Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in his State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday that Navy Federal Credit Union plans a $100 million expansion of its Winchester operations center that he estimates will create roughly 1,400 jobs.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the county to secure the project for the state.
McAuliffe approved a grant worth $2 million from the state’s Commonwealth Opportunity Fund to assist Frederick County in securing the project. Additionally, $4 million in funds from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant were approved by the governor.
The grant funds will be awarded once Navy Federal satisfies certain job, wage and investment requirements. The Commonwealth Opportunity Funds will be awarded up front on the conditions that performance requirements are met by a certain date, explained Patrick Barker, executive director of the Frederick County Economic Development Authority.
Barker said this is the biggest business expansion in the history of the county of nearly 80,000 people.
“This is a historic level of commitment being made to the county of Frederick,” Barker said. “The number of jobs and capital investment is the most in Frederick County history. … (The expansion) really does have that potential to be that transformational synergy that the county can use to further put itself on the radar for additional business investments.”
Susan Brooks, senior vice president of contact center operations, stated in an email that the expansion includes the addition of a three-level 180,000 square-foot building as well as a five-story parking garage. The expansion will be built on Navy Federal’s 27-acre Winchester property. Construction is slated to begin in March and be completed by 2018.
Brooks went on to explain why Navy Federal chose Frederick County.
“Navy Federal has had very high standards of service to our members delivered for 84 years,” she stated. “Navy Federal chose Frederick County to grow because we have found great, hardworking individuals who are committed to serving our members of the armed forces and their family members.”
Brooks stated that the new jobs will consist of lending, information services and contact center positions.
Barker said he hopes the credit union’s investment will pave the way for additional investment in industries other than those for which the county is known.
“Frederick County is known for manufacturing, distribution and health care, so trying to convince companies to make investments outside those niches requires additional effort,” he said. “Hopefully this (expansion) will provide that leverage.”
Barker said it’s hard to know where the new workers will come from, explaining that it will most likely be a combination of locals, commuters and those who relocate.
“You’ll probably get some that move to the area,” he said. “The labor force will come from multiple sources and our hope is that it provides options for Frederick County for present day and future.”
Brooks echoed Barker’s line of thinking, noting that a commitment to service among its employees is paramount.
“We’re anticipating that the majority of these jobs will be filled locally, although those who are looking to relocate can certainly apply,” she stated. “For us, it’s important that all our team members share the same passion of serving the men and women of the armed forces and their families.”
Navy Federal, the world’s largest credit union, boasts more than $79 billion in assets, six million members, 295 branches and a workforce of more than 14,000 employees globally, Brooks stated. It serves members of the armed forces, including civilian personnel, contractor personnel, the Department of Defense and their families. Navy Federal’s current workforce of roughly 1,500 will be nearly doubled by the expansion. It routinely ranks among Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” list, ranking as 44th in 2016.
Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com