LEBANON, Va., May 12, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) will host on May 13 the second annual Backyard Economic Summit from 2 - 4 p.m. at the Southwest Enterprise Solutions Center (SWESC), 201 Technology Park Drive. A reception and facility tour will follow.
The Backyard Economic Summit is a panel discussion with local executives and officials to celebrate successes and identify opportunities to further grow business in southwest Virginia.
"Partnerships like the one we've built here in southwest Virginia with VITA and the local community should serve as a template for other communities," said Doug McVicar, vice president of the VITA program for Northrop Grumman. "Today, I can say for certain that this community has met all the criteria to attract and retain high-tech business, and we are in the midst of a revolution in not just the way we deliver technology and services, but how the public and private sectors work together."
The event will include remarks by Lem Stewart, chief information officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and McVicar. The remarks will be followed by a panel discussion with Jonathan Belcher, executive director of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority; Dr. Mark Estepp, president of Southwest Virginia Community College; Shannon Blevins, director of Economic Development for the University of Virginia-College at Wise; and Dr. Terry Suarez, president of Mountain Empire Community College.
"Here in southwest Virginia, there are limitless possibilities for collaboration and improvement in transportation, education and health care," said Stewart. "Our challenge going forward is not bits and bytes. It is fostering continued, broad collaboration and culture change, deepening our bonds of trust and joint accountability and leading the next teams who will build upon our efforts. We are not done here."
In December 2007, Northrop Grumman and VITA announced their commitment to increasing high-technology career opportunities in the commonwealth with the opening of a new information technology (IT) facility in Lebanon.
The opening of SWESC is part of a landmark public-private infrastructure partnership between the commonwealth of Virginia and Northrop Grumman to modernize the IT infrastructure for state government. VITA is providing oversight of the partnership for the commonwealth.
The facility houses employees working on the IT Infrastructure Partnership project and Northrop Grumman internal IT operations. Over the next few years, approximately 400 employees, mostly Northrop Grumman workers, are expected to be located at the SWESC. The facility has additional capacity for growth.
The SWESC facility comprises approximately 101,000 square feet. Employees who work in the new building provide core IT services such as security, network operations management, data backup and recovery, and help desk services.
Northrop Grumman is also reaching out to the community, supporting local organizations that promote math and science education at all levels.
"We have contributed more than $1.5 million to the University of Virginia-Wise, Mountain Empire Community College and Southwest Virginia Community College as a way to help develop a future work force," McVicar added. "We will continue to invest further in Virginia's work force, education system and service organizations."
About the Virginia Information Technologies Agency
VITA is the Commonwealth's consolidated technology services and solutions provider responsible for the operation of the state's technology infrastructure, governance, security and oversight of major IT projects, and procurement of technology-related goods and services on behalf of state and local governments. http://www.vita.virginia.gov .
About Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Frank Moore Northrop Grumman Information Technology (703) 409-2882 firstname.lastname@example.org Juli Ballesteros, APR Northrop Grumman Information Technology (703) 556-2736 Juli.email@example.com