As parts of the U.S. economy begin to reopen, defense contractors have been able to restart much of their work, National Defense reported.

“Industry has made a significant adjustment in order to try and make sure that they continue producing on time and on schedule,” said Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Some contractors are expanding their workforce, including Ingalls, which recently held a drive-in hiring event in Mississippi.

“We are exploring innovative hiring techniques that provide greater accessibility to the many employment opportunities we have to offer,” said Edmond Hughes, vice president of human resources and administration at Ingalls. “This event allows us to efficiently interface with interested applicants while practicing safe social distancing.”

To help the defense industrial base fully recover from the pandemic and economic downturn, Congress needs to provide “double-digit billions” of dollars in additional relief this year, Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said last week on Capitol Hill.

“There’s a choice whether we want to eat into readiness and modernization… or whether we want to remedy the situation in the next six months or so,” Lord told lawmakers.

Navy photo by Shayna Gosney