Layoffs At Hanford Due To Budget Uncertainty

By Anna King

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

The three companies work on Hanford’s tank farms, cleanup contaminated ground water and provide support services at the nuclear site. Many of the 450 workers will be let go in the next few months, the others by next fall. Dean Schau is an instructor of economics with Columbia Basin College in Pasco. He says the Tri-Cities region has been one of the fastest growing metro-areas in the Northwest.

Dean Schau: “We’re talking about 450 workers in an economy that generates over 100,000 jobs. 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.

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