NASA has awarded a professional services firm $90.5 million to provide contract workers at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, leaving employees currently working there with questions about under a previous contract facing an uncertain their future.The new contract with Alutiiq-Fusion Joint Venture of Chesapeake is set to begin June 1 for a one-year base period, with four more one-year options, NASA said in a release announcing the award.It will succeed a $94 million five-year contract awarded in 2012 to Newport News-based GenTech.Like GenTech, Alutiiq is expected to provide employees in a variety of fields, including media services, video production, administrative support, program analysis, human resource support, systems management support, conference and event support, interpreter services and technical library services.
Asked if Alutiiq, based in Alaska, is open to keeping current contract employees already in place at NASA Langley, spokeswoman Alisha Drabek said it is.According to NASA, current contract employees can reapply for their position under the new contract. NASA says it will work to smooth the transition.“Certainly that has been the case in many of our previous contracts,” Drabek said in a phone call Wednesday from Alaska.She said the company is still working out the logistics on the number and types of employees it would be providing, but that NASA’s solicitation for proposals indicated about 200 would be needed.
NASA Langley said it is unable to comment on the new contract until debriefings are completed and a routine protest period ends, which should be by March 20. During a protest period, an interested party can submit a written objection to a contract award.Roughly 3,500 people work at NASA Langley, about half of them on a contract basis.Genex Systems did not return phone calls Wednesday for comment on the NASA contract or the number of employees it currently supplies to Langley.According to its website, Genex Systems is a woman-owned small business that provides engineering and scientific research, information technology, mission support and multimedia and communications services to the federal government.Its 2012 contract was its first with NASA Langley, awarded in a joint venture between Genex and ManTech International Corp. as GenTech.Alutiiq-Fusion’s website shows it’s a subsidiary of Afognak Native Corp., formed under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. It’s headquartered in Alaska and its shareholders are the indigenous people of Afognak Island.According to Drabek, the corporation began with timber development, and since 1999 has sought to build its capabilities in government contracting under a program established by Congress to assist small, disadvantaged businesses. The firm currently has multiple NASA contracts.As an Alaska Native Corp., Alutiiq shares can’t be bought, sold or traded, and profits go to the native community as dividends and to fund job training, scholarships and social and cultural programs.Afognak has offices in Anchorage and Kodiak, Alaska; Chesapeake; Hanahan, S.C.; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; and Huntsville, Ala.Contact Dietrich at 757-247-7892 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at DP_Dietrich
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