HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — You can tell the government shutdown is on the minds of employees at Wyle Labs. There were even a few jokes about it Tuesday morning as the company opened the doors to its new headquarters.
Wyle operates off government contracts, employing more than 1,100 workers in Huntsville.
Meanwhile, you could also tell people feel confident in the services they’re providing and their ability to compete, pretty much no matter what.
“We serve at the good graces of the government. If the government has troubles or budget cuts, we reflect that,” said George Prueitt, Wyle CAS Group President.
The new three-story building is on Bob Heath Road in Cummings Research Park, near Bridge Street Town Centre. It’s 120,000 square feet and cost more than $18 million to build.
Wyle built this palace of engineering, cutting the ribbon Tuesday, even in the midst of the government shutdown.
“You don’t have the certainty or the confidence to know that what has happened in the past is going to continue,” said Prueitt. “You have to evolve. You have to change. You have to adjust. And you have to compete.”
But even with the government in Washington puttering along, the leaders of Wyle in Huntsville see a bright future for the Rocket City.
“I think it’s very good. The quality of people in Huntsville is just fantastic. The engineering talent, the people that you draw from other regions to Huntsville to take advantage of those opportunities,” said Prueitt.
They believe in the talent of city’s pool of workers, even when it’s hard to believe in the folks funding the contracts. It keeps them moving forward, even building new facilities, facing challenges as they come.
“We’re just kind of playing it day by day, job by job, task by task,” said Prueitt.
We’ve seen this feeling before. People believe even if government contracts start to wane, the unique qualities of Huntsville’s workforce will be enough to sustain some demand. We’re getting closer to testing that reality each day.
Leaders at Wyle say the new building will be made up of around 80 percent of current employees, but about 20 percent of the space will be for growth.
Wyle has been around more than 50 years as a provider of high-tech aerospace engineering and information technology services to the federal government. The company performs testing and evaluation of aircraft, weapon systems in support of the government. They also provide medical services to NASA’s astronauts during space flights.