Northrop Grumman sponsores Va. veterans employment program; Boeing faces credit risk if Ex-Im bank shuts

As Washington lawmakers debate the merits of keeping open the Export-Import Bank, which finances foreign buyers of American products, a new Standard & Poor’s report pointed out that Boeing stands to lose the most if that happens.

Boeing is the largest beneficiary of the Ex-Im bank’s activities, the report said.

A Government Accountability Office report released this week found that as of March 2014, the bank sponsored $32 billion to support the export of wide-body jets, which are solely manufactured by Boeing.

Although Boeing could raise capital from other sources, S&P analysts estimate that it needs to raise an additional $7 billion to $9 billion if the Ex-Im bank’s support is removed, which could affect its credit rating in the future.

Other big companies that rely heavily on the bank's financing do not face the same challenges, the report said. These include General Electric, Caterpillar and United Technologies.

“None of the other rated companies rely on Ex-Im’s financing and guarantees as much or face the kind of competitive pressures Boeing does,” the report said. Airbus, Boeing’s main competitor, is financed by European export credit agencies.

The Export-Import bank’s charter expires in September this year and critics say the bank’s support of large organizations puts taxpayer dollars at risk. Supporters argue that it also sponsors small businesses.

Northrop sponsors veterans employment plan

The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Veterans Employment Initiative received a $250,000 contribution from Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman last week.

The program, aimed at helping veterans find jobs as they transition to civilian life, started last August. Veterans are matched with jobs, internships and certifications through the initiative. More than 180 companies have committed to hiring veterans as part of the program since its inception, the Council said. In addition, more than 6,500 jobs have been listed on the Council’s site for veterans.

Northrop Grumman’s contribution makes it the lead sponsor of the program this year. Other partners include job-search Web site Monster.com, the Consumer Electronics Association and the Northern Virginia Community College.

“This partnership gives us the financial capability to provide a full range of services to veterans,” said Bobbie Kilburg, the council’s president.

The decision to sponsor the program was the result of months of discussion, said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop’s vice president of corporate social responsibility.

“The entire initiative is critical to us as we build our workforce,” Evers-Manly said.

Northrop will be part of the Council’s job fairs for veterans, post positions on the online portal and take part in other activities through the program.

Unicom Government buys MicroTech division

Herndon-based government services provider Unicom has acquired MicroTechnologies’ visual communications division based in Greensboro, N.C., the companies announced last week. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition “strengthens [Unicom]’s ability to deliver full, mission-purposeful solutions to government and commercial organizations,” Corry Hong, the president of Unicom Global, which owns Unicom Government, said in a statement.

MicroTech’s visual division uses a patented switching technology to secure government communications. The sale of the North Carolina division helps MicroTech focus on its core capabilities, including telecommunications and cybersecurity, the company said in a statement. MicroTech chief executive Anthony Jimenez, who resumed control of the business in May after a temporary suspension by the Small Business Administration, said the company’s ongoing research and development work would be an “essential ingredient” in its growth strategy.

Amrita Jayakumar covers federal government contracting for Capital Business, The Post's local business publication.
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