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Thursday, October 3, 2013

BAE Systems – with sites in Nashua, Hudson, Merrimack – pushing to end government shutdown

With no end in sight to the government shutdown that took effect this week, one of Nashua’s largest employers is wielding its influence in Washington to try to resolve the impasse.

Defense contractor BAE Systems – which employees about 4,300 people in southern New Hampshire – is hoping for a quick resolution to the crisis, which enters its third day Thursday. ...

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With no end in sight to the government shutdown that took effect this week, one of Nashua’s largest employers is wielding its influence in Washington to try to resolve the impasse.

Defense contractor BAE Systems – which employees about 4,300 people in southern New Hampshire – is hoping for a quick resolution to the crisis, which enters its third day Thursday.

In a message to employees, President and CEO Linda Hudson said the company’s government relations team is voicing serious concern on Capitol Hill about the impact of the shutdown on national security.

As a major supplier for the military, BAE develops advanced defense and aerospace systems, including reconnaissance, surveillance and combat technology.

BAE employs 34,0 00 people in the United States and 88,2 00 worldwide, serving markets in Australia, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

“While we hope this event will be short-lived, we need to be prepared for anything,” Hudson told BAE employees Monday. “Impact to our company could vary greatly, from little to none on programs that have long-term funding, to significant and immediate on those that don’t.”

According to Hudson’s memo, all BAE employees will continue to receive pay and benefits for the remainder of the week. Administrators are trying to determine the consequences if the government shutdown continues.

Nashua is home to the headquarters of BAE’s Electronic Systems sector. Employees in Nashua received a letter from sector president Dan Gobel on Tuesday with more details.

Gobel indicated that the shutdown will have an immediate effect on only about 1 percent of electronic systems employees – fewer than 100 people. The group includes employees who work at government sites such as military bases. The remainder of employees can expect “business as usual” in the short term, Gobel said.

“If the government does not come to a swift agreement on the continuing resolution, and the shutdown lingers for more than several days, the impact on our business will obviously grow,” he wrote.

BAE’s Electronic Systems sector has approximately 9,000 employees across the country.

Along with sites on Canal Street and Spit Brook Road in Nashua, BAE operates facilities in Hudson, Merrimack and Lexington, Mass.

BAE is one of 560 New Hampshire firms and institutions that receive funds from the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, according to research by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts.

A majority of the spending funds computer and electronic manufacturing for communication, detection and radar equipment.

Defense and Homeland Security work provides more than 17,000 jobs across the state, for a total payroll of more than $1 billion, according to a recent Donahue Institute report.

In recent years, most of that money has been flowing to BAE. In fiscal 2011, BAE was awarded about 62 percent of all contract work in the state, totaling $780.3 million, according to the Donahue Institute.

Jim Haddadin can be reached at 594-6589 or jhaddadin@nashua
telegraph.com
. Also, follow Haddadin on Twitter (@Telegraph_JimH).