PASCAGOULA, Miss., Dec. 6, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Jackson State University, in Jackson, Miss., have signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a cooperative program designed to enhance the education and economic development efforts of both organizations, as well as the state of Mississippi.

The program will advance collaboration efforts between the company's Ship Systems sector and the university, and will create new career development programs and employment opportunities through cooperative education, internships and direct recruitment initiatives in disciplines associated with the shipbuilding industry.

"Fostering opportunities within Mississippi's higher-education system builds partnerships that can lead to success on many levels," said Philip A. Dur, president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. "This program will outline new career paths for many Jackson State students and provide them the skills necessary to create an experienced roadmap for their future. Northrop Grumman welcomes the opportunity to partner in this program with the business leaders of tomorrow."

Many partnership efforts, including joint research and funding opportunities, new accreditation courses, and new scholarships, signify the development potential established by this program. Specifically, this agreement includes the commitment by Northrop Grumman to provide $250,000 to support the establishment of a Northrop Grumman Professor of Engineering position at the university, and also to provide $10,000 annually to fund scholarships for students who come from the six southernmost counties in Mississippi.

"This memorandum is a partnership between the largest employer in the state and the largest university in the metropolitan capital city area," said Dr. Ronald Mason, president, Jackson State University. "Its potential for both knowledge and workforce development is unlimited. It is a true effort at forming the kind of partnerships that will move Mississippi forward."

The main shipbuilding subjects outlined in the agreement include engineering, business, computer science, accounting, psychology, human resource management, information technology, quality assurance and logistics. The agreement also includes provisions for Jackson State faculty to be involved in cooperative research projects that would include summer employment at Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; and in New Orleans and Tallulah, La., as well as in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. Ship Systems is one of the nation's leading full-service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction and life-cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies.

  CONTACT:  Bill Glenn
          Northrop Grumman Ship Systems 
          (228) 935-3972