Lockheed Adds 1,000 Employees Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Wants to Hire 5,000 More

President Donald Trump looks to Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO, Lockheed Martin as she speaks during a "Pledge to America's Workers" ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 25, 2019.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

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President Donald Trump looks to Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO, Lockheed Martin as she speaks during a "Pledge to America's Workers" ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 25, 2019.

The defense giant also said it would give bonuses to employees who can’t work from home.

At least one defense company was hiring last month as the U.S. economy shed more than 700,000 jobs amid the pandemic: Lockheed Martin, which says it hired nearly 1,000 people in the past two weeks.

Lockheed officials say they plan to add even more employees to its roughly 110,000-person workforce in the months ahead. The company, which booked nearly $60 billion in sales last year, has 5,000 open positions as business expands amid increased Pentagon and international deals.

“In addition to continuing to support our key government customers, we recognize that providing jobs during this period of economic downturn is also critically important,” Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson said in a Friday statement.

The company said it would offer up to $500 bonuses to employees who cannot work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Last year, Lockheed broke ground on a cruise missile factory in Alabama. It also expanded operations in Florida and Colorado to serve increased Pentagon demand for missiles and spacecraft.

The company has also begun paying its suppliers more quickly than planned, as part of a DoD and defense-industry attempt to keep smaller companies alive and working. Last week, the company sent $53 million to suppliers, and officials said they plan to do the same again. 

Lockheed also said it would donate $2 million in personal protective equipment to first responders.

“We are also providing engineering support for select initiatives to accelerate production of PPE equipment,” the company said in a statement.

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