The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (SDA) is launching the HALO program to attract non-traditional defense contractors into its military satellite supply chain. This initiative allows new satellite builders, who haven’t worked with the DOD in the past year, to compete for orders to deliver prototype satellites within 12-18 months. The goal is to quickly develop prototypes for the Tranche 2 Demonstration and Experimentation System and acclimate new entrants to working with government customers, particularly on classified missions. The SDA aims to enhance speed and flexibility in national security satellite production, moving away from lengthy programs with traditional contractors. An industry day for interested companies is set for June 17.

Layoffs: MIcrosoft

Microsoft has announced layoffs in its Azure for Operators business, reflecting a broader trend of cost-cutting in the telecom industry amid decreased spending by network operators. The layoffs, which could affect up to 1,500 employees, come as Microsoft shifts its focus to artificial intelligence investments and pauses previews for Azure Operator 5G Core and Call Protection. These cuts follow similar reductions by other telecom vendors like Nokia and Ericsson. Despite the changes, Microsoft maintains that it will continue to invest in strategic growth areas to support its customers and partners.

Hiring: HII

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding is hitting the road to recruit 3,000 skilled tradespeople this year, aiming for 19,000 over the next decade. With traditional local pipelines unable to meet demand and many experienced workers retiring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shipyard is expanding its recruiting efforts nationally. Initiatives include partnerships with North Carolina to bus workers to Virginia and a broader “Build It” campaign targeting experienced tradespeople from various industries across the country. Despite the challenges of high attrition and wage competition, the yard is focused on bringing in seasoned talent to ensure productivity in building submarines and aircraft carriers.

Cleared Employer at Work: Boeing

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Opportunity to Watch

A new Government Accountability Office report reveals that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) remains understaffed, despite efforts to fill vacancies. High attrition rates and budget requests falling short of workforce needs have plagued the agency responsible for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Reports from 2018 and 2020 highlighted the necessity for significant workforce increases, but the NNSA still struggles with hiring and retaining staff. The GAO recommends improved tracking and collaboration to enhance recruitment and retention efforts. NNSA officials have agreed to take steps to address these challenges.

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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.