While the federal government isn’t known for moving at lightening speed, at times, some agencies and teams have the right bandwidth to be able to shake things up. The Pentagon’s Defense Digital Service has found its niche government entity spot, calling itself a ‘SWAT team of nerds’ who can rapidly respond to needs. During COVID-19, DDS not only expanded the symptom tracking app, but they also played a key role in virtual hiring and onboarding, and supporting Navy medical ships. While DDS plays a role in putting out fires like in their support of the USS Teddy Roosevelt COVID-19 outbreak, they also work tirelessly to advance technologies that provide increased national security – especially in the cyber fields.
“Every night, I wake up in the middle of the night worried about cybersecurity, cyber capability, and our national security,” DDS Director Brett Goldstein said. “I am not interested in talking about 10-year plans. I’m interested in what are the things we can do to leapfrog a capability in that space and accelerate change and the application of that?”
Layoffs Impacting the Cleared Industry
Former cybersecurity subsidiary of Raytheon, Forcepoint, has begun to shed personnel – about two-thirds of its channel staff. Francisco Partners recently acquired the Austin, TX-based cyber vendor from Raytheon. Since then, cuts have begun, leaving some confused on future growth.
“Forcepoint is optimizing our company and workforce to create an organizational structure aligned with our business direction,” the company told CRN in a statement. “Forcepoint continues to invest in a robust global partner program with the resources, incentives and training support to enable our partners to be more successful.”
Hiring impacting the Cleared Industry
As the pandemic has impacted family work-life-school balance, Accenture is striking back at the loss of women in the workforce this year. While the defense industry as a whole has been successful in supporting its workforce, Accenture is taking diversity a step further by purposefully hiring 150 mothers for their Chicago office.
“I have 20-year-olds and 60-year-olds working for us,” said Lee Moore, market unit leader for Accenture Midwest. “And we need to support them through all stages of their life. And a key moment is when our employees become parents.”
“We believe that diversity drives innovation for our clients, and ultimately had positive business results,” he said.
Cleared Employer at Work: KPMG
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Opportunity to Watch
While some cities dream of hosting large sporting events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl, Phoenix, AZ notes the economic impact that Luke AFB brings to their region – $2.4 billion annually, to be exact. With almost 6,900 active duty and reserve airmen, as well as civilians on base with all of those prized fighter jets, the base creates a magnet for more employment and business opportunities for the Phoenix area. A recent report from the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) estimates that defense spending at Luke AFB will bring 13,900 jobs by 2026.
“Luke Air Force Base has — and will continue to be — a significant economic driver for not only the West Valley and Greater Phoenix, but Arizona as a whole,” Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) says. “The ramp-up of the F-35 program will bring 2,324 new personnel to the base, along with 4,717 dependents.”
Luke AFB isn’t holding down the fort alone in Arizona, as Arizona Commerce Authority reports that military bases contribute $11 billion annually to the state’s economy. As the state adds more bases, its impact in the aerospace and defense sector continues to grow, making Arizona a prime state for defense jobs. Arizona currently houses over 1,300 aerospace and defense industry suppliers, and job seekers can look for major contractors, like Raytheon Technologies, Honeywell Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and General Dynamics.