BETHPAGE, N.Y., Nov. 16, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Bethpage site will test a grant program for Integrated Systems sector employees who are first-time home buyers as part of a new employer assisted housing program.
The $5,000 grant pilot program is the latest in a growing initiative within the company's Integrated Systems sector to address the high cost of housing on Long Island.
The pilot program will be in effect for six months, after which the company will evaluate the program's effectiveness. Each company grant recipient can then apply for a matching grant that is funded by New York State (though it has its own eligibility criteria).
"I am announcing this grant program today as the next step in our continuing effort to help Integrated Systems employees on Long Island," said Duke Dufresne, sector vice president and the senior company executive on Long Island for Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems. "While it won't bring down real-estate prices, it will at least ease the overall cost burden on things like high closing costs in this marketplace."
"We looked into the issues facing our new employees and became concerned that high real-estate prices on Long Island could discourage these talented employees as they began ascending the growth curve in their careers," said Dufresne. "We then worked this problem from within the company and within the community, raising the issue with civic and business leaders wherever we could. Today, the workforce housing issue is being moved from discussion to action."
The pilot program was designed in consultation with the Long Island Housing Partnership (LIHP) and the Community Development Corporation (CDC). Eligibility qualifications are relatively simple. An employee must be a first-time home buyer and the employee must complete a Home Buyer's Education Program with LIHP or CDC. This benefits first-time buyers by teaching them the processes that govern home buying in New York State and also makes them aware of housing opportunities, financial products and services that are available to them. They must also fit within the salary bands as set by CDC and Long Island Home Works for the matching grant.
"Today's new employees are entering a tough housing market," said Dufresne. "Despite their competitive salaries, affordable housing does present a challenge to the company in attracting and retaining a talented workforce. We stand behind initiatives such as the federal workforce housing bill co-sponsored by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and other initiatives championed by the Long Island Association that urge the New York State Assembly to pass legislation to help local communities on Long Island build workforce housing within their boundaries. These are the keys that will open the doors for our next generation employee workforce."
"I applaud Northrop Grumman and Duke Dufresne for continuing Northrop Grumman's awareness of the need for workforce homes and expanding it's commitment to them," said Sen. Clinton. "This announcement today is not only an investment in their employees, it is an investment in Long Island's future. Since the launch of the Employer Assisted Housing program in 2001, I have continued to work with employers to expand the program and allow it to have a greater impact. This past June, I introduced the Housing America's Workforce Act in the Senate. This bill will provide an incentive to employers to create these types of programs and make them more effective. This housing benefit program is one more tool to address the affordable-housing crisis on Long Island. Working together to find innovative public-private solutions like the one Northrop Grumman is launching today, we can make progress towards solving the crisis, keeping our children on Long Island and providing the critical workforce needed for Long Island's future."
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise with the capabilities to design, develop, produce and support fully missionized integrated systems and subsystems. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services in support of chosen segments within the broad market areas of battlespace awareness, command and control systems and integrated combat systems.
CONTACT: John A. Vosilla Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (516) 575-5119 John.Vosilla@ngc.com