Atlantis Launch Bittersweet, NASA Workers Find Home at RAFB

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Jubilant cheers and the roar of rockets filled the air as Space Shuttle Atlantis left for orbit. Seeing the massive shuttle leave the earth could be one of the last fond memories for the Space Program. Now many NASA employees will move on to a new life.
When the Government cutback on NASA funding, roughly 9,000 highly skilled and educated professionals, lost their jobs.
Robins Air Force Base could help ease the pain by hiring on some of NASA’s workers. Base officials traveled to Florida to recruit and potentially offer a new start in middle Georgia.
“We probably talked with 6,000 plus folks. The majority of those people were highly professional degreed engineer in different disciplines and so forth and we brought back hundreds of resumes,” said Karl Abernathy, RAFB Chief of Maintenance Classification.
Abernathy spent time recruiting the countries’ brightest minds at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The 21st Century Partnership traveled with Base officials to show recruits what middle Georgia has to offer.
“It’s an awfully tall order to ask people to pack up their
lives doing something they’ve known for 30 years,” said Mary Therese Tebbe of 21st Century Partnership.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will take on a different look over the next year, welcoming private organizations to take the space industry
in a people driven direction.
“We’re changing the way we operate so updating the people
who have the skills but haven’t done job searching in years, or if the
situation doesn’t work out bringing in other jobs from other areas at they’re finding work in their related field and their skill set,” said Allard Beutel, NASA Spokesman.
Robins Air Force Base seeks engineers from NASA’s
program. Abernathy says relocating for these workers is difficult but some are interested in what the base has to offer. So far the base has already hired around 20 former NASA employees.
“But we’re hopeful. We have a databank of their resumes and
their contact information. So we constantly or periodically let them know when we do have positions available so that they’ll have the opportunity to vie for those positions,” said Abernathy.

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