We’re looking now at a net loss of about 700 jobs.

CH2M Hill was granted roughly $2 billion in stimulus funds to clean up the Hanford nuclear waste site.  The company used that money to setup a job fair and hire nearly 1,300 new employees.  When the stimulus money ran out, so did the ability to employ those same workers – and then some.  An announcement in January of last year predicted 1,600 people would be unemployed by September.

At the beginning of April, CH2M Hill received more government funding, this time in the form of a $1.3 million grant to assist those who were laid off.

To make matters worse, the President of the company, John Lehew, had to address rumors of even more layoffs in April.  Those rumors transitioned to reality this past week…

The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council has been notified that 67 workers it represents will lose their jobs at Hanford as a result of a planned layoff by CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co.

In addition, 28 people responded to a request for volunteers for layoffs, bringing the total job cuts for workers represented by HAMTC to 95.

The layoffs have been expected. CH2M Hill announced in April that it would cut up to 400 union and nonunion positions in two phases. In the first phase, 58 employees were laid off in June.

That leaves up to about 340 layoffs possible in September, when the second phase of the job reduction will occur. The potential 340 layoffs include the 95 workers represented by HAMTC.

Nowhere is the reality of wasteful stimulus spending more readily apparent than in the case of a company like CH2M Hill.  Jobs created by environmental cleanup projects and infrastructure spending, while a good idea at heart, are nothing more than temporary fixes that will not remedy the economic crisis.

We keep hearing about these companies that received millions in stimulus funding, but only created a certain amount of jobs at an exorbitant amount.  Yet CH2M Hill continues to fly under the radar, receiving billions in funding to actually lose hundreds of jobs.

Why has CH2M escaped serious scrutiny? Perhaps it is the significant donations and lobbying efforts they have doled out, targeting key Democrats in charge of the stimulus. Perhaps it is the no-bid contracts, the influence they had in shaping the stimulus, or the revolving door of employees and White House administrative positions that have allowed them to continue their dominance in procuring government funding.