The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has weathered budget “sequestration” well so far and has not made any employee furloughs, the NRC Executive Director of Operations Bill Borchardt said during a May 20 presentation on workforce issues.
“We have not had to implement any furloughs,” and actually had a fairly aggressive “hiring plan” in the coming year, Borchardt said during the “human capital” briefing before the commission.
After making less than 100 new hires in FY 2012, NRC is projected to make 200 new hires in FY 2013.
Borchardt and Chief Human Capital Officer Miriam Cohen were among the lead briefers during the NRC meeting that covered everything from employee age, retirements, and percentage of women and minority members in management roles.
NRC is still projected to have more than 3,500 “permanent staff on board” during FY 2013. The staff level has been flat in FY 2012 and FY 2013 after hitting its peak in FY 2010, said Susan Salter, the chief of NRC’s Outreach and Recruitment Branch.
NRC staff they can typically get “hundreds” of applications for general administrative posts and can attract 10-to-15 applications for posts that require a special engineering degree.
Staff officials told the commission that steps taken in recent years has blunted the impact of a feared “retirement tsunami” at NRC. The NRC still does have a lot of employees in their 40s, 50s and 60s, according to slides presented at the meeting.
NRC has traditionally had a lower attrition rate than most other agencies in the government. Attrition during the past year was 6% and is expected to be 5.5% in the coming year, officials said. The large majority of people leaving the agency do so because they are retiring, NRC staff officials said.
The lack of a “nuclear renaissance” in the United States has eased NRC fear a few years back that many key NRC staff might leave the regulatory agency for better paying industry jobs. Instead, NRC has actually added some experienced people from industry looking for a better work-life “balance” NRC staff officials said.
NRC still scores well in employee surveys and is still considered one of the better places to work in the federal government, NRC briefers said.