A person holds a phone with the Instagram app opened (via Solen Feyissa/Unsplash)

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority gave nearly $29,000 to 10 social media influencers over the past year to highlight its jobs portal and virtual career fairs.

The campaign primarily involved Instagram users posting about events with hashtags and links to drive traffic. Economic development officials said the effort was intended to develop its brand as well as the region’s job market and engage target audiences, specifically with millennials in mind.

“We felt like we needed to do some experimentation,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said.

The campaign drew 536 clicks to the authority’s Work in Northern Virginia jobs board and generated 276 views in online registration page traffic for technology and entry-level career fairs.

While Instagram advertising can average around $1.25 per click, the FCEDA said influencer marketing helps reach a highly targeted audience through sources that users trust. The campaign required the influencers to note that their social media posts were sponsored content.

The social media influencer contracts cost a total of $28,800 with individual agreements ranging from $800 to $7,000 and mainly required users to make Instagram posts and stories, according to agreements obtained by Reston Now. One agreement included an Instagram video, and some included blog post requirements.

The authority says third-party consultant New York City-based Development Counsellors International and each influencer negotiated rates.

“[What we’re] really ultimately trying to do is build awareness of northern Virginia as this location that has thousands and thousands of jobs, and it’s a great place to live,” said Alan Fogg, the authority’s vice president of communications.

Economic development officials say the campaign delivered $205,000 in earned media value, reached more than 332,000 Instagram users, and generated nearly 25,000 likes, comments, and shares.

The FCEDA is not unique in using social media personalities to reach potential audiences. Other governmental bodies have turned to social media influencers for tourism marketing as well as running COVID-19 messaging.

Fairfax County funds the economic development authority with around $9 million each year currently, and social media advertising is just one way economic development leaders are trying to market the region to help improve the jobs pipeline.

“The message we deliver to all the recruiters and chief human resources officers from all the companies here in Fairfax County is: You sell your organization, your company, and why [to] come work there, and we’re going to help complement you with selling the region,” Mike Batt, the director of the authority’s talent initiative program, said.

The FCEDA used Development Counsellors International to identify and vet the influencers, set goals for the number of posts, and ensure posting requirements were met, Fogg said in a statement. FCEDA staff selected the influencers presented to them.

Batt said Development Counsellors International received a competitively awarded contract from the EDA. The consultant also developed the jobs hub, which the authority recently lauded.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority spearheaded the jobs posting site, but it’s connected to nine other economic development groups and localities in Northern Virginia.

“Economic development is not the business it was five years ago,” Hoskins said. “It really takes a lot of innovation.”

Photo via Solen Feyissa/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Boating on Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Fairfax County Sees Uptick in Unemployment — “Unemployment rates across Fairfax County and Northern Virginia ticked back up above 4 percent in June…which likely is a return to more seasonal ups and downs than a retreat from gains made in the post-COVID era. With 595,420 county residents in the civilian workforce and 25,225 on the hunt for jobs, Fairfax County’s unemployment rate for June stood at 4.1 percent, according to figures reported July 28 by the Virginia Employment Commission.” [Sun Gazette]

Reports of Sick Birds in Virginia Declining — “After Virginia and other states began receiving reports of a mysterious illness sickening or killing birds in late May, reports are starting to go down. However, the cause of the birds’ illness and deaths remains unknown…From May 23 to June 30, the most reports have occurred in Fairfax and Arlington Counties, according to a map of reports.” [Patch]

Thousands of Job Seekers Used County Website — “Just over one year after the official launch of its workinnorthernvirginia.com website and accompanying talent initiative funded by the Fairfax County government, the site created by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) has logged more than 483,000 visitors and 72,000 job views. The website connects a new and diverse talent pool — in Northern Virginia and in key target markets such as the Bay Area and New York City — with companies in the region.” [FCEDA]

Dog Paddle Events Coming to Reston Pools — Reston Association’s annual Dog Paddle will return in August, giving pups a chance to play in its swimming pools. There will be three events in August and one in September. Registration is now open with a $12 fee for RA members and a $20 fee for non-members. [RA/Twitter]

via vantagehill/Flickr

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Closed sign (Photo via Tim Mossholder/Unsplash)
Closed sign (via Tim Mossholder/Unsplash)

A new report shows that minority-owned businesses in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia as a region suffered more acutely due to the COVID-19 pandemic than businesses owned by their white counterparts.

