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Northrop Grumman names UAH as one of only eight ‘Focus Universities’

Courtesy Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman, a global aerospace and defense technology company with more than 90,000 employees, has designated The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of The University of Alabama System, as a “Focus University” – one of only eight institutions in the country to receive that distinction. With this title comes a donation of $90,000, which will be used to create endowed scholarships, support UAH student organizations, and provide for programs in business, science, technology, engineering and math.

Northrop Grumman values developing partnerships with universities, and its long-standing relationship with UAH began when the company was growing its ranks of high-quality interns and entry-level employees. The relationship has yielded opportunities for the company and UAH students alike. Lauren Youngblood, Talent Acquisition Business Partner at Northrop Grumman, says, “We receive a lot of candidates from UAH and they’re top-notch.” Currently, UAH is the top provider of interns for Northrop Grumman nationwide. The company boasts a significant number of UAH alumni employees, many of whom have served long tenures at the company.

Northrop Grumman’s ongoing investment in UAH organizations and University alumni generates a student-to-employee pipeline to bolster their workforce. The company hopes to accelerate that investment in the coming years. “Northrop Grumman’s goal is to grow its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, and working with UAH student organizations is a way to fulfill that goal,” says Youngblood.

The company provides financial support to many student organizations and is increasing its presence on campus by encouraging employee participation as guest speakers, mentors and workshop leaders. Youngblood adds that Northrop Grumman started a mentoring program that led to internships for participating UAH students, a move that has fostered collaboration and trust between the company and the University. The program spurred UAH to create the i4 Program, which connects students with nationally and internationally-recognized companies like Northrop Grumman for mentorship and training to ultimately help them secure jobs after graduation.

Northrop Grumman also recognizes the contributions of the many UAH alumni who work for the company. Youngblood – herself a UAH alumna who will “always bleed Charger Blue” – says Northrop Grumman is developing and growing the company’s UAH alumni chapter to strengthen the relationship between UAH and Northrop Grumman. The chapter will provide opportunities for students to interact with alumni and promote philanthropic support for the University. Northrop Grumman’s hope is the chapter will increase alumni involvement through various channels, including seminars, athletic events and professional development opportunities.

Youngblood emphasizes that Northrop Grumman wants to continue and expand this beneficial relationship with UAH. “We recognize the importance of growing the partnership,” she notes. “Northrop Grumman has a strategic plan in place that includes UAH.”


Katie Thurston

Jenn Memolo