Friday, April 30, 2010

Silverman Explains Northrop Loss

Montgomery County Director of Economic Development Steve Silverman sent the following letter to members of the business community explaining Maryland's failure to land Northrop Grumman.

April 29, 2010

Dear [Name]:

I am sure that there will be many articles written about Northrop Grumman’s decision to locate in Virginia, and I also assume that the facts and speculations surrounding the deal will be rehashed and debated. Given my day-to-day involvement in the County’s efforts to secure Northrop Grumman, I wanted to provide you with my personal perspective on this effort.

Rest assured that Montgomery County and the State of Maryland put forth an extremely competitive offer to Northrop Grumman. During this five month process, Maryland and the County worked collaboratively to attract this high profile prospect, and did so by involving high ranking leaders in our business and public sectors.

There are two important factors I would like you to know about this particular recruitment. One is that all of the elected decision-makers, who were required to sign off on our offer, starting with County Executive Ike Leggett and the Governor, did so with a thorough acknowledgement that we needed to be extremely aggressive, and aggressive in an unprecedented fashion. The second point I would like to convey is that Maryland and the County were complimented by many involved in the selection process on our attractive offer and welcoming nature. It appears that we surprised the site selection community with our proactive competitiveness, and in the process, hopefully changed the perception that Maryland and Montgomery County are not always willing to be real players in such high-stake recruiting activities – because we were and will continue to be.

At the end of the day, Northrop Grumman made a business decision involving real estate and unfortunately this time, that decision did not go our way. As we have previously noted, the glut of office space in Northern Virginia will remain a challenge for us, no matter what type of aggressive incentives we propose. While we are clearly disappointed, the County, the State and our respective economic development agencies are proud of our efforts.

I would like to thank you and your colleagues for your support of our corporate recruitment activities and ask that you continue your efforts to make Montgomery County a great place to live, work, learn, and play.


Steven A. Silverman