Feb 16, 2009

Time for a Change?

I came across an old email from 2006 I had sent to Evan Lesser of ClearanceJobs.com. I wrote to him and he is still with the company. I asked if I could link to his website as a service to the blog readers. Here's what he sent:

ClearanceJobs.com has been working hard to acquire additional job opportunities for DoE Q and L cleared candidates. The new positions are from a wide range, including:

- Science and Mathematics

- Engineering

- Technicians

- Information Technology

- Intelligence / Counterintelligence / Counterterror

- Finance and Accounting

- Contracts

- Administrative

We are working with a number of employers including private government contractors and direct with the Federal government and national laboratories. Positions are located nationwide. ClearanceJobs.com remains a free and private resource for all security-cleared candidates to find new careers in a targeted and secure environment.


Anonymous said...

Just for reference, ClearanceJobs and their parent company--Dice Holdings, are free to you for a simple reason.

They take your resume and shop it around. If someone wants to hire you, Clearance Jobs gets paid by that someone not you.

If no one is interested in you, for instance because you have written your resume badly, then you do not get placed.

ClearanceJobs gets paid for every placement.

It is not their problem that there are not enough jobs for the number of job seekers. They win if they fill all the jobs even if 90% of the job seekers do not get a job.

Anonymous said...

The best route for many LANL scientists who want to get out would be to find a job with one of the DOE energy labs. Almost all of these labs are still run by non-profits and they are about to see a huge ramp up in funding.

It is important to remember that this nation doesn't really care where good science is done. If the NNSA labs die off, then the DOE national labs and academia will pick up the slack.

In addition to this, work can be performed at the DOE energy labs at lower cost because they have none of the expensive overhead required to run a "zero-defect" nuclear weapons infrastructure.

Going forward, I would not be at all surprised to see the DOE energy labs pull away lots of the non-weapons work still done at LANL, such as climate modeling, NISAC and some of the material research.

There is no compelling reason this work has to be done at LANL and the DOE energy labs will probably be willing to offer LANL staff some lucrative incentives to come aboard, particularly since they will be flush with new funds. The current housing situation is likely the main thing keeping a mass exodus of LANL talent at bay.

Anonymous said...

"In addition to this, work can be performed at the DOE energy labs at lower cost because they have none of the expensive overhead required to run a "zero-defect" nuclear weapons infrastructure."

I would like to see some data to back this claim. ORNL is said (on this blog) to be just as expensive as LANL.

Anonymous said...

I've got a Clearance. Does that mean I get a bigger bonus this year?


Anonymous said...

"I would like to see some data to back this claim. ORNL is said (on this blog) to be just as expensive as LANL." - 8:16 PM

Let's take a stab at it...


Oct 16, 2007 - LANL Workforce Terryified:

"Terry then described the FY06 Operations Costs per FTE – a metric of budget flexibility – for LANL as compared to other national laboratories. A higher number represents greater flexibility. The data are as follows.

170k 196k 199k 211k 230k



I know it sounds a bit weird, but in this particular cost metric that Terry threw out back in Oct 2007, it was my belief that a lower monetary value meant you got *less* work done for each dollar. Based on this data from FY2006 (pre-LANS), it appears that you get less value for your money at LANL and the most value for your money at SNL. ORNL is a close second to SNL. Remember that this is 2006 (pre-LANS), and that costs have only become higher since LANS took over. For example, LANS is given about a 2% profit cut on all incoming WFO funds that come into LANL.

I've heard that ORNL FTE rates on TSMs are about $60 per hr less than at LANL. With the average LANL TSM hourly rate pushing around $210 per hr, ORNL would come in at around $150 per hr, which is considerable cheaper. Don't forget, however, that hourly TSM rates are only one part of the picture. LANS manages to hide additional costs by stealth charges for "services" and has additional taxes that hit funding as soon as it arrives at the lab.

