2. How did you hear about today's Town Meeting? (Choose all that
@LaRC Web Site 61%
@LaRC Daily E-mail 19%
Outdoor Sign (Reid or Front Gate) 25%
E-mail (E-mail other than @LaRC
Daily E-mail) 27%
Informal Conversation 24%
Other, Please Specify 5%
3. Was today's Town Meeting worth your time?
Definitely worth my time 35%
Yes, it had value 48%
It had minimal value 14%
It was a waste of my time 3%
4. If you answered "It was a waste of my time" [in reponse to the question "Was today's Town Meeting worth your time?"], could anything be done differently to make the
meeting a better use of your time?
Every thing the directer stated was vague. If you can't answer the question then you should defer to those who can answer them.
This meeting was of minimal value because we weren't told very much that was new. We need more information! Bringing everyone together for a few broad comments isn't productive. Send them out in an email, with the promise of a meeting later in the week when you will have more detail. Then, people will have had time to digest the emailed general points, and can have questions prepared to ask at the detailed meeting.
I did not learn anything new, except that LaRC senior leadership will form more teams to do the job last year's Kick Start teams should have done or the job that the II and SPPMO should be doing now. Slide after slide about how these new organizations will bring in strategic partnerships and help researchers with bid and proposal. They are not doing it. All they do is talk about it and the reality is that once again the reseracher will have to find the partnership, write and win the proposal, and then try to fight the system that cannot even bring money effectively into the Center. What are all you highly paid people doing, except forming yet another team? Furthermore, if you pick new people for the team, you will take away all the talent needed for bid and proposal efforts but unless you pick the best and brightest for the team, we will be stuck with the same bad ideas and will waste more of the tax payers money.
A CD Comm could have just have effectively disseminated this information.
could have been done in an e-mail format ... answer the rumors .... state the facts ... lay out the plan... anounce the schedule ... done.
Make Cente rmore aware of the meeting. Unless I was told by co-worker, I woudl have never known.
Even though I didn't answer "it was a waste of time" I'll respond. I said "minimal value" because the meenting gave little new information. The announcement of the formation of new teams is not anything more than saying " We are going to gather the usual people together and make some decisions in the future." Having said that, keeping the communication lines open is 'Definitely worth my time' so I will continue to attend.
I feel these meetings lack hard facts. Bridges didn't answer many questions, just danced around them.
After a week-long retreat, I expected a comprehensive plan of action. The failure to present such a plan does tell me one thing: the Center is doomed.
Although it's important to communicate with us during this uncertain time, I'd really prefer to wait in having All Hands meetings until specific options or actual decisions are being announced, rather than more re-iteration that tough decisions will need to be made in the future.
Actually only the last ten minutes had value. Everything else had been said before. I actually now believe Roy is trying to save the Center.
Failure to supply specifics and load the speech with platitudes was not helpful. The speech was long on tone, very short on anything specific.
No. I didnot see the need for this meeting. Staff meets for a week and the only information -- We are forming teams.
- A WORD TO THE WISE AIN'T NECESSARY- IT'S THE STUPID ONES THAT NEED THE ADVICE BILL COSBY
15 Since I already respect Mr. Bridges, I felt the pep-talk was not really necessary for me. For those who don't respect him, I doubt it will help, partly because there was nothing really new presented. For example, I already believed that the Tech A-76 is the only FY05 RIF action. I was hoping for more substantive retreat feedback. I'm looking forward to the email coming out tomorrow.
16 Even though I feel this town meeting had value, it would be really appreciated if an agenda for the meeting were announced ahead of time, or at least let people know what it is about.
17 Meeting did not communicate enough specifics to be useful. However, seeing and hearing Mr. Bridges commitment to leading Langley to a brighter future was definitely compelling.
