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Westinghouse memo to employees

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By The The Tribune-Review
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
 

To: All Energy Center Complex Employees

A few weeks ago, I informed you that senior executives from Toshiba were considering data presented by the Westinghouse board regarding how best to accommodate the projected future growth of our Pittsburgh operations.

Today, we were informed by our parent company that it has approved the recommendation of the Westinghouse Board to construct a larger, multi-building campus at Cranberry Woods in Cranberry Township, Butler County. This move will enable us to much more comfortably house an employee population that is expected to almost double from our present 1,700. The plan is for all employees working at the Energy Center, Route 286 and Science & Technology sites to move to the new facility. This move will be accomplished in two phases, with the first taking place in the first half of calendar year 2009 with all Nuclear Power Plants employees and related support organizations, such as RRAS and Engineering Services. (Current hiring plans also indicate the potential need to locate some groups at interim office space before the first phase of the move is completed.) All moves in the second phase will be completed around the end of calendar year 2010.

As I mentioned in a previous message on this topic, this move is subject to approval of the appropriate local governing bodies.

I have received many comments from employees over the past several months since we announced our intention to expand our Pittsburgh operations. Your honest feedback has been much appreciated. I realize this decision is not a popular one for those employees who will experience a longer commute and incur added expenses with a move to the Cranberry facility, which is approximately 30 minutes north of the Energy Center. However, in considering the nature of such a long-term decision, this direction is most appropriate for our business.

Why is moving to Cranberry Woods considered to be better than adding more office and parking space at the Energy Center• Here are the main reasons:

1. Our brand-new campus will offer a significantly enhanced work environment for all employees, including new amenities, improved work stations and offices; better lighting and heating/cooling capabilities; a larger cafeteria and fitness center; more conference rooms and meeting space; and perhaps most important - greater overall space efficiency. In addition, a variety of restaurants, shops, hotels and even a large training facility are all within walking distance for employees, customers and visitors.

2. A new and larger multi-building campus offers much greater financial incentives for our business. Total costs for operating from Cranberry Woods will be less expensive than expanding at the Energy Center - due to both increased capital requirements for a parking garage and higher negotiated capitalization rates for construction at the Energy Center. Also, the new, larger campus affords us the flexibility we need to construct additional buildings as our employee population grows. At the Energy Center site, our expansion options are very limited due to the terrain.

3. Our customers and visitors benefit by closer proximity to the airport as well as the closeness of the amenities referenced above.

To help offset the added costs for employees who will be traveling further to work, we are planning to establish our own commuter line at least for the first several years of occupancy - free of charge to participating employees. It will operate much like a "park-and-ride" from a location in the east suburbs, possibly the Energy Center itself. We will work with a team of employees to develop the details on this and other related initiatives in the months ahead.

On Monday, April 2, I will be conducting all-employee meetings for all Energy Center employees at 2 p.m. (employees with last names beginning A-K) and 3:30 p.m. (employees with last names beginning L-Z). At these sessions, I will answer as many questions as I can about the move, based on what we know at this time. All questions and answers from those meetings will be reprinted in future issues of Westinghouse Speak-Up. You may send confidential comments and questions to Speak-Up at: welcospeakup@westinghouse.com (If you want to receive a personal response, however, you will need to include your name.) In the meantime, I have included in this message some frequently asked questions about the move

We want to ensure that our new work facilities are designed with the needs of employees in mind. We will be involving as many people as possible in the planning and development of our new work areas and amenities through focus groups, roundtable meetings, surveys and other avenues. You will receive more information on how you can participate in the months ahead.

Several years ago, I conducted all-employee meetings with many of you when we made the major change from CBS to our own Westinghouse benefits programs. At that time, many employees reflected great personal concern about what that change, and the future in general, held for them. During that period, in one-on-one discussions, I committed to you that Westinghouse leadership would do all it could to make that change as seamless as possible. With this new challenge, we will again commit to you that - while we cannot ignore the change - we will work very hard to make this transition as smooth as possible.

I know that any major change can be difficult to make, particularly when that change affects us personally. I truly believe that this change in our work environment, at this time of nuclear renaissance, will better position us to serve our nuclear customers around the world. By working together throughout the change process, we all will realize a satisfying end result: a new, state-of-the-art work environment reflecting the vitality of our re-energized company and the global nuclear industry.

Tony Greco, Senior Vice President Human Resources & Corporate Relations

Questions & Answers About the Move to Cranberry Woods

1. Were employees' concerns even taken into account with this decision?

We weighed employees' concerns about commute time and costs when considering all of the options available to us in the Pittsburgh area. In fact, greatly increased employee commuting time and costs were the sole reasons why we did not consider an option of relocating to the Pittsburgh International Airport corridor, even though doing so would have presented the greatest financial incentives for our business.

2. Why not just add on at the Energy Center?

Based on current hiring practices, we expect to run out of office space at the Energy Center within the next two years. One option was to add a new wing to the Energy Center off the back of the building. However, even with a new wing, the maximum number of employees we could comfortably accommodate was still less than our total projected number of employees by 2010, mainly based on growth of our new plant business. In addition, a new wing would necessitate building a parking garage, which would require significant costs for excavation and construction. The move to Cranberry Woods would save an estimated $10 million over the cost of adding new office and parking space at the Energy Center.

3. Why do we all need to work on the same campus• Why not stay at the Energy Center and house additional employees at other locations in the East Suburban area?

Maintaining multiple facilities is much costlier in terms of facilities and leasing arrangements and minimizes our ability to create organizational collaboration.

4. Will the new campus offer any amenities not currently housed at the Energy Center

The new location will have access to a first-class hotel and a state-of-the-art training facility within walking distance. In addition, we will be looking to offer many new on-site amenities. We will work with an employee team to determine what other amenities will be feasible to offer on site, based on employee preferences.

5. What consideration has been given to all the businesses in Monroeville and surrounding areas that will lose out when the Energy Center is empty?

We will be working proactively with our landlord, HRPT LLC., to locate a tenant or tenants to fill the Energy Center prior to our vacating the facility. We also will work with the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance to help identify and attract potential Energy Center tenants.

 

 
 


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