COVID-19 has impacted the recruiting landscape in many ways, but while hiring is still a need, many, like the Naval Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) find creative ways to overcome obstacles. The Command is still recruiting and hiring despite a global pandemic. The Command has switched to completely virtual recruiting and onboarded 72 new hires since March 18.

“We’ve just been rolling with the punches and adapting to COVID,” said Victoria Gonzalez, NSWCPD’s recruitment coordinator. “Slowing down hiring was not an option. I think in some ways COVID has made us more competitive. Some industries may have been forced to slow down their hiring, but we have been able to continue at the same rate. We have been connecting with very talented people.”

“The good news is we are continuing to onboard talented people; we haven’t missed a beat since we started teleworking,”NSWCPD’s Director of Strategic Planning and Investments Glenn Ward said. “While I prefer to have in-person classes, we are still able to bring our new hires onboard and get them set up, so that’s a big win for us.”

The defense industry has continued to adjust in order to continually meet demands.

Layoffs Impacting the Defense Industry

Cisco After its Q4 earnings report and subsequent stock drop, Cisco is laying out a restructuring plan. Its plan includes a voluntary retirement program and layoffs. Cisco remains quiet on the number of layoffs. The company has about 75,000 employees; however, over the past few quarters, it has been laying off employees during its transitionary period of generating more revenue from software than hardware.

“Over the next few quarters, we will be taking out over $1 billion on an annualized basis to reduce our cost structure,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said on the fourth quarter earnings call. “I think this pandemic is basically just giving us the air cover to accelerate the transition of R&D expense into cloud security, cloud collab, away from the on-prem aspects of the portfolio. Clearly, we’ve got a lot of technology that we’re working on today to help our customers over the next three, four, five years in this multi-cloud world that they’re going to live in, and you’ll see more of that come out over the next couple of years.”

It’s been a summer for phishing. “It’s no secret that the U.S. is at cyber war every day,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said, as part of a keynote address during the Professional Services Council’s 2020 Defense Services Conference. “Cybersecurity risks threaten the industrial base, national security, as well as partners and allies.” Lord promotes the CMMC as the DoD’s metric to help measure contractor abilities to protect the organization and the department. Current efforts are underway to find pilot programs to assess. “These pilots will be implemented on new DOD contracts to further reduce the risk of CMMC phased rollout, by focusing on the flow-down of controlled unclassified information … and CMMC requirements through the supply chain and conduct of mock CMMC assessments,” Lord said.

Hiring impacting the Defense Industry

Peerless Technologies Corp. Peerless Technologies Corp was just awarded an $187 million Air Force project. The defense contractor is based in the Dayton, OH area. The project is estimated to require 200 personnel to provide services from financial, program, and logistics management to engineering, technical, and security expertise for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC). Contract start is October 1.

“We’re excited to expand our long-standing relationship with the Air Force and support these vitally important programs,” said Julie Clark, Peerless senior vice president of business analytics, who led the effort to win the work. “By leveraging our highly-rated experience on programs like the F-22 and F-35 and our participation in broad contract vehicles, we have brought new jobs to Peerless and efficient, effective support to the Air Force.”

Airborn Eerie, PA-based manufacturer, Airborn is hiring. The manufacturer makes electronic components used by the medical, defense, industrial, and space industries. Airborn has implemented many health and safety protocols to ensure their factories remain open to produce essential products to support those on the front lines.

“We announced an expansion of our Lake City manufacturing facility last summer, and now we’re ready to staff the production lines,” said AirBorn President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Cole. “As a result, we’re rapidly adding team members at our factory.”

“We’re looking to get these new team members onboard as soon as possible,” said Talent Acquisition Manager Chad Lyon. “New hires will be trained and assigned to various roles within our manufacturing facility.”

Opportunity to Watch

CACI International acquired Montana-based Ascent Vision Technologies LLC (AVT). AVT is an aerospace company that provides technology services in support of multi domain intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), air defense and counter-unmanned aircraft system (c-UAS) operations. CACI provides enterprise and mission technologies, and the acquisition will further strengthen the contractor’s capabilities in intelligence and electronic warfare.

“CACI has an outstanding track record of successful acquisitions that deliver distinctive benefits for our customers and employees while providing long-term value to our shareholders,” J.P. “Jack” London, CACI executive chairman and chairman of the board, said in a statement. “The cultures of CACI and AVT are aligned with an unwavering commitment to integrity, ethics, and innovation.”

“The synergies between AVT and CACI’s offerings establish unparalleled technologies and capabilities in this growing area of ISR and c-UAS within CACI’s business,” CACI President and CEO John Mengucci said in a statement. “We welcome the talented and mission-focused AVT employees to CACI.”

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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.