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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Work fading at Tobyhanna

  • Faced with decreasing funding for workload, Tobyhanna Army Depot has notified a support contractor that it may no longer have a requirement for up to 418 industrial trade and electronics workers and related support functions.
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  • — Faced with decreasing funding for workload, Tobyhanna Army Depot has notified a support contractor that it may no longer have a requirement for up to 418 industrial trade and electronics workers and related support functions.
    Tobyhanna employes a large number of people from Wayne County.
    The phased reduction will begin March 15 and would continue through the end of April.
    "We have assessed our workload thoroughly, and we do not have funding or sufficient work to justify retention of these personnel at this time. These reductions are always difficult, but we must be prudent stewards of our resources to maximize the efficient support we deliver to the men and women of our Armed Forces," said depot commander Col. Gerhard P.R. Schröter.
    The first reduction of 95 contract workers will take place Friday. This will include industrial trade workers, electronics workers and other skills performed by employees of URS Federal Support Services, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla. The second phase of up to 216 personnel would occur on April 15. The last phase would take place April 30, when 107 contract workers would be released.
    The depot contracted over the last several years to support increased depot workload tied to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The use of contract personnel enables Tobyhanna Army Depot to quickly adjust to fluctuations in workload, ensuring the depot operates efficiently and productively.
    The end of operations in Iraq and the depot's increased completion of equipment repairs in recent years have contributed to the decreased workload projections this year.
    Among the impacts of sequestration is no Army funding for depot maintenance in the third and fourth quarter (April 1-Sept. 30) of this fiscal year, which accelerates the decline of workload at Tobyhanna.
    Tobyhanna also reduced its federal work force by 150 personnel on March 1 by offering Voluntary Early Retirement and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. Plus, all federal employees will be furloughed for 22 nonconsecutive days between April and Sept. 30.
    There are about 700 contract personnel, including 418 URS employees, who work at Tobyhanna Army Depot. The depot also employs more than 3,600 Department of the Army civilian employees to perform its worldwide mission of maintaining communications-electronics systems for the Armed Forces.
    No Army civilian employees are affected by this reduction. Total employment at the installation has declined to slightly less than 5,000.

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