Sometimes the stories write themselves.  Here are the facts…

  • A Colorado-based consulting, engineering and construction firm, named CH2M Hill, was awarded nearly $2 billion from the stimulus to perform cleanup work at the Hanford nuclear site.
  • The company used those funds to hire roughly 1,300 employees.
  • They then inflated the hiring numbers by using a Department of Energy metric known as “lives touched”, which allowed them to boast that the stimulus helped somehow helped or ‘touched’ three-and-a-half times as many people as they had actually employed.
  • When the stimulus funds ran out, so did the ability to support the jobs created or lives touched.  Roughly 1,500 employees were laid off.

And now, via the Tri-City Herald:

The Department of Labor has awarded a $1.3 million National Emergency Grant to help laid-off Hanford workers find jobs.
The largest portion of the money will be used for retraining former Hanford workers who lost their jobs as federal economic stimulus spending at the nuclear reservation came to an end.
“This grant will serve as a safety net for workers and their families during these challenging economic times,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement. Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., sent a letter to Hilda Solis, the secretary of labor, in February, requesting consideration of a state application for the grant.
The money will help an estimated 400 former Hanford workers seeking jobs, giving them intensive employment-related assistance, including training, to help them re-enter the work force in areas of the economy that are growing, according to the Department of Labor…

…  The grant is intended to provide money for workers laid off from DOE Hanford prime contractors CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. and Mission Support Alliance and more than 10 subcontractors…

“Workers formerly employed at the Hanford site are facing the challenge of finding jobs comparable to the ones they lost,” Solis said in a statement. “This federal grant aims to help lessen the negative impact of these layoffs.” 

So to summarize, CH2M Hill receives $2 billion in stimulus funds, loses a net of roughly 200 jobs, pretends they helped out over three times as many people, and then has to get a government grant to help those who were laid off find jobs.

Government efficiency… the ultimate oxymoron.

Incidentally, I encourage you to read the entire report to find out exactly why Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have a vested interest in this company’s success.  Find it here…