Defense Contractor Forced to Lay Off Employees in Cville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Defense Contractor Forced to Lay Off Employees in Cville

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Niitek Charlottesville Niitek Charlottesville

Dozens of people in Charlottesville are currently looking at another couple of months of work, and then they will be out of a job. A defense contractor called Niitek has pink-slipped 78 employees. The company says it's due to the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

President of the Charlottesville branch of Niitek Tom Thebes says today isn't easy.

Thebes says the layoffs aren't up to him - it's really up to the U.S. government. He says the company's order volume comes straight from the government, and this time around that order volume decreased significantly.

While Thebes admits this is a problem for companies like Niitek throughout the country because of soldier withdrawal from Afghanistan, he says he can't talk details. This means we don't know how drastically orders were cut, but Thebes says he was forced to lay off 78 employees.

"We've had excellent employees. In fact, everybody here to me is an unsung hero as they protected our product, protects people’s lives, and we have saved countless and countless soldiers’, Marines’, sailors’ lives,” said Thebes.

The company's landmine-detection equipment protects soldiers from explosive devices in the ground.

Thebes says as of now the future is uncertain. He doesn't know if any of those employees will be hired back in the future. He says it all depends on when and if they receive another order.

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