536 Tampa jobs cut after IT company loses $2.8B contract at MacDill – Business Observer

A Texas technology company with operations at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa is laying off 536 employees after losing a $2.8 billion IT and networks services contract with U.S. Special Operation Command.
Dallas-based Jacobs Technology Inc. says in a letter to state officials that its current contract expires May 16 but that it began cutting staff March 1. The company, however, told the state there is a possibility the new contractor, Peraton, will keep some of the employees.
“We anticipate that the vast majority of the workforce will continue in uninterrupted employment with the successor contractor or one of their subcontractors,” Jacobs vice president and SITEC II program manager Bruce Johnson writes in the note. 
The letter was sent to meet federal requirements that obligate companies to provide the state with Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification notices when making job cuts.
The eight-year, $2.8 billion contract is for SITEC III, the third Special Operations Forces IT Enterprise Contract.
According to the industry publication Washington Technology, U.S. Special Operations Command, based at MacDill, “uses the SITEC contract to acquire support for IT network operations and infrastructure. Services include end-user and device support, configuration, licensing, asset management and training.”
The industry publication says Jacobs fought to keep the contract and had appealed a November decision to award it to Peraton. But the appeal failed and Reston, Virginia-based Peraton, a privately held business, announced it had won the contract Feb. 7.
A Peraton spokesperson did not respond Friday to an after-hours question about the employees fate. But in the Feb. 7 release the company says that “in support of this contract, Peraton will be hiring roles in the following key areas: cybersecurity, system administration, information technology optimization and automation,and managed network services.”
As for Jacobs, in its first quarter earnings statement released Feb. 6, the day before Peraton made its announcement, it reported revenue rose 9.5% over the same period last year to $4.2 billion. The company, according to its website, employs about 60,000 people worldwide.
Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.
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