Up to 450 jobs are on the chopping block at the Idaho National Laboratory during this fiscal year. According to an internal email obtained by Local News 8 on Thursday, Battelle Energy Alliance, which operates the INL, has received approval from the Department of Energy to implement a workforce restructuring plan.
However, under the current restructuring, the job losses will not exceed 300, the INL said.
These job losses will affect everyone across the board from administrative to site employees.
Previously, the Idaho Department of Commerce had said the layoffs were a result of the fiscal cliff situation in Washington, but the department has since retracted that statement.
"Its a decision we've looked at for some time," said Mark Holubar, human resources director. "And unfortunately come to the conclusion its an action we need to take right here at the laboratory to remain competitive in a very competitive environment and find the skill mix we need moving forward."
Included in the loss of workers are those who will voluntarily leave, and “several initiatives have been implemented in an effort to reduce the number of employees who will be involuntarily separated," according to the email.
Those who voluntarily decide to leave the INL will have until Jan. 9 to submit their resignation. After that deadline, BEA will begin involuntary cuts. Terminations will take effect in February, depending on the outcome of the vetting process, the INL said.
Those workers who wish to be considered for the voluntary program will also commit to seek not employment with DOE, National Nuclear Security Administration, BEA or another DOE contractor or subcontractor for a year.