NASA Denies Study Will Be Used To Downsize Workforce

By Linda Cicoira — A NASA review team that is working on a 20-year facilities master plan has been falsely accused of eliminating jobs at Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) and other centers, according to an email that was sent Tuesday to all area NASA employees.
Christopher J. Scolese, director of the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), addressed his colleagues by writing, “Recent media reports, based on statements of individuals from outside NASA, have misstated the activities of the Greenbelt-Wallops Review Team, incorrectly stating that the team is considering cost-cutting or downsizing measures. The team is doing nothing of the sort.”
“As NASA has increased the emphasis on partnerships and commercial activities, and as the agency as a whole works towards implementation of the new operating model, Goddard management must adapt,” Scolese continued. “The team has not been asked to look at potential cuts to GSFC, Greenbelt, Wallops, IV&V, GISS, White Sands, or any other component and will not make any recommendations in that area.”
“As an entirely separate activity, pursuant to Office of Management and Budget direction, NASA Headquarters has directed Goddard, as well as all other NASA Centers, to identify strategies to reduce the cost of NASA facilities for purposes of developing an agency 20-year facilities master plan. The master plan will contain no directions for the workforce and is unrelated to the Greenbelt-Wallops Review Team’s work. Any potential facilities impact at Greenbelt, Wallops, and other Goddard components is only a concept at this time. However, the current Goddard master plan concept confirms the importance of all Goddard components, including specifically the importance of the Wallops Flight Facility as a mission critical operational facility.”
Wallops Island Regional Alliance is a nonprofit with membership including a long list of NASA contractors and boasts its ability to receive up-to-date developments in the surrounding local and global industries, broadening professional networks, and raising professional profiles.
The group’s chairman, Peter Bale, reportedly told reporters last week that Goddard is exploring cost-cutting measures throughout its agency. He voiced concern about the potential infrastructure reduction and what that would mean to the local economy.
“The bottom line is that if this were to occur and if these reductions took place at either part of the facility, we have a workforce of about two and a half thousand people,” Bale told WBOC TV in Salisbury, Md. “I would see within twelve months a reduction of about 1,000 to 1,500 people and also see the loss of revenue on Delmarva.”
Goddard is about 6.5 miles from Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Md.
Last Friday, WFF issued a statement to dispel rumors. “Wallops is not closing nor is there an effort to look at reducing the workforce.”
The press release also quoted Ken Human, who is leading the review team. “The importance of a synergistic relationship between the two campuses is vital to the future of each campus and Goddard Space Flight Center as a whole,” he said.

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