A government contractor will lay off several employees at its facility in the University of Virginia Research Park off 29 North. Niitek is letting 78 employees go, but dozens of others will stay as operations continue at the facility in Albemarle County. Niitek makes ground-penetrating radar to detect explosives. The head of the local operation, Tom Thebes, says the 78 workers have been given notice that they’ll be dismissed around May 23rd at which time they’ll be given a severance package. Thebes says the layoff is directly related to a reduction in orders as the U.S. military reduces its presence in Afghanistan. Thebes says operations will continue at the Albemarle location because the company has other contracts.