Lockheed Martin has found success in the Orlando region for decades by partnering with educational institutions. Orlando’s steady pipeline of aircraft and aerospace engineers from one of the nation’s first technical schools combined with Florida’s friendly business climate has given Lockheed Martin a competitive advantage and enabled the company to win numerous major U.S. defense contracts.
As defense contract competition intensifies in the U.S., Lockheed Martin is making the decision to invest in increased research and development (R&D) and building a new 255,000-square-foot R&D facility in Orlando.
“Lockheed Martin is further solidifying its already robust presence in Florida and supporting our business growth,” explains Frank St. John, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control executive vice president. “We think Orlando is an ideal location to grow our footprint and employment base given the city’s diverse, strong talent pipeline, available and affordable land with room to grow, and low taxes.”
Lockheed Martin is able to find the workforce it needs from Orlando’s large defense training and simulation cluster as well as the University of Central Florida (UCF), which leads the nation in supplying graduates for aerospace and defense companies. UCF graduates over a thousand students in the engineering, engineering tech and aviation related degrees each year. UCF works closely with employers like Lockheed Martin to provide the continuous talent pool necessary for taking on large government contracts.
“We’ve had remarkable success with accessing employees here, as they’re attracted to the area and want to stay because of the moderate cost of living with no state or local income taxes; renowned, best-value educational institutions; lots of outdoor activities; and tourist destinations,” says St. John. “The schools we recruit from in Florida have robust and diverse populations in majors that are of interest to Lockheed Martin. That, coupled with our relationships with more than 10 universities/colleges in Florida, have helped us recruit some of the best engineers in the world who contribute to the success of our company.”