Polaris Alpha starts hiring spree

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Polaris Alpha is ringing in the new year with a hiring surge, looking to take on up to 60 new scientists and engineers in Colorado Springs and Denver.

Polaris Alpha President Jay Jesse said new hires will be made in the areas of advanced analytics, enterprise software engineering, cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“We’re hiring 50 to 60 in Colorado and roughly 120 to 130 nationwide, so it’s quite a hiring spree right now,” he said.

Polaris Alpha, which currently has about 1,300 employees, provides advanced technical capabilities, specialized domain expertise and mission critical solutions to Department of Defense and intelligence community customers.

Jesse said 2017 has been a “whirlwind” for the company, which employs 350 in Colorado Springs and just under 100 in Denver.

“We all merged and came together as Polaris in November of last year — it’s been a crazy year of integration bringing together now five companies and their cultures and their high-tech mentalities… and so far so good, it’s been going great,” he said.

Polaris Alpha acquired its fourth defense corporation, Intelesys Corp. of Elkridge, Md., on Jan. 18, and went on to acquire Denver-based Solidyn Solutions on Sept. 27.

Jesse said the hiring surge proves Colorado Springs is a great high-tech environment — a “perfect nexus” of military support structures and high-tech engineering talents.

“[In] the kind of work that Polaris does, that intersects perfectly for us,” he said. “We have people that have clearances and that understand the military customers and … we have people that are very, very educated —bachelor’s, master’s, high-end top level engineers — and you can find all that in Colorado Springs.

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“This is the kind of work a city would want. … What could be more important than having a challenging computer science job, but doing it in support of helping in the defense of your country and helping the people that are fighting to keep us safe? It’s noble work, but it’s also very challenging and very exciting.”

Aside from its acquisitions, Jesse said Polaris Alpha has seen significant growth in 2017, both in new contract awards and expansions of existing work.

“There are certain project areas that we’re surging now and we need more than we normally do,” he said, including Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (commonly known as C2ISR), space situational awareness, cloud computing, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“Polaris and ISS have a long history of machine learning and artificial intelligence — it’s becoming a very hot topic in the military these days, so we’re getting expansion in those areas,” he added.

Jesse said Polaris will need to expand its physical presence in the Springs to take in the 50-60 new hires, although some will be accommodated on customer sites.

The company expects to make the “vast majority” of the hires locally, he said.

“I believe there is [enough availability]. It’s really a better environment than a lot of people think, in that there is a lot of talent here and more every day — but there’s also more competition for that talent,” Jesse said. “It really does speak to the fact that you don’t have to be in San Francisco, you don’t have to be in New York City … you’ve got that lifestyle here where you can make a career and you’re happy and the cost of living is good, and you can feel like [you] don’t have to keep moving around to advance your career.

“We have people in the company that have been here 10-15 years and have made a career about it, and that always makes me the most proud.”