We’ve explained to them how the contract works and how they can apply for work,” LaBumbard said. Adding, “Since Dec. 15, we’ve had lots of people apply to our open positions, we’ve hired a lot and are continuing to hire for the length of the contract…The contract was designed to cut costs. We have to hire according to that vision and we will do so responsibly.”
The value of the contract has a maximum value of $1.2 billion, including a one-year based period and seven option periods totaling nine years and five months, according to a press release from S3.
The S3 team will work at both NASA facilities and provide management of facility operations, maintenance requirements and test and manufacturing services.
S3 is a joint venture between PAE Applied Technologies LLC and BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. According to the release, the two joined forces to “combine industry-leading capabilities in government facilities services, manufacturing and test support, specifically to execute the SACOM contract. Together, the S3 team offers management best practices, innovative processes, systems engineering and continuous improvement methods with an emphasis on safety.”
For more information about the contract or how to apply, visit http://syncomspaceservices.com.