5. Do you have any additional comments or questions you'd like the Strategic Leadership
Council (SLC) to consider? Your concerns and questions will be considered as future
communications to the Center are created. But specific questions about individual situations
that require an individual response should be directed to the appropriate organization or your
As part of the A-76 I'm concerned if I'm assigned a position in the MEO using RIF procedures I will lose my standing in a subsequent center-wide RIF. As a current GS-11 veteran with 30 years of federal service I would fill a GS-8 position in the MEO. In the next RIF I could be bumped out the gate by a GS-9 with far fewer years. This concerns me very much and applies to many employees.
No, not at this time; however, I would like to thank Mr. Bridges for his honesty, compasion and candor at this time of uncertaninty. He cares about his NASA family and it is obvious that mission of NASA, the people, and the future of our work are very important to him.
I would like to see the SLC weekly meeting minutes posted in a more timely manner than the week or more time it now takes for the employees to read the details.
I'm tired of I think, it might, it could, possibly, or maybe. I think the new buzz word for the day "hybrid" is ridiculous. If your going to refer to something, define it first, then speak as to how you are going to implement it and how it will be meaningful to the organization.
What is the plan to reduce workforce of 700 civil servants and 300 contractors by FY 07?
Would someone PLEASE tell us more information on the RIF scenario? If RIF's are "likely", we need to know more about how they are to be executed. In particular, whether or not it will be targeted based on organizations funded by certain programs, for example, the branches funded by the Vehicle Systems Program. I am trying to decide whether or not to move to a branch that is funded by a program that will get an increase in FY06, the Airspace Systems Program. If that branch will be passed over during a RIF, then it is a good move. If the RIF is a "global", untargeted RIF, it doesn't matter where I go. I am willing to be flexible and dramatically change the work I am doing, but if such a move doesn't protect me from a RIF, there is no point in doing it. So, you asked us not to panic, but we still need all the information possible, so we can thoughtfully make appropriate career plans. Believe me, if we can make our own moves in advance, it will mean less heartache later, when you have to start the RIF process, because many of us will have already moved to other areas.
Instead of forming teams to do a job that organizations already formed are supposed to do, create teams who look for and secure work for all our core competencies. Have the team continue to work with the branches through the bid and proposal process. Keep moving from core competency to core competency until work has been found for all. Tell us who is on the core competency list.
There are many rumors floating around. You should start a FAQ page where people can find out the truth. That would be the best way to stop the rumors.
not at this time
If the center is serious about following a business model, they need to consider hiring/forming a true marketing group. All the technical knowledge and "schmoozing" is worthless without the ability to market yourself and your product. Boeing, LM and NG all have marketing departments. The FFRDCs and Sandia (who brings in large $ research) more than likely have this professional marketing group also.
How can we believe the information coming out to the Strategic Leadership Council when the past record is so dismal... i.e the past reorgs, new town, the vision for LaRC. The Council's attempts to dispel fears do not seem to be working.
Having Town Meeting's on a regular basis during this time of turmoil would be a good idea. Also, some mechanism for squelching rumors would be beneficial as well. Maybe a "rumor" category on a website that could list rumors and then have an answer for each would be nice.
I believe that the recent job fair was ill timed eventhough it was well attended. I feel that most people (including myself)were looking for answers before making life altering decisions. I hope that the new round of activities announced today will generate the necessary answers to make these decisions. The answers that I need are: a list of employees whose jobs will be cut, the most likely scenario of what the center will look like out of the options discussed today and how we will stand in being competitive for winning proposals.
During my career at LaRC, I have run across many talented, committed, and adaptable people. One potential transformational tool I have yet to hear anything about is retraining researchers in areas which are more promising. It would be a shame to let people go who are willing and able to quickly learn a new area of research and make valuable contributions.
With the possibility that 700 Civil Service positions will be RIFed in FY-06, how many of those positions will be technicians? In other words, will all or most of the technician work force be RIFed?
