Defense training contractor cuts Orlando jobs, cites sequestration
Defense contractor Cubic Corp. has laid off an unspecified number of high-tech workers from its military simulation and training operations in Orlando, citing federal deficit-reduction "sequestration" budget cuts and funding delays on some local projects.
San Diego-based Cubic, which had previously employed more than 350 in Orlando, said Monday the layoffs took effect last week. No further job cuts are planned. Citing its policy, the publicly-traded company would not disclose the number of people affected.
Cubic's job cuts were among the first in Central Florida directly attributed to the sequestration's effect on the simulation training industry.
At the same time, Cubic is still hiring to fill jobs related to its work on virtual-training systems for the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship, known as the LCS. That program, so far, has not been dinged by the military spending slowdown, Cubic spokesman Tim Hill said.
The layoffs were also not related to the current delay by the Navy in awarding the LCS Mission Bay Trainer contract, he said. Cubic has teamed with Lockheed Martin Corp. in a bid for that LCS program. Hill said they still expect the LCS weapons-simulation contract to be awarded, though the date is uncertain.
"Sequestration in general has caused delays in a lot of programs at this time, but not the LCS," Hill said. "We have a number of other simulation programs out of Orlando and some of those have been affected."
In January, Cubic won a trio of contracts potentially worth a combined $300 million to produce computer-based virtual-training and classroom-courseware systems for the advanced LCS warship. The company then said the contract work could create as many as 700 jobs over the next several years.
Still, if the sequestration budget cuts survive the standoff between Congress and the Obama administration, there may be relatively few military programs that wouldn't be affected, said Michael Blades, a senior industry analyst with the Frost & Sullivan consulting firm.
"You have a lot of agencies just waiting to get more information before that make a decision about awarding contracts," he said. "Some have put off the awards until the end of the fiscal year, and now it doesn't appear there will be funds available."
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