557 employees to leave LANL as part as voluntary separation program

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Los Alamos National Laboratory today announced that 557 employees will leave the Lab as part of a voluntary separation program announced last month. The employees come from nearly all Lab functions, excluding certain essential areas.

“I would like to thank each and every employee who volunteered for the program,” said LANL Director Charlie McMillan. “Some of them devoted their entire careers to serving the nation during a truly historic time for the country and the Lab. They set the example that we will continue to follow.”

The Lab announced it would seek a voluntary reduction of between 400 and 800 employees from its regular, permanent workforce of about 7,600. The program is aimed at reducing the possibility of involuntary layoffs and better positioning the Lab to execute its missions with flat or lower federal budgets.

Employees who volunteered to leave will receive severance packages of up to 39 weeks of pay based on years of service.  They will also have access to the Lab’s health insurance plan for a limited time.

“The loss of hundreds employees will be painful, but the program did accomplish what it set out to do. This VSP, and other actions that started late last year, are necessary to preserve our capabilities during uncertain economic times,” McMillan said.

Lab leaders will now assess what additional actions are needed.  Hiring and major purchases will still go through a council of senior Lab manager.

But as the Lab announced previously, some actions may be necessary in the contractor and term employee ranks between now and the end of the fiscal year.

 A breakdown of employees who volunteered to leave looks like this:

·         258 from professional fields, such as finance, information technology, and records management

·         152 from research and development fields

·         74 managers

·         59 technicians, and  

·         14 support employees

The distribution of volunteers largely mirrored the overall Lab population, with

·         36% of applicants coming from the science, technology, engineering areas,

·         25% from operations and business services

·         16% from the weapons programs

·         15% from global security, and

·         4% each from capital projects management and departments reporting directly to the Office of the Director.


I know it was a hard decision, it was for us. Some advice - Never look back or second guess yourself, remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life, finally, you have a dream and now is your chance to go chase it.

We took the VSP in 2008 and have never regreted it. Those of you who are not able to retire but took the VSP anyway, do what you have always wanted to do, you will never regret it.

Good luck to you all and God Bless.