Even though the defense industry layoffs and hiring is generally stable, the aviation industry is getting hit hard, especially in the Washington area. While Boeing parks its planes and lays off thousands of employees, all of the suppliers in the area are feeling the ripple effect. After all of this is over, the Washington area will have lost almost 7,000 jobs that touch the 787 and 777. Adding to the injury is Mitsubishi Aircraft with their plans to cut back as well.

With some layoffs coming from permanently closed business and corporate reorganization’s, the adjustments to state’s reopening for business may be too little too late to help ease the layoff impact over the summer. The high unemployment rates seem to indicate a longer cycle of digging out from the financial setback – all across the country.

Layoffs Impacting the Defense Industry

Kitty Hawk Whether watching Batman, Back to the Future,…or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang brought out the flying car bug in us, the desire to build a car that can switch back and forth between driving and flying has been around for a while. Kitty Hawk is not quite abandoning their flying dream. They are laying off most of the 70-person team that was working on the Flyer program. The Flyer program’s goal was to develop an ultralight flying car for anyone to use. Without a viable business model for the flying car, Kitty Hawk is focused more on its new program, Heavside, which is an electric, quiet, fast, and autonomous flying aircraft.
Descartes Labs Due to the pandemic, Santa Fe-based Descartes Labs has laid off 12 employees. The organization creates software for satellite imaging and analysis. With current struggles, Descartes Labs has applied for a $750 million state loan in order to keep up with their lease payments. The state is committed to retaining the employer. One of the stipulations is that Descartes Labs retains at least 56 employees with an average salary of $135,000.

While the U.S. defense industry has faced some challenges in the midst of the pandemic, the losses have been minimal. Not all defense industries around the world can say that. India’s defense industry claims to have lost $3 billion in potential revenue from March to May. From nationwide lockdown to closed borders, the impact on the timelines and cash flow will hurt the Indian defense industry in the months going forward.

Hiring impacting the Defense Industry

U.S. Army Next week, the U.S. Army will have a three day online recruiting event with a push to gain 10,000 new soldiers for the Army. The campaign, called “Army National Hiring Day” takes place between June 30 and July 2. COVID-19 has impacted recruiting in 2020, so the Army is making a large push with this online campaign to make up for the shortfall. Army recruiting commander, Maj. Gen. Frank M. Muth states that the Army is about 50% behind this year with its recruiting numbers, but with this event, he’s hopeful that people will see that the Army has a career for every interest and they offer training and education benefits.

While commercial aviation is currently grounded, the U.S. Army has aviation needs forAH-64 Apache attack helicopters, as well as CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks and in some instances, fixed wing assignments.Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jon Koziol held a Facebook Live session appealing to the Rotary to Airline Group (RTAG), which was founded for veterans transition to the commercial airline industry.

As we are all well aware, this global pandemic has made unprecedented impacts on the world’s economies and our personal way of life,” Koziol said. “Some of those impacts may have directly affected your ability to pursue your goals of working for the commercial sector, specifically the airlines.”

Leidos Leidos continues to grow in its support to the government and private sectors. The organization about a thousan TS/SCI open positions, and hundreds of Secret and Top Secret open positions, as well. Their Next-Generation Enterprise Networks (NGEN) award is finally underway. It was awarded in February, but the protests by General Dynamics and Perspecta were recently denied, allowing work to finally begin.

“We’re pleased the protest was dismissed and are hitting the ground running, having used this time to expand our preparations for immediate program execution and success,” Gerry Fasano, president of Leidos Defense Group, said in a statement. “Through this contract, Leidos will support the important mission of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps by unifying and fortifying existing networks with the best technologies. We look forward to providing the superior tools they need to gain a warfighting edge in the modern digital landscape.”

Employer to Watch

If you are someone who really has always loved finding different ways to open doors or break things, the Defense Digital Service could be the ticket for you. With only about five years as a service within the DoD, the team is mission-oriented and entrepreneurial in the government, which is a rare bureaucratic breed. With missions like “Hack the Pentagon” and a label of SWAT team of nerds, DDS has the ability to be a motivating place to work for the tech world.

Silicon Valley might get you a higher paycheck at first, but a two year term at DDS could increase your marketability and provide more focus in your mission for national security. So far, recruiting has not been an issue for the service, but they are impacted by federal hiring processes and policies. With the pandemic, the team has been able to continue working remotely, and they have even onboarded several dozen candidates remotely. With waivers being granted during quarantine, the recruiting ream is hopeful that this could change the hiring process for in the future within the DoD.

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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.