It’s been a tumultuous year with all the layoff news, and one thing this year’s grads are looking for is stability. No longer are the top tech companies trending on sites like Handshake, a site aimed at college students and new grads. Handshake analyzed its search traffic over the last year, as well as surveyed 954 students from the 2023 graduating class. And the results show that students want to leave college and find companies that offer stability. Handshake CEO Christine Cruzvergara told CNBC that the 2023 graduating class is “gravitating toward companies that offer solid benefits, career pathing and a level of stability they’ve been looking for.”

Most notably, the top company on handshake with the highest level of interest was Raytheon, with twice as much search interest as number two on the list, Nike. Both Lockheed Martin and Boeing made it on the top 10 list, along with NASA. That’s good news for the national security industry. While the tech sector will rebound in the coming years, it helps to get young talented interested in national security. Companies need to continue to increase their messaging, highlighting the mission and the stability.

Layoffs: REbellion Defense

Rebellion Defense shared on their blog late last week, the memo that CEO Chris Lynch sent to their employees. The note details the need to rebalance resources and layoff 90 employees. The management team provided individual messages via messaging services, work email, and personal emails, as well as, a 1:1 meeting. The organization is working with each impacted individual to help them land somewhere else, as quickly as possible. The rebalancing efforts were made to reduce costs and keep pace with changing technology demands.

Hiring: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman cut the ribbon on a new, two-building campus, located just outside of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. The new building expands the organization’s launch and missile defense development capability. This campus will be home to over 1,000 Northrop Grumman employees in the Huntsville area, signaling growth in the area for Northrop Grumman.

“Our new lab enables us to deliver innovative solutions to our customers on rapid timelines, helping to protect and defend our nation and its allies against evolving threats,” said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, launch and missile defense systems, Northrop Grumman. “The enhancements to the facility will also optimize operating efficiencies and provide our team with a dynamic research and development work environment.”

The Northrop Grumman Redstone Gateway campus will include a hardware-in-the-loop integration lab that provides a robust and resilient cutting-edge capability to Northrop Grumman and its customers. This lab creates an end-to-end environment for engineers to best utilize the DevSecOps methodologies to develop, test, mirror and qualify integrated systems across the Missile Defense engagement chain.

Cleared Employer at Work: CISA

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Opportunity to Watch

CMMC has dominated conversations in the defense contracting world. While most would agree the importance of securing the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), the level of effort it takes to get there and who pays for all it is another story. Recently, at a PreVeil webinar, Stacy Bostjanick (DoD’s CMMC Program Head and Chief of DIB Cybersecurity) offered contractors a few free resources to help with compliance with DFARS 7012.

  1. DC3 Information Sharing Program– contractors participating in this threat-sharing, community program can be headed in the right direction to meeting the NIST 800-171 security control 3.13.3
  2. NSA Secure Domain Name System Services – while this won’t give you a leg up in meeting requirements, it can prevent malicious actions.
  3. Project Spectrum – while results vary for contractors, many have found the resources and trainings useful in meeting CMMC requirements.

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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.