Lockheed Martin to lay off 18 in Suffolk

Published 3:25 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

The Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation in North Suffolk is sometimes called The Lighthouse because it includes a working lighthouse. It is a frequent location of national security-related conferences. The company announced this week it would lay off 18 Suffolk employees, as well as about 140 others.

Lockheed Martin has announced layoffs of 157 employees in Norfolk and Suffolk, most of them related to the closure of the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

About 92 Lockheed Martin employees who worked as information technology support for JFCOM are among the layoffs, said John O’Sullivan, a communications representative for Lockheed Martin.

The command, which had a large facility off College Drive in North Suffolk, was dismantled last year.

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“Due to the fact that they’re dismantling it, 92 of our employees who work on this program did receive notices,” O’Sullivan said.

Separately, about 65 employees who work on the Technology, Engineering and Aerospace Mission Support (TEAMS) contract have received notices. That contract provides research and development engineering services to NASA Langley Research Center.

The contract is scheduled to end April 30, O’Sullivan said. The company bid on the follow-up contract but was not awarded the new contract, he said.

With both contracts combined, about 18 affected employees work at the Suffolk location on Harbour View Boulevard, O’Sullivan said.

The layoffs are expected to take effect during April and May, he added.

O’Sullivan said employees may be able to find employment elsewhere with Lockheed Martin.

“Our primary goal is to retain our employees and assist in finding them work on other contracts,” O’Sullivan wrote in an emailed statement.

He said many of the employees working on the NASA contract could be able to find employment with the new contract holder.

“We do our best to maintain that talent and keep them on board,” he added.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command was dismantled in August, about a year after the idea had been first made public.

The Joint and Coalition Warfighting, a unit of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now occupies the largest building vacated by JFCOM and performs many of the same tasks and functions that the command had been doing, according to Maj. Gen. Frederick Rudesheim in a December News-Herald article.

The organization’s main tasks include forming development and developing doctrine for the U.S. military. The site now has about 1,100 employees.

Rudesheim said about 80 percent of JFCOM contracts were not extended when the closure occurred.

A year ago, the Virginia Regional Center for USJFCOM Workforce Transition and Business Development opened to assist employees and businesses affected by the closure.

It offers services as basic as access to computers, fax and copy machines but also provides workshops, job search training, résumé assistance, small business training, career counseling and more.