Companies such as Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics have initiated measures to continue development work on defense contracts amid the rising security clearance backlog, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
The National Background Investigations Bureau said the number of individuals seeking security clearances has climbed to nearly 500K in the past four years and the waiting period to secure such clearances increased from 510 days at the end of 2017 to 543 days in the second quarter of this year.
General Dynamics has placed tarpaulins on a nuclear submarine in Groton, Conn., to cover the vessel's top-secret components from employees without security clearances, according to the report.
“We're now doing blue-sky hiring,“ said Rick Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed's international unit.
Some defense contractors have begun to clear potential employees in college in order to meet future workforce needs in the event of a major contract win, the report added.