Gov. Youngkin hails opening of new rocket research facility in Fauquier County

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State and local officials, including Gov. Glenn Youngkin, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday to kick-off the opening of a 20,000-square-foot office and manufacturing facility in Fauquier County that specializes in developing advanced, state-of-the-art tactical missiles.

The business behind construction of the $2.5 million facility, SPARC Research, was founded in 2017 by aerospace engineer and CEO Patrick Hewitt, who envisioned the company as a high-tech aerospace engineering services program focused on advanced missile and rocket propulsion. SPARC currently has about 20 employees as well as interns and consultants.

According to SPARC, the 4.5-acre facility, located at 5310 Edmore Court, expects to create 16 new jobs with the possibility of future expansion in the county.

“We’ll be expanding in the Fauquier area and may have a few more ribbon-cuttings coming up,” Hewitt said during the ceremony.

Gov. Youngkin, during the event, echoed Hewitt’s comment and said SPARC’s opening was “just the beginning” of the state’s investment in the STEM industry during his term.

“And that’s one of the things that I am so excited about what’s happening across Virginia, is this ecosystem that has absolutely hit high gear … with large companies coming here like Boeing, like Raytheon,” he said.

“When you see a workforce actually being trained at our great universities … community colleges and aspirations and in our high schools to focus on STEM; when you, in fact, see entrepreneurs thriving, and ideas becoming great businesses, that’s an ecosystem that will win,” the governor said.

Following Youngkin’s speech, Scott District Supervisor Holder Trumbo said the Board of Supervisors welcomed the opening of the new facility. Trumbo said it is “a testament to Fauquier County’s commitment to our business community.”

“This is a perfect example of how the great workforce that we have here in Fauquier County can be developed right here,” he said. “A lot of your employees I know are right here … And that’s why Fauquier County wants to invest in businesses like this and keep this kind of thing going on. We look forward to supporting the next phases of your development.”

Del. Elizabeth Guzman said attracting companies like SPARC is a plus for Fauquier and the state because it will attract “hardworking and talented” people while creating high-paying jobs.

“It is one of the benefits of being labeled as the No 1 state for business in the country, where around the commonwealth we’re able to see businesses in a wide range of industries, like aerospace and research. And we want to thank SPARC for calling Virginia their home,” she said.

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