Not only did the number of layoffs catch my eye (900 employees), but the way CEO conducted the layoffs is also alarming. While the world is talking about caring for employees dealing with burnout, Vishal Garg, CEO of, made layoffs possible for his start-up with a mass firing of 900 employees over a three minute Zoom call. Maybe he thought Zoom was better than email. Turns out he thought wrong, and not surprisingly, he is taking a “step back” from his role. Everything about this is wrong for company image – quantity of employees, method of layoffs, and time of year. Hopes of going public just got delayed too. Any time there’s talk of a reorganization, downsizing, or streamlining, it’s important to take into consideration the lives that are impacted by those decisions. Setting up programs to help re-settle employees in other companies or re-skill them to different positions. It’s challenging to balance profit and people, but in order to have a long term presence, it has to be part of the overall company strategy.

Layoffs Impacting the Cleared Industry


Restructuring and new partnerships led to layoffs at Mitel – right around the holiday season. Mitel is a cloud provider that operates in a variety of industries, including government.

“We are restructuring select teams and organizational resources following our announcement to deliver UCaaS cloud offerings exclusively through our partnership with RingCentral,” Mitel said in response to feedback from affected employees.

Hiring impacting the Cleared Industry

Accenture Federal Services

Back in June, Accenture Federal Services announced their intent to bring 1400 jobs to the St. Louis, MO area, and this month, they moved one step closer to that vision. With some jobs already added since June, Accenture just put their new St. Louis Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in place to bring in local talent with apprenticeship programs. Accenture Federal Services will offer participants a one-year, salaried apprenticeship that provides on-the-job training, professional learning and development, with the option of a full-time career at the company.

“Accenture Federal Services is proud to announce this next phase of our investment in St. Louis to train and hire exceptional talent and deliver mission-critical work at the heart of the country’s national priorities,” said AFS CEO, John Goodman. “With this ribbon-cutting to officially open the ATC Center and launch our St. Louis apprenticeship program, AFS is expanding access to digital economy jobs for diverse constituencies, including underserved communities, early career and second career people, veterans, and military spouses.”

Cleared Employer at Work: Northrop Grumman

At Northrop Grumman, you can visualize a career that can take you places, build your skills, and grow – not just for a project, but for a career. Discover a role that’s right for you. Explore opportunities.

Opportunity to Watch

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS has finalized negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office for facility design and engineering in preparation for the construction and operation of a Rare Earth Element (REE) Separation and Processing Demonstration Plant.  GA-EMS is teaming with GA Europe’s Umwelt-und-Ingenieurtechnik GmbH (UIT), Rare Element Resources, Ltd. (RER), and LNV, an Ardurra Group, Inc. company to begin the 40-month project to design, build and operate the REE separation and processing demonstration facility in Wyoming.

“We are looking forward to getting underway with the team to bring this demonstration project to life,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “REEs are critical to a wide range of technologies supporting both commercial and defense-related applications, including electric vehicles, solar panels, fiber optics, and high-strength permanent magnets. This project will provide valuable information regarding the development of domestic rare earth element resources and separation technologies that have the potential to improve REE supply and availability to meet growing demand.”

The DOE announced earlier this year it had selected GA-EMS for negotiation of a financial award for the project. The recent confirmation of the financial award allows the GA-EMS team to begin design and engineering work in preparation for facility construction and plant operation.  Once completed, the demonstration plant will enable the separation and purification of rare earth oxides derived from ore removed from RER’s Bear Lodge deposit in Wyoming. The project’s primary goal is to demonstrate REE separation and processing at a scale sufficient to provide data and metrics predictive of cost and performance for a follow-on commercial-scale separation and processing facility.

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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.