Harris Corp. Coming to Harrisonburg

Jeremy Aldrich -- August 2nd, 2010

Harris Corporation, a multi-billion dollar federal contractor, will soon be setting up an outpost in Harrisonburg.

According to a press release from Governor McDonnell’s office, the company will establish a base for its Cyber Integrated Solutions business, which focuses on cybersecurity for government agencies as well as financial and healthcare services.

The company will renovate the Blue Ridge Data Center near Beacon Hill Townhomes in the city, according to Harrisonburg Public Information Officer Miriam Dickler.  A May press release from Harris Corp. stated, “The new Harris Cyber Integration Center will be located in a 140,000-square-foot facility in the mid-Atlantic region that Harris recently acquired. The company expects the center to be fully operational by the end of the calendar year.” Although that press release didn’t specify where the site would be located, it seems to be referring to the Blue Ridge Data Center location, which takes advantage of Harrisonburg’s proximity to DC (while being outside the 50-mile nuclear blast zone) and some of the lowest electrical utility rates in the country.

Hburgnews reported on the opening of the Blue Ridge Data Center in 2008.

Although both the Governor’s press release and other local news stories have focused on Harris Corp. bringing “100 new jobs” to the city, it is not clear what happened to the previous employees of the data center.

Image by JohnSeb.

6 Responses to “Harris Corp. Coming to Harrisonburg”

  1. Bill Tolbert says:

    I truly hope that this endeavor and the research organization located north of town live up to the expectations that have been set for both.
    It would also be nice to occasionally have a little light shown on existing technology firms that were created and exist here locally. These firms are making a difference and contributing to our community on a daily basis without much recognition.

    • Nicky Swayne says:

      For who’s doing what locally and the spotlight that is shined on our Valley tech firms, innovations, entrepreneurs -and the brains behind those successes – I recommend the TECH NITE pages of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council. For 10 years we’ve highlighted Valley tech efforts and individuals, and yes, there are many of them! March 2010 marked our 10th Technology Awards Gala, and we had 28 nominations for 7 award categories. It’s the annual event for technology creators AND users and I recommend penciling in the 11th one for May 2011. For the summary of the firms and leaders and educators and what precisely they were recognized for, check out the pdf that follows the 1st paragraph on this page:
      http://svtc-va.org/v.php?pg=23

  2. Tad says:

    “Harris Corporation will receive a significant sales tax exemption for equipment and computing assets associated with this business through the Virginia Retail Sales and Use Tax bill. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia, to facilitate the award of these incentives and ultimately the creation of these high tech jobs in the state of Virginia.”

    In the rest of the animal kingdom this is known as being a parasite.

  3. William Russell says:

    This data center is the culmination of a great deal of effort by the City of Harrisonburg Economic Development staff, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and their staffs – particularly Brian Shull of the city and Michael MacNeilly, formerly with the VEDP. We at Criticon Corporation always felt Harrisonburg to be a premier data center and mission critical location on the East coast.

    • Tad says:

      So the government bribe in the form of a tax abatement played no part in the decision? If so don’t accept it.

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