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Huntington Ingalls Industries to Establish Unmanned Systems Facility in Hampton

Written on September 22, 2020
Nation’s largest military shipbuilder will create more than 250 new jobs

(Norfolk – September 22, 2020) — The Hampton Roads Alliance is pleased to share that Governor Ralph Northam announced today Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) will create more than 250 new jobs in the region by establishing an Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence in the City of Hampton. HII is the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company and provides professional services to government and industry. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project.

“Virginia is proud to be home to the largest military shipbuilder in the country,” said Governor Northam. “Huntington Ingalls Industries is a national leader in advanced manufacturing, and this investment is a powerful testament to Virginia’s workers and business environment. The company’s new unmanned systems facility in Hampton will support America’s national security and play a key role in strengthening our economic recovery as we continue working to rebound from this health crisis.”

“It was an honor for the Alliance team to work with Virginia’s largest industrial employer, Huntington Ingalls Industries, to find the most suitable location for its new Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence,” said President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Alliance Doug Smith. “This expansion into the Hampton Roads Center North Campus will allow HII to increase its capacity and efficiency, and further solidify HII’s position as an industry leader on a local, state, and national level. We commend HII for its continued commitment to serving the U.S. military and defense industry, and look forward to the company’s next chapter in Hampton Roads.”

For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division supports national security missions around the globe with unmanned systems, nuclear and environmental services, defense and federal solutions, and fleet sustainment. Headquartered in Newport News, HII employs more than 42,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

“Huntington Ingalls Industries has been a longtime valued corporate partner to Virginia, and we are proud that the company will continue its investment in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “HII already employs more than 26,000 Virginians, and its role in our economy cannot be overstated. We look forward to supporting this significant project as Huntington Ingalls expands its footprint in Hampton Roads.”

“The establishment of Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence is a commitment to innovation, commerce, infrastructure, and leading-edge exploration,said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “With the strong partnership between HII and the Commonwealth, this investment crosses all sectors of Virginia’s economy and creates a platform for great opportunity and growth.”

“We are very excited to build this state-of-the-art facility and believe this added capability will truly enhance our ability to perform current and future work, and allow us to remain on the forefront of advanced manufacturing technology,” said HII President and CEO Mike Petters. “We are appreciative of the great partnerships we have with the Commonwealth, Governor Northam, and our local officials as we move forward in constructing this new facility.” 

The Alliance worked with Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Hampton Economic Development to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $1.5 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Hampton with the project. The Governor also approved a performance-based grant of $1.5 million from the Virginia Investment Performance program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Huntington Ingalls Industries is eligible to receive funding from the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund, administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Support for Huntington Ingalls Industries’ job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

“With the establishment of this Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence in Hampton, Huntington Ingalls Industries will have a new home where the company can continue its long, successful history of meeting the needs of customers worldwide,” said City of Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck. “Today’s announcement brings significant investment and great jobs, and on behalf of our City Council, I want to thank the company for their ongoing commitment to Hampton.”

Read Governor Northam’s original announcement published on

Jillian Goodwin,
Director of Marketing & Communications
Hampton Roads Alliance


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