Layoffs At Hanford Due to Budget Uncertainty

Nov 21, 2013

Three federal contractors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say they’ll lay off 450 workers over the next year. The companies say Thursday’s announcement is largely due to federal budget uncertainty.

The three companies work on Hanford’s tank farms cleaning up contaminated groundwater and providing support services at the nuclear site. Many of the 450 workers will be let go in the next few months, and the others will be laid off by next fall.

Dean Schau, an instructor of economics with Columbia Basin College in Pasco, says the Tri-Cities region has been one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Northwest.

“We’re talking about 450 workers in an economy that generates over 100,000 jobs,” Schau said. “Again, it’s not good for those workers and no time is a good time to be looking for work. If anything, it will just slow our growth for a while.” 

Those who watch Hanford cleanup closely say it’s too soon to tell how these layoffs will affect the pace of work at the site.