Post-Election 2013 Outlook:
Who are the defense industry winners and losers based on the results of last night’s election? Here’s Foreign Policy’s pre-election run-down, a preview of what we can expect in 2013. With another four years of Obama as commander-in-chief, expect continued use of drones, continued push for troop drawdowns and a reduction in the size of the force. Unfortunately, the sequester stalemate picks up just where it left off, with a Democratic-controlled Senate and White House and Republicans controlling the House of Representatives.
Mega Rocket Pushes Job Growth in Eastern Louisiana
The Space Coast and aerospace industry at large have been hit hard by cuts to the NASA program. An ebb and flow in space spending is nothing new, however, as Michoud, La. knows well. The Michoud Assembly Facility is expecting good news this month with the potential for hundreds of new jobs through the Space Launch System. A Boeing spokesperson said their company will double its workforce between now and 2014.
Trading Money for Respect?
The Department of Homeland Security knows it can’t keep pace with the private sector on salaries, but it’s hoping it can sell more cybersecurity talent on the importance of the mission. “We can do a lot more to create an environment in which exceptional cyber talent is put to good use immediately, it’s valued, it’s rewarded and it’s recognized,” DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute told Nextgov.
Defense Uncertainty Prompts Continued Layoffs
ITT Excelis is laying off 201 employees at its Roanoke, Va. night vision plant. The employees being laid off are hourly employees, but the cuts are a sign of the tough decisions defense contractors are being forced to make as they embrace a fiscally constrained contracting environment.
Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp announced it will lay off 450 employees starting in January. The company cited decreasing work as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down as the reason.
Kratos Defense and Security Solutions is eliminating up to 125 Lanham, Md. based workers. The announcement came from Prince George’s County, which was notified of the potential layoffs by the company, in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Ohio Wants to Keep Defense Jobs Local
While many states are preparing for a drawdown in defense business Ohio is looking to train up its workforce to compete for defense and aerospace jobs. Wright State University opened an Aerospace Professional Development Center which will work with industry, the government and universities around the state. The program taps into state initiatives to grow STEM education within the state and help the native population compete for jobs.
New Mine Defense Facility
ITT Excelis has opened a mine defense production facility in Panama City, Fla. The facility will help Excelis meet demand from the U.S. Navy and international buyers. A few employees have worked in the region since 2005 when the company relocated its mine defense production business from New York. The new facility will allow Excelis to increase production and capability of its systems, which detect and clear sea mines during mine clearing operations.