After a nearly two-year hiring freeze, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command is aggressively recruiting to fill nearly 3,000 positions this year across the U.S., particularly in engineering and procurement slots.

NAVFAC's ability to recruit and hire has been severely hampered since 2013, when the federal government underwent sequestration and a shutdown, says Jennifer LaTorre, NAVFAC executive director.

After furloughs and two years of attrition, the agency that handles construction for the Navy and Marine Corps has a vacancy rate of roughly 14% globally. These factors created the need to pursue "aggressive and focused recruiting efforts throughout the NAVFAC enterprise," she says. "The key to our continued effective support of the fleet and combatant commanders is our ability, via focused hiring, to have the right people in the right place at the right time."

The vacancies are spread among a wide variety of positions, but critical engineering disciplines in need include mechanical, civil, electrical, structural and environmental, along with entry-level and journeymen craftsmen. Among the commands in need, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic is recruiting for 430 positions, mostly in Norfolk, Va.

Tom Kreidel, a command spokesperson, says it typically has about 7% vacancies, but with the rate now at 14%, the command has had to delay several projects. Through its hiring effort, Kreidel expects the command will be able to revive projects that had been shelved due to a lack of in-house resources.

NAVFAC may be competing with other government entities for new talent. In May, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District held a job fair there with more than 200 positions on offer. Tyler Stalker, a spokesperson for the district, says the Corps is exploring "new ways to put ourselves out there and get our face in front of young engineers."