Loan Keeps Bechtel Power Jobs Safe

A $9.5 million conditional loan was approved for Bechtel Power Corp., announced Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Governor Martin O’Malley on Oct. 20.

“The purpose of the loan is to retain jobs and Bechtel operations in Maryland so those jobs don’t leave and go to another Bechtel location,” said Raquel Guillory, spokesperson for the governor’s office.

The state’s Legislative Policy Committee approved the loan. It will help retain the company’s operations and a minimum of 1,250 full-time jobs in the state through 2018, but operations will be consolidated, the state’s press release states. In addition, the deal will also support an additional 2,300 indirect jobs and generate more than $11 million annually in state taxes.

Michelle Michael, spokesperson for Bechtel and whose office is located on Bechtel’s Fredrick campus, said she couldn’t speak about the loan but affirmed that Bechtel Power currently has about 1,250 employees in their power unit and none of those jobs will be cut.

“There are no job cuts associated with this,” Michael said firmly. “The [1,250 jobs the state’s loan will help retain] is the number of jobs that [currently] are in our power units. And the announcement covers the power unit, and that is definitely staying in Frederick.”

Michael affirms that financial discussions have been going on since the beginning of the year.

“Earlier in the year Bechtel began — with its leases coming up — looking up the benefits of staying in Frederick or relocating to somewhere else in the D.C. area,” she said. The company “decided to keep its power business operations in Frederick.”

Michael said that even though the power business will stay, other divisions of Bechtel are being evaluated.

“There is another division and other non-power related jobs here in Frederick, and the decision about whether or not those jobs will stay in Frederick or relocate to the D.C. area will be made,” she said.

Michael said she did not have the exact number but that the non-power related jobs total up to several hundred positions.

“The big news is that we are keeping our power business here in Frederick,” she said.

Bechtel Power, a branch of the California-based Bechtel Corp (a worldwide leader in constructing and designing energy sources), opened the Frederick branch in 1999. The loan funds will come from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s Economic Development Opportunities Program Fund, also known as the Sunny Day Fund.

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