• Hampton Roads Looks to Diversify Economy following Defense Downturn

    Hampton Roads Looks to Diversify Economy following Defense Downturn0

    In past decades, a decline in work at shipyards and other military-dependent industries in the Hampton Roads region stemming from a downturn in defense spending has always been followed by a future upswing in the Pentagon’s budget. But for the first time since World War II, leaders in southeastern Virginia are looking for new industries to diversify the region’s economic base as it becomes clear that defense spending no longer will supply 50 percent or more of the local economy. “We haven’t had a concerted effort in the past because, quite frankly, we haven’t needed one,” said Bryan Stephens, the head of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce …

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  • Virginia’s Smaller Defense Firms Cope with Spending Caps, Focus on Cost-Cutting

    Virginia’s Smaller Defense Firms Cope with Spending Caps, Focus on Cost-Cutting0

    Small and midsize defense contractors in Virginia are coping with statutory spending caps and an increased effort by federal contracting managers to limit profit margins in a variety of ways, with some firms taking a second look at federal set-aside programs and others looking to new markets in the United States or overseas. Virginia is particularly vulnerable to cutbacks in defense spending; 11.8 percent of the state’s gross domestic product relies on DOD spending, the highest in the nation. While Pentagon spending is increasing slightly this year, the department’s budget had declined since fiscal 2011. “Defense contracting these days is not for the faint of heart,” Mark Moore, executive vice president and chief lending officer for John Marshall Bank, told Virginia Business. “The downward pressure on permitable profit is more difficult than it has ever been …

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  • Vermont Awarded OEA Grant to Help Defense Firms Diversify0

    The state of Vermont will use a grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to help defense-reliant companies expand into new markets. “It’s intended to help businesses diversify their revenues away from a reliance on the Department of Defense,” Brett Long, director of business support for the state’s Department of Economic Development, told the Times Argus. The $475,000 effort, including federal and state funds, will provide companies with the necessary support to develop new markets or products …

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  • A-10 Fleet Would Stop Flying by October 2021 under Air Force Plan

    A-10 Fleet Would Stop Flying by October 2021 under Air Force Plan0

    The Air Force’s plan to defer retiring its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft until fiscal 2022 means that the service intends to complete the beloved attack plane’s departure from its inventory by Oct. 1, 2021, and was not meant to indicate the service planned to retain its full inventory of the aircraft until that time, officials clarified this week. “The budget defers the A-10’s final retirement until 2022, replacing it with F-35s on a squadron-by-squadron basis so we’ll always have enough aircraft for today’s conflict,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters on Feb. 2 when he previewed the department’s FY 2017 budget request. This week, though, a spokeswoman confirmed that the Air Force will begin retiring the aircraft in FY 2018 by divesting two squadrons, or 49 aircraft …

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  • New Tool to Help Contractors, Washington State Agencies Respond to Defense Cutbacks

    New Tool to Help Contractors, Washington State Agencies Respond to Defense Cutbacks0

    The state of Washington has completed development of an economic planning model aimed at helping defense contractors, and state and local agencies respond to DOD spending cuts. Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday unveiled the Defense Data Tool, which stemmed from the effort led by the Washington Military Alliance to address military downsizing. The model, funded by a $500,000 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment, shows how changes in defense spending affect specific industries and occupations, down to individual counties …

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