Defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton to add 200 jobs in Cumberland

Posted August 28, 2018 11:18 a.m. EDT
Updated August 28, 2018 6:33 p.m. EDT

— National defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. plans to expand its operations to Cumberland County over the next five years, adding more than 200 jobs to the Fayetteville area in exchange for more than $2 million in state and local incentives.

The state's Economic Investment Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a Job Development Investment Grant, or JDIG, for the McClean, Va.-based company, which counts the federal government among its top clients. Booz Allen picked Fayetteville over Northern Virginia and Norfolk, Va., for the expansion, which will add to its 315 existing jobs in its Morganton Road operation.

The company has pledged to employ 208 additional people in the Fayetteville area – largely IT specialists, data scientists and engineers – at an average salary of $61,392. It also plans to make more than $5 million in capital investments to expand its offices.

Vice President Jay Dodd said Fayetteville's military-based workforce is ideal for the employees Booz Allen needs.

"The kind of hiring we're doing are for things ... [like] data analytics, engineering, cyber, machine learning," Dodd said.

Mayor Mitch Colvin said he hopes Booz Allen's expansion is the catalyst to encourage other high-tech companies to invest in Fayetteville and Cumberland County. But he added that community leaders aren't forgetting residents who don't have the skills needed to qualify for those types of jobs.

"From what I understand, we're in the finalist of a textile company that will provide those types of jobs, and we have a serious population that needs them. So, we hope that we can connect those two things together," Colvin said.

In addition to expanding its Fayetteville operation, Booz Allen plans to expand into other parts of Cumberland County in the future, Dodd said. When the expansion is complete, the payroll impact with be close to $13 million per year.

If Booz Allen meets its hiring, retention and investment targets, the JDIG award entitles the company to get back more than half of its employees' state withholding taxes for seven years. That incentive alone is valued at $1.8 million. Cumberland County and Fayetteville offered the firm more than almost $180,000 in incentives, and Department of Commerce officials estimate that an affiliated community college program to train workers for the company is worth another $208,000.

Because Cumberland County is a middle-tier county on the state's prosperity index, JDIG rules will require about $190,000 in tax withholdings to flow to a utility account that supports infrastructure improvements like water and sewer installation for economic development in equally or less prosperous counties.