NASA hopes to shuttle former employees into new jobs
NASA workers look on as space shuttle Atlantis is towed back to its hangar on July 21 at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
July 26th, 2011
11:38 AM ET

NASA hopes to shuttle former employees into new jobs

NASA is holding a career fair in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday to help its former contract employees to find new jobs now that the shuttle program is ending.

Among those who will be rubbing elbows with government and private recruiters are some of the engineers NASA hired to maintain the shuttle's 20 different systems - "every part of the shuttle that required a team of engineers and technicians to get it ready for the next flight," said Lisa Malone, a NASA spokeswoman."

Over the years, NASA has been downsizing those teams, with Cape Canaveral seeing the most layoffs, including 1,500 on Friday, Malone said.

"I would say the lion's share of (the layoffs) has been in Florida," she said.

According to a fact sheet from NASA, the agency plans to lay off 2.223 Florida "shuttle prime contractors" in fiscal 2011, for a total of 4,371 layoffs in Florida since 2008. At the end of the year, NASA expects to have laid off 9,425 shuttle contractors nationwide since 2008.

In addition to engineers, NASA's  contract employees included accountants, human resources personnel, "everything it takes to run an organization," Malone said.

Workers have known about impending layoffs, in some respect, since President George W. Bush announced the end of the shuttle program, Malone said. She said NASA and the recruiters hope about 1,000 former employees will come to the career fair and apply for new jobs.

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Filed under: NASA • Space
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Nathan

    To the shuttle workers at JSC and KSC who got laid off, why, I wonder are these educated engineers not considered hiring material for new space? Could it be that new space doesn't see value of their "experience" that many space-job advocates were desperate to see preserved? It may be telling us something about how these people were reassured about their job security but lacked the necessary skills needed for new space advancements.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Career fair for ex shuttle workers? Resume help? Wonder why these so-called highly-educated engineers & shuttle workers need help writing their resumes & their own career fairs? So, they supposedly were capable of launching shuttles into space but can't write a job description for a new employer? Lol. Seems screwing nuts and bolts into anything including space shuttles doesn't take much skill or any type of former education. Even the illegals can do the job and they would have done it for below minimum wage.

    August 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Shhhhhhh

    Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone! McDonald's is Hiring.

    September 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MedicoreSkills

    Most of the shuttle workers only knew how to screw in nuts and bolts. Don't know any other companies who would hire them and pay top dollar like NASA did.

    September 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
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