Northrop Grumman is planning to build a $200 million advanced electronics manufacturing and testing facility in the City of Waynesboro, creating more than 300 jobs over the next five years as the 315,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility comes online.
The news comes to us from an announcement made by the office of Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday.
The press release didn’t include details on construction and opening, but we were able to get that information from City Manager Mike Hamp, who told us in an email that the Northrop Grumman facility will be built on a parcel behind the Waynesboro Town Center on Shenandoah Village Drive and is slated to open in mid-2025.
The Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman, a global aerospace, defense and security company, does the majority of its business with the U.S. government, principally the Department of Defense and intelligence community.
The new facility planned in Waynesboro “will increase capacity to manufacture and test advanced electronics and mission solutions to meet our customers’ growing needs,” Northrop Grumman CEO and President Kathy Warden, said in a statement in the press release.
“We are pleased to expand our technology presence in the Commonwealth and look forward to welcoming more people to our mission-driven team,” Warden said.
This is obviously huge news for Waynesboro, which has been struggling for the past 30-plus years to recover from the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs from the now-shuttered DuPont and General Electric plants.
At their height, the two plants employed more than 8,000 people in Waynesboro at jobs paying well above the manufacturing industry average.
Today’s news represents a massive first step forward for a local economy with a median household income limping along at 58.6 percent of the state average, according to updated Census Bureau data.
“We’re thrilled with today’s announcement that Northrop Grumman has selected Waynesboro for their newest facility,” Waynesboro Mayor Lana Williams said in a statement included in the news release announcing the Northrop Grumman news.
“This investment brings economic growth and new employment opportunities to the city and region. We look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship,” Williams said.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Waynesboro and Northrop Grumman on the project. Youngkin approved an $8.5 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the city and Northrop Grumman with the project.
“Northrop Grumman’s expanding Virginia footprint sends a powerful message that the Commonwealth is a magnet for investment underpinned by a next-generation workforce,” Youngkin said in a statement in his office’s press release. “This global leader’s cutting-edge facility in Waynesboro will provide job opportunities that attract and retain high-quality talent and create a transformational ripple effect for the entire region.”
Waynesboro City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve Local Performance and Commonwealth Opportunity Fund agreements associated with the project.
“The addition of Aerospace and Technology Leader Northrop Grumman to Waynesboro is a significant and positive development for the community. The establishment of this manufacturing facility aligns seamlessly with our objective of attracting new investments and fostering well-paying employment opportunities within the city,” said Greg Hitchin, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the City of Waynesboro.