Pentagon moves jobs to Aberdeen 7 personnel offices to be consolidated at center in Harford

Payroll about $10 million

247 jobs are secured, instead of 47 lost, but at expense of 4 states

January 04, 1996|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,SUN STAFF

Defense Department downsizing brought good news yesterday for Harford County -- the choice of Aberdeen Proving Ground as the site of one of 10 regional personnel centers.

The Northeast Regional Civilian Personnel Operations Center is coming to Maryland at the expense of jobs at seven offices in four other states because of closings or reductions as part of a nationwide military cost-cutting move, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes said yesterday.

For Aberdeen, it means 247 jobs -- instead of losing 47 of 70 civilian personnel office jobs had the proving ground not been chosen.

"This really is good news, both in terms of job creation and for APG's future," said County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann.

Some of the jobs will be new and others filled by people transferring from the other centers, she said.

Mrs. Rehrmann said the new jobs, many with salaries between $40,000 and $50,000, represent an annual payroll of about $10 million.

While luring businesses in the private sector often requires a monetary inducement from local governments, neither the county nor state had to dig into the public coffers to bring the personnel center to APG.

Mrs. Rehrmann said APG was chosen for several reasons.

"The Army was really concerned about the quality of the work force. And we were able to demonstrate that Harford County has a well-educated work force and that we have institutions, like Harford Community College capable of training workers," Mrs. Rehrmann said.

APG also was picked because it had space in the Ryan building, where the Army's Test and Evaluation Command is housed, so money wouldn't have to be spent on a new facility, Mrs. Rehrmann said.

But the local government is providing some help -- promising relocation services to those interested in moving to Harford, the county executive said. A one-stop relocation center will be established and will include representatives from the school system, the community college, banks, real estate businesses, and the Parks and Recreation Department, she said.

The APG center will manage recruitment, training and other personnel functions for more than 20 installations in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland and a portion of Pennsylvania.

The personnel center will consolidate jobs from seven installations in the Northeast: Natick Laboratories/Soldier Systems Command in Natick, Mass.; Fort Dix, N.J.; Fort Monmouth/Communications-Electronics Command, Dover, N.J.; Picatinny Arsenal/Army Research and Development Command, N.J.; Watervliet Arsenal, Albany, N.Y.; Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa.; and Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.

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