About 1,200 older, salaried employees at Newport News Shipbuilding are being offered buyouts in a move to reduce spending.
Employees were told about the offer Sept. 5.
“We are offering a voluntary severance program as a way to reduce costs,” said Christie Miller, a spokesman for the Virginia shipbuilder. “Reducing our salaried workforce is one way we can remain competitive in an increasingly challenging marketplace.”
In a statement, Miller said the employee reductions would “help us meet our financial objectives and position our business for future success.”
Eligible employees include managers, lawyers, administrative workers, engineers and designers. Employees must be 60 or older by the end of this year to qualify.
Not included in the offer are hourly employees, such as welders and pipe fitters.
Newport News, one of the major shipbuilding facilities of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), specializes in nuclear warship construction for the U.S. Navy. All of the Navy’s aircraft carriers are built there, along with half the new submarines.
A similar program was initiated last December at Ingalls Shipbuilding, the HII’s shipbuilding operations on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Buyouts at Newport News haven’t been offered since the mid-1990s, Miller said. About 21,800 workers are employed by Newport News, split evenly between salaried and hourly employees.
Miller noted that hirings are continuing at the Virginia shipyard.
“We continue to hire for select, salaried positions, mainly entry-level, and our hourly trades hiring needs remain unchanged,” she said.