Hughes Network Systems Expands Operations

The wireless communications systems company builds a $12 million manufacturing facility in Montgomery County

Hughes Network Systems Inc. last week broke ground for its sixth structure in Montgomery County, Md.

HNS, a leading supplier of wireless communications systems and network solutions, is currently building a $12 million manufacturing facility on a 125,000-square-foot site in Shady Grove.

The company, a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp., has had its headquarters in Gaithersburg since 1987. Since then they have chosen to stay and grow in Montgomery County.

"We decided to expand the HNS presence in Montgomery County after studying a number of potential sites outside the county and the state," said HNS CEO Jack Shaw. "Our decision to remain and expand here was based on the wealth and diversity of talent and of other advantages the county offers."

This sixth facility will border an existing HNS manufacturing site in Shady Grove. It will be a one-story, build-to-suit property in which HNS will invest more than $12 million in the facility's shell costs, capital improvements and lease payments.

The building will open this winter and accommodate more than 350 workers in a wide range of technical and professional capacities. It will enable HNS to consolidate all manufacturing, purchasing, distribution, circuit board assembly and warehouse functions in the Shady Grove area. More than 300 employees in manufacturing/operations and purchasing positions will relocate from Germantown, and some new positions will be opened.

"Hughes Network Systems is a highly valued corporate citizen, and we take enormous pride in its continued growth," said Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening in a press release.

The new building adds to the 550,000 square feet of space HNS currently occupies in Montgomery County. Out of nearly 3,000 HNS employees worldwide, approximately 2,500 work in the Montgomery County facilities. HNS, which is fully dependent on the private commercial sector, further contributes

to local employment in the form of an annual payroll approaching $70 million. As one of the county's largest employers, HNS has grown at an annual average of 35 percent since its start less than 10 years ago.

With international sales and support offices worldwide, HNS remains the leading supplier of a complete line of interactive VSAT satellite network and enterprise networks.

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