GLOUCESTER — Potential cutbacks in national defense spending, called sequestration, could trickle down to local companies that earn millions of dollars annually in military contracts.
In 2011, defense contracts of nearly $10 million were awarded to 17 companies in the counties of Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex and the Town of West Point, according to information compiled by the Center for Security Policy. The contracts ranged in amounts from $750 for CSL Enterprises in Gloucester for books and printing to $3 million for International Training Inc. in West Point for management consulting services, according to the Center for Security Policy.
Local companies that win defense contracts offer a range of materials and services that include supplying seafood, to moving office equipment, to health care and even equipment used by special forces soldiers.
Speaking to the Gloucester Board of Supervisors earlier this month, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., said sequestration could have a $10 billion impact on Virginia, costing the state up to 200,000 jobs. He said he thinks troop draw downs in Iraq and Afghanistan can contribute significantly to the defense cuts.
Wittman also said he doesn’t anticipate any action on the defense cuts until next year.
“There’s a lot of areas of uncertainty,” he said.
Jimmy Hall, sales manager of Ocean Products Research Inc. in Mathews, said about half of the company’s business revolves around defense contracts. The company, with about 20 employees, manufactures equipment out of rope such as slings or harnesses for helicopters and secured nearly $1.6 million in defense contracts last year, records show.
“Contracts keep rolling in,” Hall said. “Right now we’re in really good shape. But who knows.”
Hall said defense cuts seem to be centered on big-ticket items such as ships or aircraft, rather than equipment Ocean Products Research manufactures that are used by smaller, more mobile units such as special forces.
“They seem to be going less with these big expenditures,” Hall said.
Other companies in the area that received defense contracts in 2011 include:
•W.C. Burroughs Co., Mathews, $1,877,271;
•Curtis Contracting, West Point, $887,850;
•17 Machinery, Gloucester, $669,846;
•Wjohnson LLC, Gloucester, $664,673;
•Gloucester Orthopaedic Clinic, Gloucester, $283,430;
•Ordinary Associates, P.C., Gloucester, $276,455;
•Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, $244,712;
•Advanced Finishing Systems, Gloucester, $125,357.
•Zimmerman Marine, Mathews, $106,755.
Copyright © 2012, Newport News, Va., Daily Press
This article can be read here: http://www.dailypress.com/news/gloucester-county/dp-tsq-mid-gloucester-sequestration-0927-20120927,0,7441955.story