The loss of a lucrative government contract has Williamsburg leaders concerned that a large local employer may shut down entirely in the very near future.
CSC has confirmed that it "has ended its Record Digitization Services contract" with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The move will be finalized Oct. 31.
According to Michelle Sicola Herd, Senior Manager in the Office of Communications at CSC’s corporate headquarters in Falls Church, VA, there will be a "loss of jobs" at the company’s Williamsburg center.
"All impacted employees will be supported professionally, compassionately and with assistance in their transition within CSC or from CSC," Herd said through a written statement.
The company would not say exactly how many jobs would be lost.
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison estimated that about 255 people work at the facility and expressed concern that the job losses could be "significant."
"We are still trying to nail down the details," Harrison said. "There’s some positive things that may still go on, but we just really don’t know for sure."
Harrison said he received a letter from the company recently warning that there could be job losses if it was unable to secure a new contract. Locally, CSC operates facilities in Corbin, Williamsburg and Barbourville.
Harrison said he received similar letters regularly when it was time for CSC to bid on the contracts, but the company was typically able to avoid any long-term job losses.
In 2008, the company did lay off 80 employees in Williamsburg for a time.
"They would warn us that this could happen, but something always came through," Harrison said. "I guess this time, it didn’t."
CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation) is a global information technology services company that employs approximately 96,000 and serves clients in more than 70 countries. It has been in operation for over 50 years.
Harrison said local CSC employees and management have been working hard over the past year to maintain the contract.
"I know the people out there have been busting their humps to do everything that has been asked of them. It was not anything they did wrong. I guess they just got outbid," Harrison said. "This is not news I wanted to hear. Laying off 255 in a town like Williamsburg is a huge lick. That’s really hard to recover from."
Harrison said he still has some hope the company can bid on another contract that could salvage some jobs.