SAIC cuts about 50 jobs in Oak Ridge

Note: This story was updated at 1 p.m. Nov. 12.

SAIC confirmed Tuesday that about 50 Oak Ridge workers have been laid off as part of a national workforce reduction that includes roughly 700 employees.

Based in McLean, Va., SAIC is a major government contractor that has its shared services headquarters in Oak Ridge. The company has about 900 local employees.

Melissa Koskovich, a spokeswoman for the company, said she didn’t immediately have information on the types of positions affected by the local workforce reductions but would try to get it.

In a statement, Koskovich said the broader reductions were the result of SAIC’s annual operating plan review process and “our need to remain competitive in a challenging market.”

The reductions occurred “across the ranks” and in many locations, Koskovich said, but SAIC tried to limit the impact on those “who are delivering directly to our customers.”

“These decisions were not easily made, but we firmly believe that they are absolutely necessary in order for us to remain competitive,” the statement said. “At this difficult time, our care and thoughts are with the talented people we are not able to retain. We will provide training, coaching, and other kinds of support as we help these individuals transition.”

SAIC said the workforce reductions are not related directly to sequestration, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts that will take effect on Jan. 2 if Congress and the White House are unable to agree on federal expense reductions and revenue increases. But media reports earlier this year suggested the company could lay off employees in response to sequestration.

Celebrating its new shared services headquarters in March 2009, SAIC announced it had brought almost 150 new jobs to Oak Ridge and could bring more later. SAIC said employees at the headquarters in renovated office space on Laboratory Road would handle work associated with human resources, finance, corporate purchasing, and information technology services.

SAIC executives said the company has been a significant Oak Ridge employer for more than 30 years.

In August, the company announced plans to split into two independent, publicly traded companies. The two separate businesses would be a technical service company and a “solutions-focused” business.

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