In a decision with far-reaching consequences for the economy of Northern Virginia, the California-based Northrop Grumman aerospace and security company announced today that it has chosen Northern Virginia for the relocation of its global headquarters. The decision follows months of furious competition between the region’s three jurisdictions to land the 120,000-employee company ever since it announced its intention to move to the Washington, D.C. metro area early this year.
The Fortune 100 company, which the Washington Business Journal reports is in talks with Falls Church and Arlington building owners over the location of its new headquarters, will bring 300 employees to its new location, but it will bring a significant step-up in economic activity and it can be expected that many subcontractor and related feeder companies will follow Northrop Grumman to the region.
“To gain the corporate headquarters of one of the largest global security contractors in the world is a testament to the strong business climate that Virginia is focused on continually improving,” said Gv. Bob McDonnell in a statement today. Northrop Grumman specializes in providing innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, ship building and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Wes Bush, the chief executive officer and president of Northrup Grumman, said today, “We are pleased to have identified Virginia as home for our new corporate office. Virgnia, Maryland and the District put forward compelling, competitive offers. Our final decision was driven largely by facility considerations, proximity to our customers, and overall economics.” He said the new office would open next year.
In intense negotiations with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the company’s representatives, according to News-Press sources, expressed urgent concern directly to Gov. McDonnell’s office in February when Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a controversial and unprovoked ruling ordering the state colleges and universities to remove language suggesting that gays and lesbians were among protected minority classes. With strong anti-discrimination policies in place within their own company, Cuccinelli’s ruling was considered to have a chilling effect on employees and contractors moving to the region, and led to a swift corrective statement by Gov. McDonnell that insisted that no class of persons would be excluded from full protection under the law in Virginia.