Virginia Nabs Northrop-Grumman

The news yesterday was that Northrop Grumman is moving its corporate headquarters to Northern Virginia, according to the announcement by its CEO and the Governor.

The state has apparently pledged $12-14M in grants and incentives through our Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Governor’s Opportunity Fund to make this happen.

I’m not yet sold on that “value add” for that state money. Let’s face it: this is not a typical “jobs” announcement. The NG office will be limited to about 300 highly-paid executives (average annual salary $300k) who will presumably live in our area and pay taxes.

However, it’s not like highly-paid business people are hard to find in Northern Virginia. Just spend one weekend door-knocking in Dranesville. You can find that many execs in the stands at a Langley HS jayvee football game.

The next phase of the sweepstakes is what locality will get NG. The word on the street is that the most likely location is Fairview Park (which is about a mile inside the Beltway — and outside the 34th SD).

It ain’t free. According to one anonymous tip in the Post, the company was seeking moving costs and country-club memberships (are you kidding me?) to be paid by the lucky locality.

In the next few weeks, I’m sure lots of folks will claim credit for this development. (For the record, I had nothing to do with it). While the overall effect on our Virginia economy is de minimis, it’s good for our state to be the HQ of a high-profile multinational company. I also have to laugh at the anti-Virginia sentiments expressed by just a few of our neighbors in an effort to boost their own bid to land NG. Pretty pathetic.

In the end, the proximity of northern Virginia to the nation’s capital, the high quality of our schools and the positive nature of the business climate made this possible. All of which is good. And if the Governor takes credit, that’s fine also.

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