Y-12’s Darrel Kohlhorst: ‘As of today, there are no layoffs planned’

I talked late last week with Darrel Kohlhorst, president and general manager of B&W Y-12, about the past year and a little bit of a look ahead. While the budget situation was taking shape in Washington for the rest of FY 2012, Kohlhorst talked about some of the measures that Y-12 had taken to conserve spending in the first quarter.
Those actions included limiting travel and purchase of supplies, except for essential items, reducing overtime, and putting a freeze on hiring until the plant’s budget situation becomes clearer.
“So, as of today, there are no layoffs planned,” Kohlhorst said.

Kohlhorst said one of the major achievements of Fiscal 2011 at Y-12 was saving $71 million through the productivity improvements program. Those savings, he said, allowed Y-12 to perform about $50 million in additional work and also carry over some money into FY 2012 to do more work.
Asked if that had helped stem layoffs, Kohlhorst indicated there wasn’t a direct tie. “But it does allow us to convince our customer how efficient Y-12 is becoming, and they love to see us do more work than is in the baseline,” he said.
Kolhorst said one of the best messages he can give to the Y-12 workforce is that doing a good job is a good way to keep jobs.

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.

2 thoughts on “Y-12’s Darrel Kohlhorst: ‘As of today, there are no layoffs planned’

  1. Anonymous

    There have been no official lay-offs at Y-12 but there are many people no longer working there. Many subcontractors have been sent home, protecting the jobs of B&W employees. True, these are not lay-offs, but these are people who work full-time at the plant and will now be out of work. Many have been there for years.

  2. ThankfulTaxpayer

    Using subcontractors as a resource flywheel is smart business. They frequently command a higher price than the organic workforce. In the American business landscape, when budget compression hits, goodbye subcontractors. Thank you Y-12 for the opportunities you’ve afforded the subs. Thank you also for protecting your workforce for future missions. Hope the long term subcontractors enjoyed the ride while it lasted.

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