Sometimes the companies hit by layoffs in the coronavirus pandemic make sense. The travel industry is understandable…we’ve all been told to stay home. While everyone is working from home, sales in the pants industry are down. 

For some companies, it appears overall supply chain stalls have simply affected them in unexpected ways, perhaps catching them at a time when their cash flow was lower and projected sales were down. 

While each organization feels it differently, the defense industry is still going strong and even ready to hire. Layoffs that impact the defense industry are sometimes immediate, like Boeing, but others might impact in the long term. 

The Boeing Co. Boeing, along with others, continues to prepare for a smaller future in the aerospace industry. As major airlines continue to retire Boeing planes, despite making investments in them, this will continue to mark the company’s path forward. 
Andela Andela, a tech talent accelerator with an African focus, has laid off 135 employees. The venture-backed company is built for growth; however, with growth mindsets on the backburner, the startup market continues to be impacted. 
Divergent  Divergent 3D is a nontraditional supplier to the automotive and aerospace industry, developing platforms that increase the ease and speed of designing and building vehicles, with an eye to reducing the environmental impact of traditional factories. Divergent’s success has brought on more investors over the years, but with the slowdown that the coronavirus has brought on worldwide, the organization had to lay off 57 employees in order to ensure long term financial stability. 
Magic Leap  Half of Magic Leap’s workforce has been laid off due to COVID-19, and the organization is exploring a possible sale. The layoff is part of a strategy for the augmented reality company to switch from their consumer plans to enterprise applications. The staff reduction is part of the adapting process to what Magic Leap’s CEO calls “new market realities.”

While many are in layoff mode, it’s important to note that the defense industry is predominantly in life as usual or hire mode, due to ongoing government spending on missiles, satellites, and nuclear weapons. Contracts modifications have been made to allow for telework and quicker payments. The industry is staying open and moving forward.

Lockheed Martin After hiring 2,365 new employees since March, Lockheed has even announced it is in active recruit mode for 4,600 additional positions in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
Northrop Grumman  Northrop cites the stability of its government work in the defense industry as a benefit to the company during this pandemic. The organization states that it could hire as many as 10,000 employees this year.
Raytheon Technologies Corp.  While Raytheon has announced that they will need to furlough some workers, they also have plans to ramp up hiring by 2,000 workers. This is a matter of being in the right line of work at the right time, it seems.
General Dynamics General Dynamics has experienced some layoffs in Georgia, but it is also advertising for thousands of positions within its Information Technology, Mission Systems, Land Systems, and shipbuilding units.
BAE Systems Like others, the organization is finding ways to keep interviewers and interviewees safe as it looks to fill open positions. BAE System is currently posting about a thousand positions after already filling more than 2,500 roles so far this year.
Booz Allen Hamilton Booz Allen marches on during the pandemic with over 2,000 open positions and a desire to keep meeting the demands of its customers. A spokeswoman for the organization cited a focus on “cleared technical professionals and particularly in areas like analytics, cybersecurity, digital, and engineering..”
CACI International CACI’s job postings in the security clearance bracket are currently over 2,000. CACI’s Chief Human Resources Officer Angie Casper, states, “Candidates have readily adapted along with our recruiting team to what is now our mainstream approach to building our workforce of tech talent that is critical to national security.”
Science Applications International Corp.   SAIC has already brought on 2,000 new employees this year, and due to the organization’s dispersed workforce, they are already prepared to virtually onboard and train employees. Keep an eye out for their virtual hiring events. With 700 funded openings, the organization does not have plans to put on the breaks in hiring.

Innovate or Go Extinct

When it comes to working in the defense industry, we check the current pulse with an eye to what a new fiscal year might look like. Contracts are still being paid and provisions for pandemic hits continue to be made in order to keep the work moving forward. But what happens when it is time to begin a new fiscal year? What will the new defense budget look like

But with pressure on the budget, it just drives the need to innovate more going forward. With the coronavirus taking its toll on networking, it opens the door for making connections in new and creative ways

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.