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. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    Awesome. These PhD's will now be snapped up by Wall Street, put to work engineering algorithms to trade stocks in under 10 microseconds (I'm not exaggerating on that number, by the way).

    Society will surely benefit from this development.

    July 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Foggy

    US spent in 2010 night on 11 Billion for cosmetic surgery. Apparently The Big Boobs are looking out for themselves.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon


      July 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • hoorayforlogicyay

      are you retarded?

      July 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Zap Brannigan

    Yet another job killing policy of this failed administration.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • FactChecker

      Right, because GWB announced the end of the shuttle program, as the article states.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris HOnry

      Yeah, we should take all that space shuttle money and just hand it either to: people who don't want/like to work, or single moms with 3 or more kids (only if they promise to have more kids)

      July 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD Jacks

      Heh FactChecker. It was Obama though that killed the proven follow on program and put these engineers out of work. Read ALL the facts.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Obama decided to privatize the manned space program, not kill it. A smaller Space X capsule will be able to make 12 flights to the space station for the cost of 1 shuttle mission. So you don't think saving taxpayers money and reducing the size of government is a good idea?

      July 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      You meant George W Bush when you said "this administration", right? It was, in fact, George Bush who killed the US manned space program.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gisela von Dran

    Why not just send the money to the super rich?

    July 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. FU

    Smarty pants rocket scientists should have known they'd be jobless now...

    July 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ratt

    I can't believe Obama has killed NASA, we now have a Space Station in Outer Space we can't get to, how in dahell can you screw this up any worse.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • manemang

      Hey rat, go crawl back in your rat hole. George Bush killed NASA. Go look it up. I know, you heard it on faux news. Look it up yourself and your rat brain will not explode.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. outawork

    Hey Florida! Remember who caused this when you vote in the Presidential election 2012.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      Yes, remember that it was George W Bush!

      July 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CF

    It used to be a good thing to be called a rocket scientist.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Annie Bones

    Sitting in your office, worn down by the weight of life in these hard economic times. Dreaming of a simpler life of peace & tranquility.
    One man's short dream and then . . . Back to Reality!

    America's Job Listings now state that the "Unemployed Need Not Apply" – Even when they don't publicly state it; your resume gets filed safely in the trash cabinet just in case you call back hoping for an interview.

    Good Luck to all laid off NASA contract workers.
    Plenty of minimum wage jobs still available

    July 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Perilous

    I wish them all the luck in the world. They are among the best and brightest this country has to offer, and what our government has done to them, and to NASA, is a damned shame.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joseph

    Heard McDonald's is still hiring but these guys will need a reality check on pay cuts. China is hiring American space workers hoping to advance their space programs as well as Muslim countries.Although a major lifestyle change is necessary. Ho hum Sure feels good to be a laborer (plumber by trade) these days than some educated engineer in the unemployment line.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will S

      The unemployment rate among the educated is half that amongst your fellows. I'm happy with my paycheck, which doesn't require working with raw sewage.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. White

      What a great guy you must be, making yourself feel better by seeing the suffering of others. These men and women have dedicated their lives to something extraordinary, and are proud to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I doubt you get the same gratification unclogging a toilet.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. Patty

    Yeah. And we need scientists and engineers. So they can be unemployed too! These people worked so hard and accomplished so much. Sad. I guess they will have to go work in other countries.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Beatrice

    They should offer themselves to China and prevent the premature Chinese rockets from blasting off to the unknown space...

    July 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. A. Johnson

    NASA reaped what they sowed. Too bad for all the sacked workers who only had 7 years prior notice to be prepared for the inevitable layoffs when Bush ended the space program. Constellation had major design flaws so it was scrapped. What a waste of taxpayers money. But at the same time, according to NASA’s own study of ways to speed up the development of Ares and Orion, the program is at least $1.9 billion in the hole. Government waste at its best as they say. No one should be surprised by NASA's ending their space program as the US is on the verge of defaulting its loans & being downgraded exactly like Greece. Everything happens for a reason.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. panzerman13


    Well gentlemen, how about this: it's not a question if NASA produced any value for the country, the question is at what cost and should government be involved? To those who can't stop listing NASA's great inventions; do you think funds would be better spent as direct research at universities rather than useful side effect of space exploration?

    Apparently funding the universities is also a waste of money if you and those LIKE you think the space program is a waste of money.

    Tell me....what Spinoffs have the poor generated for our nation?

    July 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
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