How Lockheed is processing what Amazon HQ2 means for D.C.

The Washington, D.C. region is still trying to understand the implications of Amazon's future second headquarters. What does the world's largest defense company make of it?

Substantially no one was surprised when Amazon in November 2018 selected the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region for the home of the global tech giant's second corporate headquarters.

As 2019 closes and 2020 arrives, we also say that nearly everyone is still trying to process exactly what HQ2’s arrival in Arlington, Virginia’s Crystal City precinct means for the region and its economy.

Government contractors certainly are no exception given how large those companies loom in the D.C. area’s economic picture.

But as Lockheed Martin’s Cheri Larkins recently reminded me, companies of all shapes and sizes across many markets call the National Capital Region home and have done so well before Amazon and HQ2’s 25,000 jobs officially come to town.

“Disproportionally, it’s one of the most talented labor markets anywhere globally. People come from all over to be connected to the businesses, the industries and the government opportunities in this region,” said Larkins, director of talent acquisition for Lockheed’s rotary and mission systems segment that houses the company's cyber business.

The cyber piece is key to mention here given how the GovCon industry is wondering what impact the arrival of HQ2 will have on an already-crunched supply of technology talent in a location with historically low-unemployment and what some economists have termed “negative unemployment.”

Count Larkins as one of those who is looking at Amazon’s presence in the capital area through a glass half-full lens.

“For us, the idea of Amazon coming to the area, we hear more talent,” Larkins said.

Worth noting is how the commonwealth of Virginia is making a sizeable bet on the scenario Larkins stated, where HQ2 acts as a magnet to draw in more skilled tech workers and helps grow the supply of those people in the region.

In its statement last year to help announce HQ2, the Virginia government said it plans to invest up to $375 million over the next 20 years for master’s degree programs in so-called STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- with $50 million set aside for similar education programming at the K-12 grade level.

Advanced degrees are not the only method tech workers have to reskill or upskill themselves. As Larkins pointed out, GovCon companies can both support employees through master’s degree programs and have more internal-facing efforts.

“What we’re all realizing is that as the need for technology and cyber talent continues to grow, we’re looking at the trends from a collegiate perspective and there just isn’t enough in the pipeline of individuals graduating with four-year degrees to be able to sustain the demand,” Larkins said. “One of the things we’re doing is investing in apprenticeship programs (and) looking at alternative paths to technical competency outside a four-year degree.”

That does not mean Lockheed is forgetting about the path starting with a K-12 education, followed by going to a university and then entering the workforce.

Larkins cited the company’s support of hackathon events as one example, along with programs run by Girls Who Code and other initiatives to spur interest in STEM among women and minorities.

“We want to be part of those moments and show the students what an engineer looks like, show students what that career path could be, and focus on exposing diverse pipelines, diverse talent and letting them see themselves in a career here,” she said.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.