While the House has passed the continuing resolution that keeps the doors open until December 11, the Senate still needs to vote this week – before Thursday. No one seems interested in a government shutdown. While policy riders were removed to streamline the stopgap funding measure, lawmakers did include an extension of the CARES Act provision. Section 3610 allows federal agencies to adjust contracts in order to fund operations that allowed work to stay at a steady state for classified programs. Without access to remote classified networks and Section 3610, contractors are left with the decision to eat the costs or layoff employees. Larger companies with unclassified and classified project streams can sometimes pivot to provide ongoing billable work for their employees.

Layoffs Impacting the Defense Industry

Freeman Company, LLC In a pandemic year, some things continue on, but some industries have been hit deeply. While attending events virtually provides access to the content, the event industry as a whole has experienced a deeper impact than lost learning potential or networking opportunities of event attenders. Freeman Company, LLC is one of the largest event management companies in the Las Vegas Valley, and is just one of the many event companies that has had to extend the furlough of its 242 employees.

While we wait for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) to be put in place, the White House approved an interim rule for defense contractors that requires adherence to existing cybersecurity standards. The new rule from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management Budget (OMB) requires defense contractors to self assess their implementation of system security requirements identified in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication (NIST SP) 800-171. The interim rule will provide a holdover until the CMMC framework is fully in place.

Hiring impacting the Defense Industry

Lockheed Martin The defense industry in Colorado has not only remained steady, but even poised for growth. Lockheed Martin has more than 1500 employees in the the Colorado Springs area, with plans to expand even more. Statewide, Lockheed Martin has about 11,000 employees. With 500 employees already added this year in CO for Lockheed Martin, the defense contractor still has 800 open positions in the state.

“We are seeing growth from existing customers and contracts that are going through growth relative to missile defense at both Schriever and Peterson (air force bases) and all over Colorado Springs. We also have some new contract wins and a lot of growth within existing customers and contracts,” said J.D. Hammond, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence and reconnaissance in the Springs. “We also are expanding our relationship with small businesses by standing up an innovation center at the Catalyst Campus (for Technology and Innovation). A lot of our growth in Colorado Springs is coming with Space Force and U.S. Space Command.”

Opportunity to Watch

The DoD has sent in $5 million to the Utah’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) via a grant for the state to put towards an $11 million project set to develop Northern Utah’s regional defense industry. Utah has been named as one of six Defense Manufacturing Communities in the nation. Utah’s programs will focus on building up the industry’s workforce and bolstering supply chains.

“This is big news for Utah’s growing aerospace, defense and manufacturing industry,” GOED Executive Director Val Hale said in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunities and the economic impact this will bring to our state.”

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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.