Saturday, October 08, 2005

Los Alamos Nat'l Lab: Lockheed team makes training top priority

By ANDY LENDERMAN | The New Mexican
October 8, 2005

LOS ALAMOS -- C. Paul Robinson, possibly the next director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, says Lockheed Martin and the University of Texas have made training new scientists a big part of their proposal to take over management of the lab.

"We think the available work force with advanced degrees in science and technology is woefully low in the country," Robinson said in a Wednesday interview. "So we'd better do double duty -- not just nuclear weapons but whatever threatens the security of the nation."


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The quality of the US born science work force has been an issue for 15 years, and well publicized. LANL has long struggled to assure it has the best possible, and has attracted a large number of foreign naitonals. A huge number of these foreign nationals became US citizens, and continue to serve the national (and LANL) well.

Will LAA continue the trend? Look at what Sandia has done! Essentially no foreign nationals (much less than a hundred). This is the policy developed under Robinson at SNL. SNL jobs are explicitly discouraged from considering FN.
The new, younger workforce that Robinson says he's eager to bring
in will cost much less than the current, older workforce due to
their lower starting salaries. They'll also have a cost advantage,
as they will not be included in any "UC-tracking" pension system,
nor will they have the same generous vacation and sick leave
benefits as older workers. It's not too hard to figure out which
employees will be targeted for lay-offs if any future budgetary
shortfalls hit LANL in the outlying years. This "two-tier" worker
class being planned for LANL is going to create a lot of heartaches,
just as it has at the other DOE facilities that have gone through
the DOE's restructuring process.
Perhaps LANL will have a different limit on educational reimbursement, which LM plans to limit beginning next year.
How about we see if there will be enough funding for the current science work force in the US before going off in this direction?

Have heard about "shortages" for years and years. Always interesting to see who benefits from claiming shortages.
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