Sandra I. Erwin of National Defense Magazine reports that high-tech defense contractors are struggling to fill jobs. She writes, “Top defense contractors continue to threaten to lay off thousands of workers if Congress doesn’t call off across-the-board federal budget cuts that are set to take effect in January. In an alternate Pentagon-contracting universe, companies are paying bounties to workers who refer qualified applicants for jobs that have gone unfilled for months. Such is the dichotomy of an industry where work is drying up for some, and booming for others.”
She continues, “Dire forecasts by industry groups predict that looming Pentagon budget cuts will leave more than a million people unemployed. The apocalyptic rhetoric stands in sharp contrast to what is happening in some niche sectors of the defense market such as software suppliers and data-mining firms. ‘I have three recruiters working for me pretty heavily’ to fill eight openings for Java programmers, says Richard McNeight, president of Modus Operandi, a small defense software company based in Florida.  ‘We also pay bounties to employees for referring someone … and still haven’t been able to fill those jobs,’ he says. Modus Operandi writes and maintains software for U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies. The company’s primary products are semantic search software that analysts use to plough through enormous databases, find useful data and share it with colleagues. The demand for this technology is growing dramatically, McNeight says. ‘We have the biggest backlog we’ve ever had’.”

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