Why are there currently job fairs at the center? Seems to be conflicting messages, especially when management is pleased at the turnout. According to headquarters transformation presentations---there will be directed reassignments to other centers in the future to balance the workforce. Why should we wait to be directed to new employment? There are currently 700 CS that will need to find new employment and there may not be 700 positions available
Just so you know: this is a real experience and a real concern -- at a recent Agency-wide training event, I sat between an experienced Hq CFO employee and a new SMA employee (young, former DoD pilot). In a casual conversation, Mr. CFO mentioned the volume of un-needed facilities at several Centers. Mr. SMA asked if the Agency had considered a BRAC. Answer from Mr. CFO "we'd like to, but we can't". Mr. SMA: "so what do we do?" Mr. CFO: "we just squeeze them...". I considered that a completely inappropriate comment and offered a few One-NASA-like alternatives. Bottom Line: Hq is NOT helping you with your "don't panic" message.
I was relieved to hear that the "quality" of our work is being considered important now, not just the "cost"... after Dr. Dwoyer's comments at an earlier meeting, in response to a question on cost/value analysis, that it was hard to place a value on our work, so we were only attacking cost. You might expect a little more respect now, since you've finally let the cat out of the bag that you're targeting a hybrid Center concept. It's hard to get a skeptical bunch of researchers to jump on board a train that you say is leaving the station, and we have to get on board, but we don't have a clue about the destination. When you give us a target, you can expect a much better buy-in..... I am relieved that Gen. Bridges has addressed his lack of incoming agenda. I am relieved that the Core Compentecies have been identified. I will be much more relieved when we have an agreement on the critical mass in the core competencies.... Although I appreciate the Director's claim that we're all in this together, there is a (somewhat cynical, perhaps) point of view that we're not all in it to the same extent together... i.e. is the SLC going to reduce in proportion to the 1000+ reduction in staff next year? no? Thought so! When is the ii going to become something other than slogans. "We ain't done yet" Sheesh!
These meetings are so vague it is a catalyst for roomers. Each meeting we attend there is contradictory information. This my be due to lack of good hard information.
Need to address the issue/opportunities of working for foriegn companys or governments with different organization models.
Mr.Bridges is doing an excellent job in being open and honest, and I am thankful to his leadersip and commitment. It would be helpful to have written details of the Langley Budget reducitons of ~$300M from FY 04 to FY 07 ( 800 to 500) - how much is due to cuts in Aeronautics, cuts in science, competition in Exploration etc.
I think it is very important to continue to communicate with LaRC employees. This type of open forum is very beneficial. These are trying times and I appreciate your efforts in trying to keep us as an informed workforce.
Thank you for caring for our Center's people and the Center and being good stewarts of our resources.
Mr. Bridges' comments about being commited to leading the center through this transitional period were greatly appreciated.
I only heard about this meeting informally. I come in the back gate and don't pass the Reid Center sign. I didn't see any announcement in the atLaRC email or on the atLaRC site.
As a member of the support staff, I'd like to know in all the models that are being considered, what is our role? Will we be needed as civil servants or as contractors? It would be helpful to communicate that to the Center asap so we know where we stand.
I'm glad to hear the SLC says that "we're in this together" and that Mr. Bridges says he's "all in". I am too "all in", as are I believe most of the people at NASA LaRC.
28 The best way to combat the rampant rumors is through more communication. Please communicate more, and more often. If it's premature for good folks to plan going elsewhere to work, why is it not similarly premature for LaRC to be hosting these headhunters coming here to hire us? Which is it? NASA's wind tunnels are critical national assets, even though LaRC has, for some reason, traditionally gotten the bills for maintaining the ones here. Why is a manager working space Exploration at HQ floating memos about closing specific LaRC tunnels? Who is in charge of briefing Congress on the long-term affects of hamstringing America's aeronautics capabilities, including closing world-class U.S. facilities? Since this Center was chartered as Federally-staffed laboratory as a result of Congressional action, who has the ultimate decision authority as to whether we become something else, such as a FFRDC? It was wonderful for Mr. Bridges to definitively allay the rumor that he was sent here as the axe guy to shut down the Center. His "All in" comment was exactly what many of us needed to hear. So many of us are, also, "All in." Thank you, Mr. Bridges!!
