Aecom Technology Corp., which owns the last vestiges of the once-mighty Boise engineering and construction company, Morrison-Knudsen, will lay off 75 to 85 Boise employees.
Aecom announced the layoffs publicly and internally on Monday, according to a release.
“Formal notifications to employees selected for layoff will begin today, Sept. 21 2015, with termination dates beginning on November 23, 2015,” the release said.
A spokesman would not disclose how many employees will remain on the roster after the layoffs.
Jim Duran, archives associate at the Boise State University library, wrote his master’s thesis on Morrison-Knudsen and occasionally lectures on the company’s history. Duran said he was disheartened to hear that the company sharing strong ties to Boise’s history — such as Ann Morrison Park, the Morrison Center, the Harry W. Morrison Foundation and the development of the former company campus and teh surrounding Park Center Boulevard — is slipping further from its past stature.
“It’s another of the many moves in the dwindling of this company, the former Morrison-Knudsen,” Duran said.
Most of the layoffs will take effect between Sept. 21 and Dec. 11, though some may extend beyond those dates, the release said. The terminations will be permanent, the release said.
Following the layoffs, Aecom will move remaining Boise staff and operations to an office at Lakestone Plaza in Meridian, near the intersection of Eagle and Overland roads, the release said.
Mark Baltes, history committee chairman of the Boise City Department of Arts and History, said the layoffs are a drop in the bucket after decades of decline at Morrison-Knudsen and its subsequent owners. He said he’s more saddened by the company’s plan to move to Meridian.
“That’s insult to injury,” Baltes said. “Harry and Ann Morrison were Boise people, not Treasure Valley people. Seeing the company moving to the suburbs is outrageous. I’m outraged by that.”
Founded in the 1910s in Boise by Harry Morrison and Morris Knudsen, Morrison-Knudsen grew into one of the largest civil engineering and construction companies in the world, completing such projects as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It had dozens of other large national and international jobs and also built dams and other large projects in Idaho.
In 1954, Time magazine called Morrison "the man who has done more than anyone else to change the face of the earth."
The company topped $1 billion in sales and 15,000 employees by 1990. But it began losing money in risky ventures, and in 1996, it was sold to Washington Group for $380 million.
Washington Group sold to URS in 2007 for $2.7 billion. URS sold to Aecom in October 2014. The LA Times reported the sale was for $6 billion.