JOHNSTOWN, Pa., June 4, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) Program presented a $5,000 grant last week to The Challenge Program, Inc., a non-profit organization that bridges the gap between high school students and their local business community by providing incentives for students to succeed while attending school. This donation will allow the program to continue in 100 schools throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware and reach an additional 93 schools next year.

This presentation was made in conjunction with the area's largest business exhibition, Showcase for Commerce, where the company not only highlighted its strong business presence, but also emphasized Northrop Grumman's vibrant local involvement in the Johnstown community.

"Northrop Grumman is committed to supporting educational excellence in Johnstown, and in all our communities nationwide," said Tony Spehar, vice president and program manager of the Kinetic Energy Interceptors program for Northrop Grumman. "The Challenge Program's approach demonstrates to students how the real world recognizes and rewards excellence in a very tangible way. As a company, we strive to motivate kids to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, knowing that this investment will produce tomorrow's talent. Linking local business with students at this age will help build active, knowledgeable members of the community who will serve as the next generation of business leaders."

The Challenge Program, which started in 2004 in Johnstown, Pa., is dedicated to motivating students to perform well in school, introduce them to the business community, and encourage students to remain in or return to their communities once they have completed their formal education. During this period, the program has aggressively grown to reach schools throughout western Pennsylvania and Dover, Del., with the dream of eventually going nationwide.

"This funding will help support the operational and capacity building of the Challenge Program, which is growing exponentially and getting students excited about being in school," said Dan Perkins, chairman of the board/founder of The Challenge Program, Inc., and owner and chief executive officer of MTS Technologies, Inc. "It effectively bridges the gap between their studies and the business world, challenging them to do well in school and fostering the right habits that will make them a success in any career they choose."

Throughout the school year, students are encouraged to perform well in four different categories: most improved academically, best attendance, most community service, and best grade point average. The students who excel in one of these categories will receive a cash prize at the end of the year.

Northrop Grumman's local operation supports the U.S. Department of Defense, other federal agencies and the commercial healthcare industry. The company is set to open the doors to its new, expanded facility, located at the Greater Johnstown Technology Park, this fall. Among the key programs housed in this new facility will be network communications and collaboration systems engineering office, the Kinetic Energy Interceptors Program, Northrop Grumman's National Work Force Center and several healthcare information technology initiatives.

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:  Marynoele Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 345-6734