K2 Solutions to layoff staff in Derby

By Kevin Spradlin

A Moore County-based defense contractor is reported to be laying off a large portion of its Derby workforce shortly after the new year.

A K2 Solutions Inc. employee affected by the announcement, made Friday, spoke to The Pee Dee Post on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak about the issue. The employee said that “over half the work force” at the Derby satellite location will be laid off effective Jan. 20.

K2The company’s K2 Canine Operations Business Unit trains multipurpose and explosives detection canines, as well as military and law enforcement handlers, to enhance American security at home and abroad.

According to a company profile on the North Carolina’s Defense Business Association website, the K2 operates its Canine Operations Business Unit in Derby with a staff of 203 employees on a 125-acre site known as the K2 Canine Training Center in northern Richmond County. In recent years, however, the number of people who worked at the Derby location had decreased to “50 or 60,” the employee said.

The  facility provides 55 different training areas; five, 320-run kennel buildings; two support and administrative buildings; and an environmental chamber, which supports research and development efforts for the next generation of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Detector Dog (IDD) capability.

The company was established in 2003 by founder Lane Kjellsen. The worker said that Kjellsen himself delivered the message to employees.

“They didn’t want to lay us off,” the worker said. “They had no choice” due to a lack of government contracts.

The employee also said that the staff “knew” the layoff announcement was coming.”

K2 Solutions is a service-disabled, veteran-owned company headquartered in Southern Pines. Satellite offices are located in Derby, Jacksonville, Twentynine Palms, Calif. and Albany, Ga. It’s not known if staff at any other location would be impacted.

Company officials could not be reached for comment in the past 48 hours by email. Phone messages left at the Southern Pines location have not been returned.

Reporter Kevin Spradlin can be reached at peedeepost@gmail.com.

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  • Ellen Reyes

    So someone tells you a rumor about their work and you just write whatever they say? What if it turns out not to be true?

    • Kevin Spradlin

      I’m sorry, Ms. Reyes. We did our work. We verified. And the PDP was the first to report the story. And it was true. We stand by the process and the result.

      – Kevin

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