KDH Defense Systems in Eden will lay off up to 280 employees in January.

President & CEO Dave Herbener said employees were sent a notice warning of the layoffs. Herbener said most of the positions affected are in the production and administrative departments.

When asked if the body armor manufacturer was doing well in business, Herbener said “the company is healthy.” However, two military contacts will soon be ending, leaving a gap in production for the first part of next year.

Herbener said their law enforcement contracts are growing and if more “opportunities become available,” those same employees could be called back to work. However, at this point it’s “not likely.”

Depending on the year of employment, Herbener said some would receive bonuses and severance pay.


Economic Development Director for the town of Eden, Michael Doughertry, was notified of the job cuts Wednesday and said this is not the first set of layoffs for the company.

They told me they’re very saddened this has had to happen right now but one contract ends in mid December one ends in mid January,

Dougherty said.
“It’s just a horrible time of the year, and we will have a rapid response team out there to help the employees with unemployment or to find other jobs to fill the gap until they get their call back which we hope will happen soon.”

KDH Defense Systems, Inc. is a manufacturer of American-made custom solutions for body armor. The company designs, manufactures and distributes body armor for military, federal government and law enforcement agencies.

Headquartered in Eden, KDH Defense Systems’ manufacturing facility currently consists of more than 139,000 square feet of armor cutting, sewing and ballistic design operations, as well as product development, sales and administration.