I was appalled to learn that Bath Iron Works just laid off around 25 percent of it’s engineering staff, almost entirely consisting of their youngest, most promising employees. With BIW struggling, considering their decision to bid for contracts on Coast Guard cutter ships in between destroyer contracts and their need for massive layoffs, this was the worst decision possible for BIW.
Instead of laying off the young people, with new innovative ideas that could bounce BIW back, they could have offered early retirement to their older baby boomer employees (much like they are currently doing in New York State), who will be retiring in a few years anyway and who make much more money than the younger employees they just got rid of. While it would not have reached the goal they were looking for, it would have decreased the number of young employees they had to lay off, giving the company a greater chance for survival in a very competitive market for ship contracts.
Even more confusing is this decision despite the expectation for BIW be awarded to more destroyer contracts in the near future. With the lack of other engineering jobs in Maine, BIW has potentially forced more than 100 young people to leave Maine to find other work; I know my young family will be. The state of Maine did not need its fourth largest employer chasing off all of its young employees right now in this struggling economy.