The impact of sequestration continued to have effects on the area this week, with Aerospace Testing Alliance (ATA) announced this week that it will need to eliminate more than 100 jobs at AEDC in response to deep cuts in federal funding. ATA is the primary contractor at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) and currently employs 1,809 people. Steve Pearson, ATA general manager said that this past week ATA reached an agreement with the AEDC Air Force to reduce the workforce by up to 128 personnel. Before acting to reduce staff levels, Pearson said, “the effects of sequestration were minimized by first looking at all non-labor expenditures.” Sequestration reduced AEDC’s budget – and, by extension, ATA’s funding – by 29 percent in operations and maintenance and 9.9 percent in all other accounts. Unlike the Air Force’s civilian employees at AEDC – who have been told to expect to be furloughed one day a week for as many as 22 weeks – ATA’s employees affected by sequestration will lose their jobs at Arnold permanently. Kathy Gattis, ATA public affairs director, said the company is looking to reduce the number of employees who receive reduction-in-force two-week notices by putting out a call for Voluntary Reductions-In-Force (VRIF) and Volunteer Early Retirement Offers, seeking volunteers to retire. Retirement applications will be accepted through March 29.
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