A rough guess might be that ORNL is around 30% less than LANL for doing WFO projects when all the costs are taken into account. If someone has better data on this I would love to see it.

Of course, in many respects, the biggest cost of all at LANL is the enormous bureaucracy and the push toward Work Free Safety Zones.

Anonymous said...

My experience with sending work to LBL, BNL, LLNL, ORNL, FNAL, Kansas City Plant, and ANL is that they all appear to cost about the same as LANL. And, they all play games with charging non-productive time and people to your account. However, these places do seem to have less non-productive time (meetings, training, etc) than LANL.

When I managed these projects, I would insist on getting monthly time charge records. I would demand to know what each person who charged the project had actually done. That resulted in lots of time charges being removed. My guess is that those charges were just re-coded to other projects that had less-diligent project managers.

Note that I had similar difficulties in sending work to other LANL groups.

Anonymous said...

Are there any top-level management postions available?

I require a high salary, housing subsidy, sports car, platinum parachute, and large undeserved annual bonus.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2/16/09 10:47 PM posted some interesting information.

But, it is not entirely clear.

For instance, what are "operations costs?" LANL, LLNL, and SNL do very similar things yet thare are major differences in their operations costs.

Anonymous said...

"When I managed these projects.." - 5:26 AM

The word "managed" tells me you are offering up info that happened in the past. How far in the past is not even clear from your post. Some of the places you site also seem to indicate you're talking about weapon code accounts and not non-weapons work.

Things are different today, old timer. Costs began to sky-rocket upwards when Pete Nanos took charge and have gone up even more after the for-profit LLCs took control of both LANL and LLNL.

I highly doubt that project costs, especially for non-weapons work, are about equivalent for LANL as opposed to other labs like ORNL.

In fact, at PNNL, they have a dual cost system. PNNL uses a higher rate for DOE work but uses a much lower rate for their non-DOE work. High cost rates are charged by PNNL while the much lower rates are charge by their lab managers, the Battelle Institute.

This could be done at LANL to help bring in projects and diversify the lab but you can be sure that LANS would fight it. Too many people depend on overhead to supply their paychecks at LANL and Bechtel/BWXT have no interest in expanding the lab because it has no effect on their annual profit fees that they extract from LANL's operating budget.

Anonymous said...

I am anonymous at 5:26 AM on February 17th. Yes, it was in the past, but not that far in the past. I took the buyout in 2008.

These were both weapons and non-weapons codes and the time frame was 1990 thru 2007.

I did not have any projects at PNNL. Somehow, the people at ORNL managed to get a lot charges into the projects. Yes, ORNL may be less expensive than LANL, but their management is learning.

I really think that the DOE does not care nor want to know about the waste and abuse in cost and cost reporting.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the latest messages being flashed on the marquee board that LANS recently put up at the entrance to the NNSB?

It is now being used to display lame "locker room" type inspirational quotes. The dumbing down process at LANL is truly breath-taking. Does LANS management really believe this is the way to improve lab morale?

Anonymous said...

From Bechtel's 2008 Annual Report:

"Visions + Values"

* Customers and partners will see us as integral to their success. We will anticipate their needs and deliver on every commitment we make.

* People will be proud to work at Bechtel. We will create opportunities to achieve the extraordinary, and we will reward success.

* Communities will regard us as responsible and responsive. We will integrate global and local perspectives, promote sound management of resources, and contribute to a better quality of life.

* Ethics. Uncompromising integrity, honesty, and fairness are the heart of our company.

* Excellence. We set high standards. We apply advanced technology, and we continually innovate and improve. We thrive on challenge and accomplishment.

* Fair return. We earn a return that fairly rewards the value we deliver.

* Mutual Respect. We work by our Leadership Covenants, which encourage openness, teamwork, and trust. We value an inclusive culture based on diverse backgrounds, experience, and views.

* Safety. Zero accidents is our unwavering goal — people’s lives depend on it.

