The deadline for “more than” 2,500 employees to apply for the Newport News Shipbuilding’s voluntary severance program has passed.
And questions about the program remain unanswered.
On Dec. 17, Jennifer Boykin, president of the Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, offered more than 2,500 employees voluntary severance in a letter as part of the company’s decision to streamline overhead costs.
The affected employees, including those in manager 3, director level and senior management positions, had a little more than two weeks to apply for the severance program before the Jan. 7 deadline.
Southside Daily’s sister publication, WYDaily, made numerous attempts to contact the Newport News Shipbuilding about the number of people offered severance, how many people accepted the offer and what the company plans to do now the deadline for enrollment has passed.
Duane Bourne, spokesman for NNS sent the following statement Tuesday afternoon in an email:
“We received a favorable response to the recent voluntary severance program offer to eligible employees. The applications to participate in the program were in line with company projections, which will allow us to continue our focus on streamlining overhead costs. The applications will be reviewed by our leadership team, and those employees who participate in the program will be required to sign a separation agreement and general release prior to their last day of work. Most employees will work until March 1. However, a small number may be extended to complete critical projects and turnover.”
WYDaily also tried to contact Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA, member of the U.S. Armed Services Committee, if the shipbuilding company’s decision to offer severance to more than 2,500 employees and hire an additional 2,500 people this year made sense.
He did not respond.
It is also unclear if the amended and new Navy contracts will affect the voluntary severance program in any way.