Northrop Grumman relocation is first McDonnell challenge

Governor Tim Kaine has said of Northrop Grumman relocating to the “Capitol Region”:

“This is great news for the region. Northrop Grumman is Virginia’s largest private employer and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the company.”

Congressman Rob Wittman has said that

“the upper part of Virginia’s First Congressional District contains many sensible locations that provide ideal proximity to your customers, the federal government, the Department of Defense and the intelligence agencies”.

But ultimately, it’s going to come down to what Govenor-elect Bob McDonnell said during the campaign (and of new Secretary of Commerce and Trade Robert Sledd):

“I wanted a corporate executive, I wanted a successful CEO, that had the credibility and the stature and the ability to travel around the country and around the world and look CEOs in the eye and say, `You need to come to Virginia because we’re a great place to do business.'”

So when is that first meeting between Sledd and Northrop Grumman President & CEO Wesley Bush? And what’s on the agenda?

According to both the McDonnell administration and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling’s staff (our job czar), the administration is looking at Northrop Grumman “big time.”

And they better.

While the budget is important, landing Northrop Grumman in Northern Virginia is the administration’s first big test. Given that Northrop Grumman owns the Newport News Shipyard and is our commonwealth’s number one employer, this should be a no-brainer for the company to relocate its HQ here.

However, there are never any guarantees.

If McDonnell cannot deliver on Northrop Grumman, will “Bob’s for Jobs” be a mere slogan in the wake of a major failure? Let’s hope not.

Besides, Kaine is right: Why would Northorp Grumman leave their home in LA to relocate to Maryland or DC? Ick.

McDonnell will make certain though that the deal is closed: at least that was what was promised to us. No pressure, your soon-to-be Excellency. 🙂

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