Layoffs are predominantly focused on the travel and hospitality industry, but no one is immune. Different cash flows and projected financial forecasts, as well as shareholder responses, play a key role in determining who starts to fold and who can weather the storm. Most defense industry companies continue to hold strong in the current fiscal year, and many are even positioned for growth. Of course, the fall will provide a much clearer picture for the defense industry.

Current impacts to the defense industry may be more related to the supply chain, as goods and services move from commercial to defense markets. After two months of a nationwide lockdown, we will continue to see which technology and defense companies can continue to hold on through the COVID-19 pandemic economic downturn.

Companies Laying OFf

IBM IBM will not specify exactly how many layoffs will be hitting in at least five states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Missouri, and New York, but many estimate the layoff number to be in the thousands. They have indicated that the overhaul is part of the company’s efforts to regroup under the new CEO Arvind Krishna. An IBM spokesperson said, “IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix to high-value skills, and our workforce decisions are made in the long-term interests of our business.”
Dotscience Dotscience develops tools for machine learning; however, the startup company just shut down. Dotscience stated that the small startup ran out of funds and was unable to secure more funds.
Samsara Samsara is in the business of developing internet-connected sensors that help optimize operations, as well as transportation. Samsara blames the economic downturn for laying off 300 employees, indicating their lack of cash flow to endure through the pandemic.

It’s not all doom and gloom out there. Where there are setbacks, there are also opportunities. You just have to know where to look for them. The list of those hiring in the defense industry is by no means exhaustive. The opportunities are varied, but watch for companies that are positioning themselves to respond to various needs that have specifically arisen during the COVID-19 crisis. Sometimes it might be needs related to fighting the virus in innovative ways, supporting secure remote work, or responding to worldwide security needs.

Who Is Hiring?

Intel Intel is looking to fill around 1,000 open positions. Engineering professionals are at the top of the list. External hiring efforts are slow, but the company is still poised for growth.
Crowdstrike With the heavy switch to telework, cybersecurity company Crowdstrike is looking to expand with 200 positions. The organization is looking for cloud engineers, systems engineers, analysts, and UX designers.
Mongo DB “Even in these challenging times, organizations are looking to modernize their technology infrastructure. In some cases, this need is now more acute than ever. So, we are continuing to hire great talent,” says Michael Gordon, COO and CFO, MongoDB. Software maker MongoDB has over 100 positions open.
Ultra Electronics With dozens of open positions, Ultra Electronics continues to thrive during this pandemic as they serve the defense and security industry. Open positions include engineers, communications, quality assurance, IT specialists, and program manager.
Ball Aerospace While commercial flights are grounded, Ball Aerospace is actively searching for new employees to help them with their cutting-edge technologies in the spacecraft and technology manufacturing for the defense industry. Ball Aerospace wants people to be on the lookout for virtual career events.
PAE In its work as a government services and defense contractor, PAE is looking to fill more than 1200 positions. The position needs are diverse, but they include various clients like DOJ, DHS, and NGA, and roles like technical writer, cybersecurity project engineer, CBRN Training Specialist, etc,.
Lockheed Martin Lockheed is in the market for 5,000 new workers to fill a variety of positions all across the country. The company has stated that they are positioning to respond to critical security needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Employer to Watch

While the United States Military may not be advertising its interest in new recruits, the nationwide lockdown and changes for how most are working provides an impetus for change within the military’s recruiting strategies and offerings. Potential new recruits struggle with a lack of personal connection to the military and times have shifted in the average company can offer more workplace flexibility. It is time for the military to make those adjustments too in order to keep up with budget cuts and the nation’s changing needs.

Military leaders have been slowly contemplating change to  personnel policies that modernize their workforce and remove inefficiencies in the recruitment and retention process. But it will be interesting to see if the military can use this nationwide setback to fast track updated recruiting and retention strategies that further strengthen the military. Just last week U.S. Army Recruiting Command virtually commissioned 55 new medical professionals. Later this summer it will launch its first-ever virtual hiring blitz. A sign that even when it comes to military recruitment, coronavirus is changing the game in fundamental 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.