The Community Foundation of Northern Virginia released a report in late June detailing findings and recommendations from their minority-owned business working group.

They found that at the end of 2019, there were 128,000 minority-owned businesses in Northern Virginia, which encompasses five counties, including Fairfax. That’s approximately 42% of all establishments in the region, well above the national average of 29%.

Of the 128,000 minority-owned businesses in Northern Virginia, about 55,000 are in Fairfax County, according to statistics provided by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (EDA).

More than 8,000 non-farm businesses with paid employees in the county are owned by people of color, representing about a third of all such businesses in the county.

“It’s turned out to be one of our winning hands,” says EDA’s CEO and President Victor Hoskins about the number and contributions of minority-owned businesses in the county. “It’s something grown up here over time…just part of the DNA of not just Fairfax, but Northern Virginia.”

While the number of minority-owned businesses remained essentially flat throughout 2020, revenue and staffing at those businesses has decreased dramatically, while unemployment insurance claims have gone up.

According to the report, minority-owned businesses are more likely to be smaller in size, concentrated in high-risk industries such as accommodation and food service, and face more difficulties in securing capital. Due to these factors, minority-owned businesses are more likely to have “poor or fair” financial health.

Consistent with the rest of the region, Fairfax County minority-owned businesses have also suffered more acutely due to the pandemic. Because these businesses tend to be smaller in size, they simply have had less ability to overcome the economic hardships brought by the pandemic.

“Smaller businesses were disproportionately impacted by not having the financial wherewithal to weather the storm that this pandemic caused,” said Stephen Tarditi, EDA’s director of marketing intelligence. “They tend to be concentrated in industries more adversely…impacted by the pandemic.”

The report offered a number of recommendations for ways to better support these businesses, including better tracking of data and information to understand more specifically which businesses need help and when.

It also notes that more financial help is needed, including with grant funding and better strategies to improve access to capital for these businesses.

Officials agree with the report that more can be done. For example, specific data, like numbers related to revenue and number of paid staff, can drive policy, but there’s often a lack of up-to-date information.

“I was just surprised at how little…or regularly updated data that we have on hand to make these decisions,” Tarditi said. “I’m having a tough time knowing what the pandemic’s impact has been on our minority business community. This data drives the decisions and drives the strategy, which is extremely important, especially in this past year.”

EDA officials say the plan going forward is to disseminate more surveys more often with better outreach to be able to compile more and better data.

Last year, Fairfax County distributed more than $52 million in relief funding to small businesses through its RISE program, about half of which went to minority-owned businesses.

“We actually designed the RISE program to target a portion of small and minority-owned businesses,” says Hoskins. “I think the target was 30%, but we ended up [with] 72% [going to] women, veteran, or minority-owned businesses.”

The county is currently accepting applications for its new PIVOT program, but that doesn’t have any provisions directly dedicating a certain portion of funds to minority-owned businesses.

The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce told Reston Now last month that they’ve felt neglected in the development of some of Fairfax County’s major business grant programs.

When asked about this, Hoskins said the EDA works with the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce all the time and are located in the same building. Beyond that, he wasn’t familiar with the details of their comments or complaints.

Photo via Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

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The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority will soon add two new seats to its seven-member commission, which has remained the same size since it was created in 1964.

Virginia legislators and the governor approved a measure earlier this year allowing the change, which takes effect July 1 and will help meet diversity needs, officials say.

Charged with helping the county attract, retain, and support businesses, the FCEDA commission consists of local business and community leaders appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

FCEDA Chair Cathy Lange says the expanded board will help the authority bring different viewpoints to the table after the county has changed and grown over the past 57 years.

“We need a richness of perspectives to help the FCEDA understand why companies start here, grow here and stay here,” Lange said by email. “This diversity of needs also is directly tied to our understanding and support of talent attraction and retention. The companies want and need a broad and diverse talent pool, and we have to connect the talent to the companies.”

According to Lange, the EDA board hopes to further diversify representation of emerging and growing business sectors, such as financial services, cyber, cloud, and data analytics, as well as entrepreneurs and small business leaders “building the next base” of companies.

“At the same time, we can identify leaders who are reflective of the growing diversity in our county and its business community,” Lange wrote.

In its legislative agenda for the General Assembly’s 2021 session, Fairfax County noted the authority was created by state law in 1964, allowing the county to appoint seven board members.

