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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

Northrop Finishes Consolidation of Unit at Valley Site

Northrop Finishes Consolidation of Unit at Valley Site By SLAV KANDYBA Staff Reporter Officials at Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Navigation Systems Division in Woodland Hills dedicated a manufacturing center March 16 that took two years to relocate from Santa Barbara County. The Hemispherical Resonator Gyro center is the latest addition to a 765,000- square-foot, nine-building park nestled next to the 101 Freeway just off the Canoga Avenue ramp that serves as Navigation Systems headquarters. It occupies about 4,500 square feet inside the defense contractor’s sole Valley location. Northrop was on a shopping spree of sorts in the past decade and HRG, formerly part of Litton Systems, was one of several acquisitions, said Ron Tanabe, Northrop’s director of space systems. “They wanted it all merged here in Woodland Hills,” Tanabe said. “Instead of having pockets all over.” HRG employed 250 people in Goleta, but many of them declined a proposed move to Woodland Hills and subsequently left the company, Tanabe said. Northrop then drew on its existing employees. Between 60 and 70 Navigation Systems employees were assigned to learn gyro production. They create the small, spinning objects at the core of technology that controls motion on military, space and commercial projects, said Chris Seemann, a program manager who reports to Tanabe. Although he declined to say how much revenue the HRG unit brings in to Navigation Systems, spokesperson Barteld said the entire division has had growth. In 2001, it brought in $591 million in sales, compared to $668 million in 2002 and $756 million in 2003. Now that it’s fully operational, the center employs about 200 people that either work in or support technicians in four “clean rooms” that occupy 4,500 square feet of space, Seemann said. Although it wasn’t exactly significant job growth, the consolidation is still good news to at least one public official. “The last two weeks I’ve been getting a notice every day” that a 101 corridor company is downsizing or leaving, said County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who represents the Third District and attended the ceremony. “Any time we can create jobs (and) bring manufacturers back is a good deal.” Tanabe doesn’t necessarily see it that way. “Population has grown here (at the facility), but a lot of that is by consolidation and not growth,” he said. However, he added: “I know we’ve hired people.” Northrop is not the only large defense contractor that is consolidating its businesses in the Valley. Last month, a spokesperson at Boeing Co.’s Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power plant on Canoga Avenue revealed his department along with some machinists were moving to a facility on DeSoto Avenue.

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