As the markets shift and we finish out a weird year, employees are experiencing a heightened frustration in 2020. When it comes to interviews or letting someone know they are about to be laid off, what was once an uncomfortable face to face conversation is now an awkward Zoom call. While hiring someone virtually can be challenging, the people skills required are not as great as the necessary soft skills needed in order to break the layoff news to an employee…over a video conference screen or through a phone call. But that is just what is happening for employees in 2020. The proverbial pink slip comes in an email, and any face to face connection is made through the computer. While the defense industry remains in a relatively steadier state than the rest of the country, some organizations are restructuring and needing to make cuts in select focus areas. As layoffs start to impact more industries, 2020 seems determined to finish out the year similar to the way it began.

Layoffs Impacting the Defense Industry

Boeing As COVID-19 continues on, Boeing plans to lay off thousands more. With ongoing financial loss due to the pandemic, Boeing continues to keep its jets on the ground and goes past voluntary layoffs and early retirements to layoff notices for thousands more employees.

“There’s no doubt that this moment is among the most difficult in our more than 100-year history,” CEO David Calhoun said Wednesday in a conference call announcing a net third quarter loss of close to $450 million. “The COVID-19 impacts on our commercial customers continue to be devastating, and airlines have cut back operations dramatically.”

Raytheon On top of cuts announced weeks ago, Raytheon recently disclosed that over 4,000 employees or contractors will be facing layoffs due to the aviation downturn.

“We don’t expect commercial air traffic to return to 2019 levels, until at least 2023. And that’s of course depending upon the timing of a widely distributed vaccine. In the near term, we expect a gradual recovery of commercial air traffic particularly given the recent spike in global cases [of coronavirus],” CEO Greg Hayes said.

“As you know, we set aggressive targets in the first quarter to reduce costs by about $2 billion and to take actions to conserve about $4 billion in cash, making difficult but necessary actions to reduce headcount,” Hayes said.

Hiring impacting the Defense Industry

L3Harris Aerospace and defense technology, L3Harris, is looking for engineers and technical specialists to support a new contract involving satellite systems in their Indiana office.

“The L3Harris team delivered a strong quarter that demonstrated integration progress, portfolio resiliency and the perseverance of our employees,” said William M. Brown, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our on-going execution puts us in a position to deliver on an improved outlook for the year, which we’ll build on over the medium term.”

Opportunity to Watch

Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis calls for organizations to hire a veteran first in the month of November. With 43,700 active duty troops and over 400,000 veterans Colorado is a key location for hiring veterans. Organizations like Booz Allen and Lockheed Martin, as well as agencies like the FBI agree and are partnered with the state to advocate for hiring veterans.

“Veterans often bring a sense of leadership, forged through the challenges and demands they faced in military service,” Polis said in his proclamation, adding that veterans also “bring a good mindset, a positive attitude, team spirit and other personal attributes that businesses are seeking.”

Department of Labor and Employment Executive Director Joe Barela agreed and stated that veterans have “a sense of leadership that has been forged through the challenges and demands they faced in military service, and they have the ability to adapt and learn quickly.”


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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.