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Davis Journal

Northrop Grumman announces expansion project

Feb 22, 2024 11:39AM ● By Brice Wallace

Defense and aerospace giant Northrop Grumman is planning another round of expansion, with about 1,200 jobs expected to be created in Utah over the next two decades.

The expansion project was announced after the company was approved for a tax credit incentive of up to $106.9 million over 20 years by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity board at a recent board meeting. The incentive is tied to the creation of 1,206 high-paying jobs over 20 years.

GOEO documents indicate the expansion will take place at multiple locations in multiple Utah counties and represents capital expenditure by the company of $958 million. The company has major operations near Hill Air Force Base, near the Salt Lake City International Airport, in Magna and in Box Elder County.

Project details from the company were scarce. A brief comment from the company was read at the GOEO board meeting: “Northrop Grumman appreciates the partnership with the state of Utah, which has helped our continued growth throughout the state.”

Based in Falls Church, Virginia, Northrop Grumman Corp. has about 101,000 employees worldwide that deliver products, services and solutions to U.S. and international customers, including the U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence community. During 2023, the company reported sales of $39.3 billion.

Northrop’s history in Utah spans over eight decades. It is the largest private-sector aerospace and defense employer in the state.

“We’re proud to welcome Northrop Grumman’s expansion in Utah,” Gov. Spencer Cox said in a prepared statement. “Our state has a strong tradition in aerospace and defense, and Northrop Grumman has had an integral role in its history.

“Northrop Grumman is a major employer in Utah and has created many high-skilled jobs, particularly in engineering, technology and manufacturing. Utah has a skilled and well-educated workforce in these fields, which is not only a talent pool Northrop Grumman can tap into, but they’ve also played a role in fostering the development of a skilled workforce by supporting STEM education and programs. This synergistic relationship is one we look forward to continuing."

The expansion project is expected to generate new total wages of more than $2.74 billion over 20 years and nearly $356.4 million in new state tax revenue during that time. The average wage of the new jobs is projected to be $118,000.

“Northrop Grumman, a longtime technology innovation leader in the state, has chosen to expand its footprint in Utah, and we’re thrilled,” said Ryan Starks, GOEO’s executive director. “Utah’s strategic location in the western U.S. has logistical advantages for defense and aerospace and access to efficient transportation and resources. Northrop Grumman's operations in Utah rely on local suppliers and subcontractors, and we look forward to supporting the company’s growth and seeing the positive ripple effect throughout the state's supply chain.”

“For years, Northrop Grumman has been an anchor employer in Utah’s robust aerospace and defense industry,” said Scott Cuthbertson, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “It’s exciting to see its continued growth in several communities across the Wasatch Front.”

The state incentive is the second for the company in the past four years. In January 2020, what was then named the Governor’s Office of Economic Development board approved a $59.9 million tax credit incentive for the company, tied to the creation of 2,250 high-paying jobs over 20 years. The $380 million project was expected to result in new wages of more than $4.48 billion over five years and new state tax revenues of nearly $200 million during that time.

Most of those jobs were associated with the Northrop Grumman team supporting the Department of Defense’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) “Sentinel” program, the replacement for the nation’s current aging missile defense system. Salt Lake City was expected to be the site for 176 of the jobs, with the rest at either Ogden or at the Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park, a U.S. Air Force public/private partnership to develop 550 acres with retail, hotel, office and restaurant space on the western edge of Hill Air Force Base.

The company has said it expects the Sentinel program to employ thousands of people until at least 2075. A defense and aerospace conference in Davis County in mid-2022 featured speakers who said the phasing-out of the Minuteman III program would continue to need vendors and suppliers to support it for at least 15 more years.