Oak Ridge Hiring Spree Matches 1970’s

Oak Ridge National Lab is on a hiring spree not seen in three decades.

A combination of stimulus funding and retiring scientists has Oak Ridge bringing on new hires like it was back in the 70’s, says director Thom Mason.

“In the last six months, if you include post-docs, scientists, engineers, technicians, administrative staff, the whole range, we hired about 400 people.”

Mason says many came to Oak Ridge in the 70s to work on the energy crisis during the Arab oil embargo.

“Many of those are nearing retirement age, so about half those hires were replacements.”

The other half are working on new energy projects ranging from solar to nuclear. Some of that is made possible by the more than $750 million in federal stimulus money allocated to Oak Ridge earlier this year.

Blake Farmer

Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.
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