There seems to be a struggle to communicate difficult information to the masses. I believe that these town meeting forums are beneficial, but would suggest that you complement them with opportunities for the working folks to be keyed into to your effort a little more closely. When you have a SLC retreat or key meeting where critical issues are discussed invite (several selected at random) civil servents and contractors alike to be part of a gallery (just to listen… like in our congressional gallerys). They will hear you debate, and discuss our future. You may even hear them give you real time feed back at meals. A benefit of this listening gallery would be to offset rumor with fact, because the grapevine is fast. A secondary benefit will be that you will be seen and heard wrestling with these hard issues. You may even unearth an out of the box idea.
Based on the responses to various questions, it appears that a decision has already been made to convert this center into an FFRDC or hybrid. I this correct?
I'm getting a mixed message from the various job fairs that are being conducted. At today's town meeting, Gen. Bridges said that we should wait a couple of months before looking for another job as the future LaRC workforce needs are being discussed; However, by conducting the job fairs now, there is a message that we don't have a handle on the future of LaRC and if you you have a marketable skill for either another Center or private industry, then move on. A better message would be to conduct job fairs after the future vision is put forward, and for now, have resume writing classes, in case the need arises. email@example.com
Since we are in a cost-saving mode of operation, I would like the SLC to address the issue that more than half of the expenditures for IT at the Center are spent outside of the ITSA. We are talking millions of dollars--there are just too many people/orgs not being held accountable for their IT expenditures. What would I do?? Have a central authority oversee ALL IT expenditures--allowing exceptions upon approval of a sound business case.
Why wasn't the job fair centered around the Technician Positions instead of AST Positions? The Technicians are the highly targeted group to lose their positions. Do you envision all 435 Technicians Positions at LaRC being abolished in the 700 reduction of personnel.
We must avoid closing our unique facilities at all costs. The reason is that if we don't have them, and their associated knowledgable staff, we will be in the same category as universities and think tanks, and we will not survive.
Stop wasting your time on Coffee/Canteen issues. If 30% of CS workforce is eliminated, does that not also include 30% of the Strategic Leadership Council? NO.1: Figure out how reduce cost of 380K/FTE or get somebody who can. Until this happens, we will never be competitive. BTW, nobody appreciates the Vehicle Systems planning group having a "retreat" in Phoenix, AZ during these lean times.
Be much more honest with the people. There was a hint dropped in response to one question that the downsizing of the civil service work force will exceed the 700 already mentioned. How much more? What skills are you seeking to retain? I have a strong feeling that you are being, at best, very disingenuous.
It would be helpful to the Center if technical contractors such as those working for LM Aero, NIA, NRC, etc. were given a "best guess" timeline as to when they are going to be descoped. This would certainly help with the stressful feeling that the axe could drop at any time. If you know that you are on the descoping list you can deal with it and go work for others and if you have relative security you can get to work generating new business. Hopefully, this will be somewhat feasable. Thanks.
The discussion of a "possible" CS workforce RIF is entertaining, considering that most of those folks that will be affected in the future have ample time to plan, and make their decisions. The contractors on the otherhand are being released on a moments notice, with little to no warning. It is both morally and ethically wrong not to specifically forwarn the contract positions that will be descoped in the near furture. You should provide these folks with ample time to find a new position, rather than treating them like tempoarary labor. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Would like to have information presented at town meetings posted in written format.
If the center could get permission to offer 5 years toward retirement- instead of the $25K -many people would take that buyout offer and possibly avoid a RIF.
Many plans appear to lack coherent "marching orders". We are told that we need to do this or that, but there is no follow-up as to the who, how and when. We all want to help the center, but there is no plan or written down options as to how to do it. I have plenty of people willing to "help" me, but when I give them something to do, most of them run away (I'm talking about the non-tech side of the house). Yes, I've see the slides and been to the meetings.... Lastly, many of us at LaRC know that these current issues come from above anyone here at LaRC. We would just like to hear at what level the problems can be dealt with and solved.
An example please of what is a "non-federal strategic partner" If the conclusion of the SLC is that changing LARC into hybrid entity is the right strategic decision, then why does it depend on FY06 budget approval?
