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Embracing Community

Northrop Grumman is among the Best of Reston.

When TRW was acquired by Northrop Grumman in 1999, local organizations in Reston weren’t sure what to expect, according Tracey White, president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. They wondered if Northrop Grumman would continue the level of giving that TRW had done.

But not only was it a seamless transition, said White, but the company has expanded its role in the community.

It’s common to find Northrop Grumman employees at local volunteer events in the area. “They really have that corporate mentality of giving back,” said White.

OVER THE YEARS, the company’s Information Technology and Mission Systems sectors, which include about 1,000 employees based in Reston, have been a consistent supporter of numerous local community organizations, including the Greater Reston Arts Center, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council of Fairfax County, Fairfax Education Foundation, Leadership Fairfax Inc., Volunteer Fairfax and Langston Hughes Middle School.

For its many contributions to the community, the company was named a 2006 Best of Reston award winner last January.

The Best of Reston awards are given out each year by Reston Interfaith and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and presented to businesses, individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in their service to improving the quality of life of those in the Reston community. Northrop Grumman and this year’s other award winners will be honored at the 15th Annual Best of Reston Gala on April 20.

“At Volunteer Fest last year, literally hundreds of [Northrop Grumman] volunteers turned out, many in Reston,” said White, who nominated the company for the award.

“I’M CONSTANTLY finding out about employees who are doing volunteer work. It’s part of what they do,” said Lynn Gilmore, senior manager of community affairs, Northrop Grumman. “As a company, we try to do what we can to make a difference.”

“It’s always encouraged,” said Kathy Oris, a Northrop Grumman employee and Reston resident who often volunteers for various community causes.

She added that when it comes to volunteering, she’s a common commodity at Northrop Grumman. “They make you very aware of every opportunity out there if you want to volunteer,” said Oris, who says the corporation leads by example.

One such example is a company program called Employees of Northrop Grumman Charity Organization, or ECHO. Through the program, employees donated more than $53,000 last year alone to 21 area nonprofits.

At Langston Hughes, students benefit from a business partnership with the company. “[Northrop Grumman] has enabled us to provide opportunities to students who otherwise might not have them and exposed our students to science and technology professionals,” said Heather Cox, assistant principal, Langston Hughes.

Northrop Grumman has funded student government leadership training, National Junior Honor Society service projects and the school’s literacy initiative. “They are also paying for 10 girls to register for the Sally Ride science and technology festival at George Mason University,” said Cox.