Interestingly enough, the the risk for insider threats increases greatly when layoffs are on the rise. Thankfully for the technology and defense industries, the COVID-19 tsunami of layoffs has not hit. For technology and defense companies, this is helpful in keeping up with anything nefarious that could be done by disgruntled employees. Data security is a major issue when employees leave their employers. The switch to working from home brings its own IT security issues. It’s important to remain cognizant of the increased risk of insider threats.

Layoffs Impacting the Defense Industry

Bath Iron Works Technically this is not a layoff…it should be a category of its own. Tensions have been mounting in the shipbuilding industry. Due to the coronavirus, shipyards have found themselves behind schedule. For Bath Iron Works, behind schedule has meant six months behind. The shipyard’s plans to adjust shift schedules, job tasks, and hire short term subcontractors was met with a resounding “no” when 4,300 workers walked out on strike.
Stratasys The 3D printing company, Stratasys, has announced about 240 layoffs (10% reduction of its global workforce). While Stratasys claims that a reduction in force was already in the plans for 2020, the current pandemic forced their hand sooner than desired. The organization has not operated with positive net income in years, so this round of layoffs is done with the hope of future growth and stability.

The economy may slow down, but innovation does not need to stop. Perhaps where there are layoffs and downturn, there is also the space to pivot and start a company or land a new gig at a different contractor. Sometimes, it is time to focus on offense and look for the next opportunity. Ignore the tendency to retreat and protect whatever is left. For those looking to start a new company, the venture capitalists are still out there, looking for the right opportunity.

Hiring impacting the Defense Industry

Boeing Yep, you heard that correctly. Boeing is hiring. Despite thousands of layoffs with the COVID-19 aviation setback of 2020, Boeing is on the hunt for cleared workers for its defense contracts. Boeing is hosting a career fair on June 30 to attract candidates with security clearances for locations all over the country. Boeing has secured some large contract wins, providing opportunities for cleared candidates to work on various advanced technologies.
U.S. Army The Army’s three day recruiting event is this week. With a three day online recruiting event, the Army has a goal to gain 10,000 new soldiers. The campaign, called “Army National Hiring Day” takes place between June 30 and July 2.
Lockheed Martin Since March, Lockheed Martin has added over 8,300 employees, despite the coronavirus closing business doors left and right. While the defense industry has weathered the storm well overall,  Lockheed remains strong with the plan to reach a total of 12,000 new hires in 2020. Lockheed’s CEO and President Jim Taiclet stated, “In this volatile environment, it is more important than ever before to maintain the operations of the defense industrial base and support our men and women in uniform.”

Employer to Watch

Face-to-face training and interaction is perhaps the best experience, but when it comes to a pandemic or expensive military training operations, it’s clear that things need to change. Sometimes, it takes a crisis to bring about more change. Expect companies like Bohemian Interactive Simulations (BISim) to emerge even more after this year. When large scale military training events are postponed for safety measures in 2020, it is clear that virtual reality and games needs to continue its progress in order to bring about increased readiness regardless of the conditions in the environment. With an entire generation basically raised on video games and still playing them as adults, more and more training needs to switch the gaming world and move away from the computer based training (i.e. boring) world.

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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.