Leidos’ building now in development anchors Morgantown’s position in the company as a software center of excellence.
Leidos is not a household name. But as an international provider of computer-based services to government agencies, it’s well-known in the tech industry, including along the I-79 Technology Corridor in the northern part of the state. Over the past two decades, Leidos has established offices in Clarksburg and Fairmont to provide biometrics, cybersecurity, and other information technology services to the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
At its two Morgantown offices, the company primarily develops software, says site manager Drew Formica. “We build commercial health care products, for example, and we build software that helps our men and women in uniform do their jobs.”
A few years ago, Leidos designated Morgantown the company’s “agile software center of excellence.” The designation recognized a confluence of favorable conditions: a university that provides a pipeline of software development talent in a location that offers a good quality of life. “That reputation spread across the company, and people decided they wanted to start collaborating with us,” Formica says. “So now we collaborate across the entire Leidos enterprise to develop and contribute software to various contracts and products.”
And that has led the Morgantown operation to outgrow its spaces.
Leidos’ new building in development in Morgantown is designed to attract and retain the best talent. Concrete floors, exposed metal elements, and natural wood finishes give the design an appealing tech-industrial feel. And the layout encourages creativity and collaboration. “It has different types of couches, chairs, lounges for doing software development somewhere besides a desk,” Formica says. “It has outdoor meeting areas, a fire pit, bocce ball, a basketball court, and a caffeine bar for all the caffeine we’re going to need to write the software.”
Leidos’ presence in West Virginia advances the state’s tech opportunities: as much as 80 percent of Leidos workers in the state are either from West Virginia or recruited from West Virginia’s colleges into jobs with median salaries of $76,000. The 30,000-square-foot center under construction now in the WestRidge business park off of Interstate 79 will house about 250 employees and is expected to open in about a year.