NASA contractors get help finding new jobs

Lone Star State federal contractors who lose their jobs as NASA's space shuttle program is retired will receive assistance from the Obama administration in finding new work.

The Labor Department announced Thursday it would provide a $5.4 million grant to the Texas Workforce Commission to assist roughly 600 former contractor employees, most of whom worked at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. The funding will give displaced workers access to employment services, including skills assessments, job training and career counseling.

"Today's grant will give the talented and high-skilled workers of Texas the opportunity to find new jobs in expanding sectors of the state's economy," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a statement. "Our goal is to provide the necessary tools for these workers to identify and prepare for other career opportunities that will place them in new and permanent jobs."

Most of the affected workers were employed by Barrios Technology, Boeing Co., Cimarron, Fluor Corp., Hamilton Sundstrand, Jacobs/ESCG, Lockheed Martin Corp., Oceaneering Space Systems, REDE-Critique, SAIC, SGT Inc., or the United Space Alliance, a consortium of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Awarded to the Texas Workforce Commission, the Gulf Coast Workforce Development Board will oversee the grant. More than $2.2 million will be released initially while the remainder of the grant will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance, the Labor Department said.

Labor is releasing the funds through the National Emergency Grants Program, which awards money to states that face "large, unexpected economic events which cause significant job losses."

The shuttle program is scheduled to end in November. As many as 20,000 contract and subcontract employees could be laid off, according to Labor estimates.

In June, the department provided a $15 million emergency grant to help 3,200 displaced aerospace contract workers in Florida polish up their resumes and hone their job-seeking skills. President Obama previously announced a separate $40 million program to spur post-space shuttle jobs in Florida based on recommendations last month by a federal task force co-chaired by NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

Commerce will award $35 million in competitive grants to the most promising job creation and economic development programs while the remaining $5 million will fund a new Commercial Spaceflight Technical Center to support space launch and re-entry activities.

The White House announced a new direction for the space program earlier this year, calling for increased private sector involvement. The plan calls for the Kennedy Space Center to manage a five-year, $5.8 billion effort to help firms develop private sector space transportation.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.