Lockheed Martin Corp. will officially open a new office in the Woodlawn area today and is hiring 200 workers to keep up with business from the Social Security Administration, one of its federal clients.
The company's expansion of its information technology division has been good for area residents: Most of the 120 people already picked to fill the new jobs - which include database administration and software engineering - just graduated from colleges in Baltimore County.
"It's been a very exciting time for us," said Michael Leff, a program director with Lockheed Martin Information Technology.
Best known as a defense contractor, the Bethesda-based company also provides information technology services, systems integration and training to the U.S. government. And it's a good time to be a Maryland business involved in the business of government: When Washington spending mushrooms, its immediate neighbors benefit from the largess.
The Social Security Administration - which, like Lockheed Martin, is expanding - employs about 9,800 at its Woodlawn headquarters and is part of a federal cluster that county leaders equate to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford or the National Security Agency in Anne Arundel for economic development impact.
Add in the Baltimore County-based Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the local field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and "we probably have over 14,000 federal employees in the Woodlawn area," said David S. Iannucci, executive director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development.
The county will celebrate one of the ripple effects of that employment when it joins with Lockheed Martin today for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the company's new 39,000-square- foot office on Windsor Boulevard. They had planned to mark the hiring of the information technology division's 1,000th employee, but it's growing so quickly that it's already about 100 people past that point.
Including the 600 employees at Lockheed's maritime systems business unit in Middle River, the company is the 12th-largest employer in a county full of large employers.
Baltimore County ranks second, after Montgomery, in the state in terms of jobs, with about 364,000 as of last count a year ago, according to the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.