Earlier today, I stood with a group of federal, state,
and local officials to talk about NGA.
In less than a month, the NGA will announce where it
plans to move its 3,100 well-paying jobs; where the federal government will make
a $1.75 billion investment into a community; and where more than a thousand
people will work building to build an intelligence campus.
We know that the
City of St. Louis is the best choice for the NGA to continue to fulfill its
mission.And today’s announcement makes
it an easier choice. On Friday, I told NGA Director Robert Cardillo that we
would offer the NGA the land for free.
The work the City, the county and the state have taken to
prepare the St Louis site for the NGA has been extensive.The City itself began more than two years
ago. The state and county have joined us along the way as strong partners.
We know that a new NGA facility in North St. Louis will
catalyze an entire community.Jobs,
economic investment, and the ability of the project to transform the
neighborhoods near the old Pruitt-Igoe site will continue the revitalization we
are seeing in other parts of the region’s urban core.
The case we have
made to NGA to build and grow there is a strong one.
As Director Cardillo has noted, the intelligence
community must succeed in the open.After all, we no longer live in a Cold War era.
The North St. Louis site for the next West Headquarters
increases the NGA's resiliency in case of a natural disaster or attack by
separating it from other defense facilities.
Yet, it keeps it close to its critical data facilities,
Lambert airport, and the City's centers of business, education, and technology,
which Director Cardillo recently cited as the type of entities with which NGA
must partner moving forward.
Plus, the North St. Louis site is not only closer to
where the vast majority of employees currently live, but it also better
positions the NGA to attract its next generation workforce of millennials, who
find the amenities of urban living and short commute times attractive reasons
to choose an employer.
We are planning to
improve the roads around the site, and we are working with Metro to adjust its
current and planned rail and bus networks to connect NGA to the transit system
as strongly as possible.
And, finally, we have the right people ready to build a
state-of-the-art facility well and in accordance with federal hiring
guidelines.Our local labor unions have
proposed an innovative minority workforce recruitment plan for construction of
the facility that will help the federal government support the goals of the
Promise Zone as well as the Executive Order supporting the construction of
federal facilities in urban areas.
Taken together this all makes a strong case for building
the NGA West facility here in the City of St Louis. After a thousand
conversations, I am confident that the case has been heard fairly. I hope to be
able to reconvene this group in April with an announcement that we have