NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
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The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
This work is sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Civilian Personnel and Policy) and funded under Defense Supply Services Contract No. DASW01-95-C-0139. The views, opinions, and findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of Defense position, policy, or decision, unless so designated by other official documentation.
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COMMISSION ON BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AND EDUCATION
JOHN A. SWETS (Chair),
BBN Laboratories, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
The Heinz School of Urban and Public Affairs, Carnegie Mellon University
ANTHONY S. BRYK,
Department of Education, University of Chicago
Graduate School of Education, Harvard University
Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
Department of Education, Stanford University
ROBERT M. HAUSER,
Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, Madison
JOHN F. KIHLSTROM,
Department of Psychology, Yale University
ELEANOR E. MACCOBY, Professor of Psychology,
CHARLES F. MANSKI,
Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison
BARBARA J. MCNEIL,
Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania
WILLIAM A. MORRILL, President,
W. RICHARD SCOTT,
Department of Sociology, Stanford University
CHRISTOPHER A. SIMS,
Department of Economics, Yale University
NEIL J. SMELSER,
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, Calif.
RICHARD F. THOMPSON,
Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California
WILLIAM JULIUS WILSON,
Sociology Department, University of Chicago
DAVID A. WISE,
National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass.
Over the next 5 years, some 75 military bases in the continental United States will be closed. This is part of a larger picture of downsizing and defense conversion efforts brought about as a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union as a rival world power and of difficult budget realities closer to home. Reductions in the numbers of military personnel, already well under way, will bring the military to its lowest force levels since before the Korean War. Most of these reductions will be achieved in the form of lower recruiting goals and smaller numbers of accessions, although a significant number of career officers and enlisted personnel will also be affected.
The civilian workforce of the U.S. Department of Defense does not, like the uniformed one, depend on a base of constantly changing young people who serve for a term or two. Downsizing it cannot be accomplished by the relatively painless process of reducing the number of hires. Although the Department of Defense is pursuing all downsizing options, including early retirements, special leaves, and internal transfers, reductions must be accomplished largely by eliminating the jobs of people who have spent their careers supporting the military services. In addition, downsizing through base closings has a direct and concentrated impact on the communities in which the bases are located. In many communities, such as Charleston, South Carolina, the military is the dominant employer. California presents the example of a state suffering not just multiple base closures, but also severe cutbacks in the defense industry, a major source of high-salaried, high-technology jobs. Military installa
tions in small communities throughout the South have encouraged the growth of a service infrastructure that, absent the military presence, the local economies may not be able to support. In all of these cases, the reemployment picture for civilians currently employed at the military bases is not strong; moreover, the impact of base closings will be felt more or less severely by the local economy.
For many employees, help in finding new jobs or training opportunities to make them more marketable is the key to mitigating the effects of base closings. The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy asked the National Academy of Sciences for assistance in understanding the range of outplacement issues and options available to them based on what has been learned in other settings, especially in the private sector.
In February 1996 the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council held a workshop to present existing research and best practices for employee outplacement. Participants included Department of Defense officials involved in developing outplacement policies, academics currently conducting related research, representatives from private industry directly involved in outplacement, and consultants specializing in this area. We gratefully acknowledge the support of Diane Disney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy, and her staff.
We wish to thank Renae F. Broderick for her work in planning the workshop and drafting this proceedings. We are especially grateful to Carolyn Sax, staff of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, who took on major responsibilities for organizing the workshop and preparing the manuscript. Finally, we are indebted to the workshop presenters and participants for their contributions to the success of the workshop.
John A. Swets, Chair
Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Alexandra K. Wigdor, Director
Division on Education, Labor, and Human Performance
Unemployment and Outplacement: An Organizational Psychology Perspective
Reemployment: Labor Market Barriers and Solutions
Remarks on the JOBS Workshop and Project