* Sustainability. We plan and act for the future — for the long-term good of our company, our customers, and our world.

Riley P. Bechtel

Anonymous said...

Are we seeing an "equal time" policy at POGO? ...


Feb 12, 2009
The Art of Losing Isn't Hard to Master (POGO)

Though it may look like disaster. Those of you outraged by the news that 67 computers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) are "missing" and that 13 have been lost or stolen--in this year alone--probably should (maybe shouldn't?) check out the latest report from the National Archives Inspector General. Turns out LANL is bush league: the National Archives is missing 2,405 items, including 231 laptops, 215 servers, 55 desktop computers and 55 printers. And the computers could have sensitive information, like contractor proprietary data, credit card information, or classified data.

But surely the National Archives are concerned and are going to fix the problem immediately. Err, not exactly. The property was reported lost throughout FY2002-2006: "Yet responsible NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] officials never once directed a formal investigation of any item, or held individuals accountable for any of the reported lost property." Most POGO blog readers don't know that our very own Michael Smallberg used to intern at the Archives. We're clearly holding him responsible for not investigating this disaster.

-- Mandy Smithberger

Anonymous said...

Pogo's mission is stated on their site as follows:

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government.

It is only when they report on some of that fraud, waste, corruption, and other misconduct at LANL that you find the Bechtel sympathizers on this blog complaining.

The rest of the time, POGO is ok.

Anonymous said...

" Ethics. Uncompromising integrity, honesty, and fairness are the heart of our company."

Aaahh yes, Good o' Corporate rhetoric. Reminds me of a recent political campaign.

Anonymous said...

"The rest of the time, POGO is ok."

No, POGO sucks all the time. Period, end of story.

Anonymous said...

Bechtel's corporate values (or at least the pleasant charade that they place up in front of the public) are soon to become LANL's corporate values (charade).

Get ready, people. LANS and Bechtel are ONE. You will be assimilated... body, mind and soul!

Anonymous said...

POGO, you need to investigate Mary Neu!

Anonymous said...

Time to start learning the Bechtel corporate anthem. Maybe we should also place a Bechtel corporate flag out on the LANL flag pole.

Anonymous said...

Does that POGO story mean that Congress is going to have to call in the National Archives chief and yell at him to "Shut the place down!"?

And wasn't it at the National Archives that former NSC chief Sandy Berger stuffed those Top Secret SCI documents into his pants and then lost them when he subsequently tried to hide them inside a construction site? Were Berger's missing TS/SCI documents also accounted for in that lost property list?

Anonymous said...

Heads up. DOE is starting a new campaign to strip clearances from lab employees unless they really, really need them. It was in today's Lab Links.

If you had any thoughts about using your Top Secret Q clearance to land a classified job outside of LANL, better move quickly before they snatch it away!

Anonymous said...

"DOE is starting a new campaign to strip clearances from lab employees unless they really, really need them. It was in today's Lab Links."

Does anybody remember when Witch Hazel O'Leary began the L clearance business? We were all told to not worry. BUT, be assured, if you had an L clearance and were competing for a transfer to classified work and it came to a tie between you and a person with a Q clearance, you would not get the job!

Anonymous said...

Cleanup work, production activities, plant engineering and absolute loyalty to the Bechtel way. That's what we're looking at here at LANL. It's time to take the term National Lab off of the name of this facility.

Anonymous said...

Mark my words, this Q-clearance bit is going to be used to target perceived "trouble makers" as a means to get rid of them. IF they can't work, they have to use their sick and vacation time, and then when that is exhausted, they will have to leave.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:13, already happening.

Anonymous said...

According to 2/19/09 10:28 PM: "Hey 9:13, already happening."

Details, my friend. Where, how, who?

Anonymous said...

According to 2/19/09 10:28 PM: "Hey 9:13, already happening."

10:25 pm: Details, my friend. Where, how, who?

If you don't know, you don't need to know.