On May 13, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued new instructions to address foreign ownership, control, and influence (FOCI) concerns for contractors – for both cleared and uncleared contractors. Under DoD Instruction 5205.87, contractors receiving DoD contracts valued over $5 million, excluding contracts for commercial products and services, must disclose their beneficial ownership and any FOCI, updating this information as necessary. For the first time, these FOCI requirements will bring obligations, scrutiny, and potential mitigation on many uncleared DoD contractors.

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) will review these disclosures and provide risk mitigation strategies. This policy, implemented under Section 847 of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, aims to enhance supply chain security and address FOCI concerns. Contractors should prepare for these reviews by familiarizing themselves with the Standard Form 328 (Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interests) and developing plans to collect and disclose relevant information.

Layoffs: Hunter Defense Technologies

Hunter Defense Technologies Inc. (HDT Global) will lay off nearly 100 employees in Northern Kentucky as it closes its Florence facility by the end of 2024. The Solon, Ohio-based company announced the layoffs in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) sent to the Kentucky Career Center. The first round of layoffs will begin on July 31, with subsequent layoffs occurring monthly until the facility’s closure. HDT is relocating its Florence operations to Huntsville, AL, and Geneva, OH, to enhance operational efficiencies. Some affected employees may be offered positions at other HDT locations. HDT Global specializes in defense and emergency products and employs 900 people worldwide.

Hiring: Birdon America

Birdon America, the U.S. arm of an Australian marine engineering firm, is expanding its Elmwood offices to fulfill a $1.1 billion, 10-year Coast Guard contract. This expansion will create 25 new jobs with an average salary of nearly $100,000, as Birdon oversees the construction and delivery of 27 advanced waterways commerce cutter vessels. These vessels will maintain and protect the 12,000-mile U.S. Intracoastal and Inland Marine Transportation System. Birdon’s investment also retains 12 existing jobs and is expected to generate 32 indirect jobs. The decision to stay in Louisiana, a shipbuilding hub with a skilled workforce, underscores Birdon’s commitment to supporting U.S. defense and economic growth.

Cleared Employer at Work: CISA

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Opportunity to Watch

The U.S. Navy Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) program, alongside local shipbuilders, suppliers, elected officials, and community leaders, celebrated the future of the defense workforce during the inaugural National Signing Day in Boston on May 30. This event concluded a series of Talent Pipeline Program (TPP) events in key maritime hubs, recognizing over 2,700 new hires supporting the maritime industry. The National Signing Day showcased the program’s efforts to develop robust talent pipelines, crucial as the Navy plans to build more submarines and hire over 140,000 skilled workers by 2028. The initiative underscores the Navy’s commitment to bolstering national security through workforce development.

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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.