El Salvador Opens

Consulate in Woodbridge

So many immigrants are living in the area that El Salvador's government is opening a second consulate, this one in Woodbridge.

The other Salvadoran consulate, near Dupont Circle in the District, is very busy. Lines form an hour before opening each morning.

"The idea is to decongest" the District office, where about 200 Salvadorans apply for passports and visas and seek help for problems each day, Consul General Ana Margarita Chavez said.

Prince William County was selected for the new consulate because the Salvadoran population here has been growing rapidly as immigrants seek more affordable housing and jobs in the county.

The office, at 14572 Potomac Mills Rd. near Potomac Mills mall, will open in mid-September. It will serve not only Salvadorans living in Virginia but also those as far away as Tennessee and North Carolina.

In addition to Salvadoran restaurants and grocery stores, Woodbridge has the county's first branch of a Salvadoran money wiring service operated by Bancomercio. The office opened in June in a Woodbridge shopping center and serves 3,000 customers a month who wire money to El Salvador and other Latin American nations.

Bancomercio will open a branch on Centreville Road in Manassas next month and expects to serve as many as 10,000 customers a month there.

"You can't even predict how fast it will grow," said Daniel Cardenas, administrative manager of Bancomercio's U.S. operations.

Bancomercio now operates 10 branches in the region, Cardenas said.

In May, Canada's Scotiabank completed its purchase of El Salvador's Banco de Comercio, which had owned Bancomercio.

Aurora Expands Manassas

Airport Operations

As airplanes and helicopters landed on a nearby runway, Aurora Flight Sciences of Manassas broke ground on a 50,000-square-foot expansion of its facility at Manassas Regional Airport.

The company, which develops unmanned aerial vehicles for the military and NASA, will add 81 jobs, employing a total of 181 engineers and other workers after the expansion is complete next summer.

Lockheed Martin Reaches

Environmental Milestone

A recycling program and reduced energy consumption helped Lockheed Martin's Manassas facility win recognition from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The facility, where about 1,500 people work, was among the first in the state to reach "extraordinary environmental enterprise" status.

Up next on Lockheed Martin's environmental agenda is a two-acre wildlife habitat on the 177-acre site for workers and students to tour and study. Environmental engineers plan to turn a patch of woods on the property into a refuge by next year's Earth Day.

Two Students Receive

Micron Scholarships

Two Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology students each won $16,500 scholarships from Micron Technology Foundation Inc., which was created by a gift from Micron Technology Inc. of Boise, Idaho.

The seniors, Sam Lederer and Jacob Oppenheim, both had perfect scores on the SAT.

Micron awards 13 scholarships every year to students in five states, including Virginia. Micron, which manufactures and markets semiconductor components, operates a facility in Manassas and employs 1,100 workers.

County Official Wins

Society's Safety Award

David Wenzel, safety program supervisor with Prince William County's Risk Management Office, received the Safety Professional of the Year Award from the National Capital Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the oldest and largest professional safety and health organization.


E-mail news about Prince William County business to morenoj@washpost.com.