I would suggest that there be more specific details available before you call a meeting. I am like unto a "long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs" right now concerning my job. You said that there would most likely be a loss of ~ 1000 civil service jobs in the next round of RIF notices(after the A-76). How can you say that you won't lose your youngest, brightest and best when you will be using RIF procedures? I'm not your youngest but I would really like to know if I shouldn't be looking for a job, somewhere other than NASA, in the VERY near future.
Am quite concerned about the Hypbrid model that was presented today. From all inidications, this sounds like a "done deal". It seems like we have taken a large leap from a scenario of the Center losing 1,000 FTE's to something even more drastic as a result of a retreat. There is no doubt that we need to transform and that we have to grapple with some real issues; however, it seems like we are taking a plunge into something quite radical, quite quickly, without keeping the current model as an option.
Please keep in mind that not everyone attends the Town Meeting - many for very good reasons, though some not - and make sure multiple communications methods are used. Also keep in mind that this survey is only reaching a fraction of the population.
I would like to know as soon as possible if I am or will be targeted in the centerwide RIF. Haven't just started my career here a little of a year ago, I really need to plan my future to the best of my ability.
Have we given up on selling the importance and relavence of our aeronautics work? IMO, there are two battles we can figth: either convince Congress (and HQ) that the areo work we did in the past is vitally improtant to the country and we should maintain our funding and research in that area, or we can work (internally) to transform Langley (while minimizing aero research) to follow the President's Exploration agenda (where the money is). Gen Bridges speech seemed like he wanted to turn the corner and give up the old argument on aeronautics. That is fine, however we need everyone working to help us transform, including our gov't representatives (Davis, Scott, Warner, etc) and the folks who write the articles in the paper (calling for a new NACA). Their messages in public lately have been of arguing for more aero funding. This is a rough time we're in, and we need everyone pulling in the same direction. I also appreciated the remarks Gen Bridges made at the end about being "all in."
Mr Bridges spoke from his heart. He was honest and presented all the facts. Another sets of teams will NOT produce any new ideas - unless new people are brought on these teams.
The SLC needs to decide what areas to preserve/protect, and what areas where it's time to "put the family dog to sleep", and get out of entirely. We need to focus, and make sure that we can be excellent at those things we're retaining. I realize the risk that we're taking if the SLC chooses poorly (i.e. WE CLOSE!!!), but if we don't choose at all, the same thing will likely happen. However, once those topics are chosen, that doesn't mean we keep doing them forever. Assessment of our work areas should be revisited regularly (perhaps annually? maybe that's too often).
SLC at Langley should consider looking at Jefferson Lab in Newport News as a potential model. Jefferson Lab is managed and operated by Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
I have two comments for the SLC level leaders. The first is to continue the frequent flow down of information. The communication so far in what can be seen as troubling times has been excellent in my opinion and has bolstered my trust in the leadership. Secondly, I would strongly encourage all leaders (and employees for that matter) to read "The Employee's Guide to Reduction In Force (RIF)" document maintained by the Office of Personnel Management. I found the guide to be a quick 14 page read that, along with attending one of the CTAP RIF Procedures classes, has greatly reduced my fear of what's to come in the next two years. The knowledge I gains has also given me the correct answers to pass along to fellow employees when the topic of "the future" comes up and to combat so many of the ugly rumors that are flying both on and off center these days. I would encourage members of the SLC to read the guide, and attend any classes they available, so they can help answer questions and stop rumors. This will also add to the trust level the employees have for our leadership as they will be able to give informed, correct answers themselves rather than having to use general statements like "that sounds wrong to me".
Seems like a lot of things are up in the air right now concerning our future as a center, what kind of work we will be doing, etc. Our individual organizations are still encouraging us to advocate our wind tunnels and to even sell time in them to paying customers. My question is, what is the incentive for us to continue to do that, to sell time in our tunnels when they may be closed soon? Besides that, even when we are successful at bringing in paying customers, the money they bring in doesn't all go back to the programs and facilities anyway. Seems like there is no real incentive for our facility m,anagers to sell time in our tunnels with all this uncertainty in the air and the way the dollars are divided up when we do sell time.
