- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

Defense and aerospace contractor BAE Systems North America will start a business unit in Reston and hire 1,000 workers over the next three years.
Gov. James S. Gilmore III said in his final State of the Commonwealth address last night that BAE Systems North America will be given a $50,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund. The money will help pay for construction of a 135,000-square-foot building along Sunset Hills Road in Reston that BAE Systems will occupy.
The company's investment in the project will be an estimated $51.6 million. Construction on the building is expected to be complete by the fall.
The expansion project is significant because it provides economic stability in a time when so many technology companies are folding or cutting back, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President Gerald Gordon said.
"This gives us one more stable leg on the stool," Mr. Gordon said.
A press release from the state indicated Virginia competed for the economic-development project with Maryland and the District.
The new BAE Systems unit will do systems-integration work for federal agencies, and it will employ network and software engineers, development engineers and systems integrators.
BAE Systems North America specializes in aerospace products and defense electronics for the U.S. Department of Defense. Increasing federal spending, especially since the September 11 terrorist attacks and the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, have bolstered companies providing goods and services to the U.S. government.
"We have contracts with various federal agencies, and they operate in a different cycle than others in the commercial markets. I think of the consumer businesses as something that is in a bit of a tailspin," BAE Systems North America spokesman John Measell said.
BAE Systems North America has 22,000 workers in 30 states and the District, and is based in Rockville. About 4,500 BAE Systems North America employees work in the Washington area.
The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of BAE Systems PLC. of Britain and is traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The job growth could boost the number of tech-industry workers in Fairfax County. The county had 4,036 technology companies and 129,323 workers last year, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

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