March 20, 2014
A local defense contractor is laying off more than 50 percent of its workforce in Albemarle County.
NIITEK will lay off 78 workers from its production facility at the University of Virginia's North Fork Research Park at the end of May.
The company says it has to cut staff because the war in Afghanistan is winding down, and the company is getting fewer orders form the U.S. Army.
NIITEK makes ground-penetrating radar systems that can detect improvised explosives devices (IED).
President Tom Thebes calls local employees "unsung heroes." He says their work has saved hundreds of lives on the battlefield.
NIITEK has other contracts, so its Albemarle Co. operations will continue.