SLC, Could our center's management consider working with the Virginia educational system to have instructors come onsite to teach those of us who may be RIFed to become teachers? This would be a win-win-win for the center, the schools and the exiting government employee. Technicians (and others) who are in danger of losing their jobs would be able to learn a new trade, that of being a teacher, and the schools would have gain highly educated, experienced and motivated teachers. Thanks for listening, Meg Holloman
Nothing they can answer at this time.
I could not access the survey from Internet Explorer on my Mac.
Since 802 series technicians are the first FTE's affected by the A76 and likely to be the first affected by the proposed FY06 budget cuts, it would be great if more specific comments were made about where technicians will be in the new NASA. Will there be any civil servant technicians or will these jobs all be outsourced or abolished within the next 4 years? It would be great if you had a few technicians on some of your new committees and perhaps one of those technicians could communicate to the rest of us about what is going on or be able to make sure that communications specific to technician jobs or careers are included in center communications. Thanks for asking for my opinion.
The meeting told me two things that by Oct. 1, 2005 approx. 20 people would be RIF and between buyouts and RIF approx 800 to 1000 people would be let go in 2006. It keeps being said that if you bring in money you should be ok. What about the people who are on straight overhead (ex: clerical, procurement, ohr, and others). If we reduce by approx 1000 how will these people be affected. I know we are not suppose to panic but the realization is that someone in the clerical field cannot transfer to a private sector job and be able to maintain the financial income that is being made in civil service. It is recommended that as soon as information is known for people in fields that do not financialy equate between civil service and private sector be notified as quickly as possible on the chance their job may dissappear. Also, what about the co-ops we have engineering and clerical what kind of future are they looking at here at the Center. Cancelation of their jobs could be even more devestating in their lives. So the acknowledgement on how this will affect the non-technical employees would be greatly appreciated.
I would like SLC to explore and consider developing formal mechanisms to solicit work from the other NASA flight centers. It seems that if the "One NASA" has any meaning at all it should allow for the opportunity of all centers to collaborate together and not require individuals to relocate their family's and sacrifice the quality of life that Hampton Roads has to offer just so we can all sit in the same conference room or office building. Thank you. No individual response necessary.
1. If it is true that there is a high liklihood of involuntary separation actions beginning after October, 2005, then at this time, the only truthful answer to provide a young, inexperienced civil servant (ie. less than 10 years experience), is that NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE WORKING ON, including directly funded vision for exploration work such as Project Constellation, there is a corresponding high liklihood that you will be somewhere other than NASA Langley. For example, even if I am a P.I. for a newly competed research area, and I am successful in bringing in $50 million this year (do such competitions exist right now?), that will not alleviate need to reduce CS rolls by nearly 700 next year. 2. Recommend that SLC communicate to Senior Staff and their employees refrain from participating in jovial, apparently care-free conversation in front of the Reid room. Since most people coming to the Town Hall are indeed tense right now, it appears like management is not sensitive to employee concerns when Senior Staff is seen laughing and joking around.
Promotion processes explanation, realizing things are on hold for now. When will promotions resume and under what processes?
I truly appreciate the openness and straight talk that Mr. Bridges brings to these meetings. Please continue these forums it is the only way to keep everyone engaged in the creation of options and potential solution paths for Langley Research Center. Our history is filled with examples of overcoming (technical) challenges and we need to be reminded that the same "Langley core competence" now needs to be applied to a broader scope of problems that are technical, economic, and organizational in nature.
