Anastasio: Volunteers will get unemployment

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By Kirsten Laskey

Even with uncertainty, less flexibility and job cuts underway, Los Alamos National Laboratory director Michael Anastasio predicts a bright future for the laboratory.

He shared his optimism with the community during a LANL Workforce Restructuring Community Meeting Tuesday night at Duane Smith Auditorium. About 50 people attended the meeting.

Anastasio said the state had determined volunteer retirees will qualify for unemployment.

"Hopefully, this will help people who are trying to decide what's best for their personal circumstances," he said.

Four participated in the question-and-answer session.

One man asked Anastasio if the lab would be able to restructure to be more competitive in the marketplace.

"Absolutely," Anastasio said. The goal, he said, is to invest in programs that will bring in more dollars. The problem is that the lab is heavy on workforce, which needs to be reduced to create more flexibility.

Anastasio added reducing the workforce wasn't something he wanted to do but he didn't see other options.

Another participant asked about the timeline for the restructuring phases. She wondered if the timeline was tied to Congress approving a budget for LANL.

Not necessarily, Anastasio said. If the budget that has been discussed gets passed, then there will be challenges, he said.

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