Defense Hiring News: 7/12/12
Vet Unemployment Down Slightly
American businesses are stepping up to the plate and doing their part to hire veterans, and the June unemployment statistics that were just released demonstrate an encouraging trend. The unemployment rate for veterans who have served from 2001 to today remains high, at 9.5 percent, but shows improvement over June 2011’s 13.3 percent unemployment rate.
Lockheed Layoffs – ‘We told you so’
Lockheed Martin announced it is laying off 740 employees. Lockheed notified 308 U.S.-based employees they would no longer be employed with the company; another 432 employees participated in a voluntary layoff program in May. The announcement comes just a few weeks after CEO Robert Stevens warned of the layoffs that would occur if defense sequestration goes into effect.
Lockheed isn’t the only major defense contractor with budget woes. General Dynamics in Taunton, Mass. was recently warned that budget wrangling may result in $7.9 billion in reprogramming from its contract for making communications systems. The shift must be approved by four congressional committees, and already Massachusetts senators are stepping up to defend General Dynamics’ work, noting that hundreds of workers would be laid off if the contract cuts go through.
Too Scared to Buy
It sounds like a broken record set on replay but defense sequestration is the buzz word when it comes to any defense industry decision these days. That includes acquisitions, with many companies “sitting on their hands and their wallets” noted David Fitzpatrick, managing director at the consulting firm AlixPartners, in an interview with AOL Defense.
There was speculation that slower than normal defense spending and the potential cut of major programs would cause widespread buyouts and consolidations, as some firms look to get out of the defense sector and others look to acquire new capability. This period of uncertainty has led to mostly inaction, however. When it comes to areas of expansion, Fitzpatrick noted he’s expecting good growth in electronic communications and satellite technology.
Rockets Find a Home on the Space Coast
Remember the Space Coast? The cancellation of NASA’s space shuttle program may have freed up the right quality of talent for some firms to make a move there. This week Rocket Crafters, a hybrid rocket and aerospace technologies company, announced its relocation from Utah to Titusville, Fla. The company is expected to create approximately 1,300 full-time jobs. The scope of work varies from software design to rocket engineering, as the company develops and commercializes a new hybrid rocket propulsion technology.