- IN ORDER TO SUCEED, YOUR DESIRE FOR SUCCESS SHOULD BE GREATER THAN YOUR FEAR OF FAILURE. BILL COSBY
Where's our leadership? Where's our vision? Where's our agenda? We talked about re-inventing ourselves. Managing scarcity into prosperity won't work and now we are just trying to find jobs within a pure space vision that we'll get no credit (and hence sustained funding) for. How can Congress and the public get excited about LaRC when we aren't excited? We should have been furious and called CNN/Reuters/MSN or any news group that would listen about the poor coverage of X-43 technology development and its potential future. It's not too late to do some of this. If the public says we need a flagship, Bush will go along. Most people don't know Langley exists much less does anything. Reagan put forward the Orient express early, but we took the first step towards that vision in X-43. Yes Dryden flew it, but we made it happen right here! We led every bit of the development of propulsion, aero, staging and materials required. Dryden put it on the plane and flew it (less than 1% of the effort) but they got international coverage without statements about this being the culmination of decades of sustained effort and research at Langley. Ferrari's driver gets the kudos too, but he always acknowledges the fantastic work done to make his ride possible. If he didn't he'd be fired no matter how good he is. We must insist these victories not be hollow. We got better press on the morphing eagle movie without any technology being ready to fly! I don't think it's too late! The same facilities that worked key aero problems out on X-43 have been furiously working the RTF issues with tile damage effects. Let's let the American public know about it and let them know they are endangered by redirecting our work from this area. If these key facilities are closed, the opportunity cost could be staggering for the US pushing back the potential frontiers in our own atmosphere. It doesn't take much in the budgetary scheme of the US (a day less in Iraq would pay for it all), but it can be huge just a few years from now. So how can we compete? How do we lead? We must lead our future and not take these cuts or the battle over Aeronautics in Congress without a fight. They must know we are relatively cheap and very difficult to replace. Closing facilities to cut costs is not the answer. We must request to lower our overhead. Push to get shared services out of our budget. Get out of the unfunded areas that drain our economic vitality. Fight against anything that forces us to choose between our most skilled workforce and another bean counter or wastefully worded contract. This requires more than an aye-aye sir, we'll cut more aeronautics and play as if we have no competence in the arena. We have more than an aero competency area, we have hard fought capabilities in both highly developed and unique facilities that are irreplacable as well as the people that you won't find the equal of out there, but we must be ready to say so. We have a responsibility to the American public to fight over this. We shouldn't be bluffing at the table, we should be taking the cards, we already have them. That's leadership, everything else is folly.
We need to go for the exploration $
NASA published the "NASA's Workforce Plan" in March 2004 to address "critical need of the administration and the criteria used in the identification of that need...." The workforce plan (which is still on HQ website) identified 10 "corporate competencies" that "reflect needs across the Agency and therefore merit special focus in terms of Agency's recruitment strategy" (p. 8). Is this high level workforce plan also being considered? If you are a civil servant with that position (or skills) identified as one of the 10 corporate competencies will this be considered in terms of retention, etc.? How will the center's workforce plan be mapped to the Agency's workforce plan?
As the NASA job fair announcements close soon, quick dissemination of information is important to making career decisions.
Comment regarding this particular presentation: The best part was the end. I have heard various permutations on the rumor sited -- from you are virtually out the door to you are here to close the door. Thank you for placing yourself in our boat. Your sincerity was evident. I had decided to take my chances and stay. My supervisor, Mr. Lewis, is very motivating, but hearing and seeing you lay your feelings on the line inspired conficence in our future.
Today I clearly heard Roy say that we shouldn't panic. I for one believe him and trust him. None of his senior leaders, then, sould be telling those under them that "It is time to panic and find a job."
We need to push forward with transformation at Langley because it appears to be our best - or only - hope, short of a miracle. As they say, "you can't win if you don't play."
Mr. Bridges mentioned "Not to Panic". However, in fiscal year 2006, 700 civil servants will have to panic. Is there going to be another buyout in Fiscal Year '06? Can you give us a detailed timeline of the RIF process for FY '06? If so, when will it be published? After two months, will we know how Langley is strategically going to look like for the future - hybrid format or not?
The meeting today was good and I think it helped squelch some of the panic people were feeling. Thanks to all who helped set it up.
"don't panic" isn't too helpful - it is clear you are going to be getting rid of folks, so everyone is looking out for their interests with no guidance on probabilities of separation. What did you expect would happen? Those that wait until it is inevitable are going to be in worse shape than those that start looking now.
