Northrop Grumman planning to hire 600 people at Florida facility

About half of new hires to be from Brevard area

MELBOURNE, Fla. - A Northrop Grumman executive said Thursday that of the 600 people it's going to need for its new Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence, about half will be hires from the Brevard County area.

The rest have agreed to transfer from the company's operation on Long Island in New York, according to Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

Rick Matthews, who is heading up the defense contractor's new facility at Melbourne International Airport, said some workers decided not to make it to Florida for various reasons, including family, housing or other obligations.

"Every decision is a personal decision and they need to go through it in a thoughtful way," Matthews said.

Matthews, most recently in charge of Northrop Grumman's manufacturing facility in St. Augustine, was the keynote speaker at Thursday's Breakfast of Champions meeting held by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce of East Central Florida.

More than 200 people turned out for the sold-out breakfast, a larger-than-usual crowd for the monthly breakfast.

Aside from the higher-paying jobs Northrop Grumman is bringing to the area — the average wage is $75,000 a year — Matthews said the employees will be committed to supporting Brevard County's community endeavors.

"It's not just the money that it brings in," Matthews said. "These are engaged people. They will be intertwined in your community, and they'll be involved in everything that we're doing."

Northrop Grumman announced in March it would bring 1,000 workers to Melbourne during the next three years. Including spin-off jobs, the expansion is projected to bring more than 2,500 new jobs for the area.

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