Do not have the meeting, if it is of importance at lunch time. Many people watched it from the tv, while brown bagging lunch. And many others had to wait till the end to go to lunch. With comments and all people did not get to leave for lunch until 1:20.
Keep communication open and ensure decisions are made appropriately but quickly regarding realignment of Center and the employees are kept informed of progress
There is still the overarching opinion that there is more to the story than Langley Senior Staff are willing to share. Also, OHR, in particular, needs to realize that they work for us. They are not the center of the universe. Many of the OHR staff realize this and are quite helpful and compassionate. But, at least one of the branch heads seems to think that they don't need to care, or that caring is beneath them. (That's what it looks like to the outsiders.) The person, unfortunately, sets a tone for the entire organization. I don't know if that person even realizes the extent of this. We need to know that they are there to help. Thanks for listening!
As a young professional just starting a career at NASA, I feel the current RIF procedures cheat the NASA's next generation. The current Bump and Retreat procedures will cause NASA to miss out on the fresh ideas and perspective new hires can bring to the organization. Has revamping those procedures ever been considered?
Direction is still very unclear. We are reacting to outside forces, not acting to take control of the situation by proposing a believable end-state that builds on our unique expertise and unique facilities. Everything being proposed is fuzzy except for the facts it will be smaller and depends heavily on outside parties over which we have limited control. We need to indicate what specific facilities and areas of expertise will be a part of the end-state. It is obvious something has to go (even if we off-load something to NIA or other outside parties) and for some reason we are avoiding the ugly reality that some people and facilities will have to go away. The sooner it is clear what we intend to try and keep the sooner we can start trying to move in a direction instead of milling about studying possible directions to go. General statements that we are working with outside parties to transform into a leaner LaRC are not specific enough. The devil is always in the details and no one is getting sufficiently detailed enough to propose a plan we can support. We all know any journey down this trail will be tough and there are no guarantees for individual or corporate survival, we'd just like a plan that has some modicum of forethought and details that we can make informed decisions whether we want to go on the trek or abandon ship.
I applaud Mr. Bridges for regularly conducting these types of meetings, for his candor in answering questions and delivering info, and most of all for sticking with it to see us through this difficult time. I believe he is the best center director that LaRC has had in my 25 years here. A consistency of nomenclature needs to be adopted. The @LaRC announcement called it a town meeting (which I believe means an exchange of information that is voluntary), but the sign at the front gate called it an All-Hands meeting (which I interpret to mean mandatory).
Not knowing specific details about my future and my job can be stressful and seeing friends loose their jobs has been painful. But I can stay committed to this transformation because I have seen a change in our leaders and I do trust them. We are headed in the right direction. I give Mr. Bridges and his collegues a lot of credit for their strength to do what is best for the Center and not walk away from this challenge. Today's meeting helped reminded me again our leaders are people just like us and they are sacrificing for us and the Center daily. We will overcome the difficult times and the Center will grow beyond what we all might have imagined because there are many employees who are committed in the same way as our leaders. Thank you for the honest dialog today.
More details on what the projected "hybrid" organization will be like would be appreciated. Will civil servants be allowed to remain civil servants?
Are there going to be a targeted (802 Series) RIF to get rid of the technicians forcing some to take an early retirement and then offer temp/term positions to younger technitions with less time.
It would be helpful if we were told more directly the facts of the situation. It seems like we're getting a 'politically correct' version of the situaiton. A lot of us - with families that may have to move, need to know our situation, and we need to know it now. It seems like Center management is beating around the bush and it makes it really difficult for us to plan our futures and act accordingly.
During the Q&A period of the Town Meeting an individual was concerned with these teams having the "same old people and opinions" on them. I to beleive this is a problem. If LaRC is going to transform to do business another way(Institute, Federally Funded Lab..) we should solicit team members from outside the Center who can provide actual experience in what we are trying to accomplish. This may help to balance the well intentioned Langley personal whose vision may be a little narrow.
I would like to see a definite timeline for future actions: RIF in particular