“That number has not changed in the 50 years since the FCEDA was created, though Fairfax County has changed substantially during that time,” Fairfax County officials said in the report, which was adopted on Dec. 1.

In the legislative agenda, officials noted that the county’s increasing diversity extends to its economy:

The County has experienced tremendous growth, as has the local economy — the number and size of companies has increased, and businesses have expanded into new and diverse industry sectors. Increasing the size of the FCEDA board could further diversify participation from the County’s business community, while maintaining focus on the County’s traditional business base (including government contracting and IT services).

Among its services, the authority helps businesses find office space in the county, assists with special tax-exempt bonds for companies and nonprofits, and aids international firms seeking office space in Fairfax County.

While headquartered in Tysons, the authority has offices around the country and the world, including in Germany, India, Israel, South Korea, and the U.K. as well as Los Angeles.

Lange said in the email that Fairfax County is an amazing success story, and expanding the commission will help to ensure that continues.

“Understanding what different companies need to succeed here helps us to inform county leaders on what policies and programs need to be implemented to continue our success,” Lange wrote. “This also will help us understand how to market the county to businesses that want opportunities to grow and success, and how to market the region to talent.”

FCEDA vice president of communications Alan Fogg said by email that he expects there will be movement around appointments starting next month.

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(Updated at 2:10 p.m. on 5/27/2021) Beanstalk, an indoor vertical farming start-up, is putting down roots in Herndon with plans to invest more than $2 million to open a facility and farm this fall.

The Virginia-based company is expanding and opening a “scaled-up version” of their existing farm in the Lorton/Springfield area right off of Herndon Parkway and near the impending Herndon Metro station, Beanstalk co-founder Michael Ross writes Reston Now in an email.

The Herndon location will have research, growing, and package operations.

“This new facility will produce the equivalent of over 50 acres of traditional farmland and allow us to expand into more local grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and restaurants,” said Ross, who founded Beanstalk with his brother Jack.

The company grows pesticide-free leafy greens and herbs year-round using robotics and hydroponic — or soil-less — growing technology. It says it saves space by growing in layers and vertically as opposed to horizontally.

Beanstalk sells its salad mixes and herbs at grocery stores, local farmers markets, and online.

Jack Ross was selected by Virginia for a STEAM catalyst award back in 2018 for his development of an automated indoor growing production system. The technology allows Beanstalk to “produce food four times as efficiently as traditional hydroponic farming,” according to a press release from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

The brothers opened their 3,000 square-foot Springfield/Lorton facility in 2018, and the company expects to have annual sales of over $5 million in the next three years.

“We have created a new technology that produces better tasting and more nutritious vegetables, herbs, and fruits than what are available today,” Ross said. “Our farms are also sustainable as they consume 95% less water, have zero chemical run-off, and are over 100 times more productive use of land.”

The company’s co-founders are in their 20s and both were raised in Alexandria, went to high school in D.C., and played youth sports across the region.

“I particularly spent a lot of time in Herndon and Reston in high school, which is how I originally got to know the area through events like the Herndon Festival,” said Ross, who studied aerospace engineering in college.

He tells Reston Now that they evaluated “dozens of cities” in the D.C. area for their expansion but decided on Herndon because of the town’s “incredible community” and prioritzation of sustainability.

“Herndon is a very unique place within Northern Virginia in that it feels like a small, close-knit town with all the benefits of a larger city,” he said.

Beanstalk is expected to create 29 jobs in Herndon, some of which are already open for hiring.

Positions currently open in Herndon include a director of research and a senior electrical engineer. Ross notes that other jobs will be available soon in engineering, research, and operations, and the company will be looking for farmers later this year.

“We look for people from all backgrounds who want to bring locally grown food to their community and are curious, ambitious, and skilled,” Ross said.

Beanstalk is receiving financial support from both the state and Fairfax County in the form of grants that total $200,000.

As expected, local leaders say they are thrilled that Beanstalk decided Herndon is the place for them to grow.

“We are always looking for innovative investments to move our economy forward in Fairfax County,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay said in the governor’s press release. “Beanstalk’s new facility will not only bring new jobs to the community, but it also is a creative solution to using advancements in technology to increase access to fresh food options.”

Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem also welcomed the Ross brothers and Beanstalk to town.

“Theirs is exactly the kind of innovative, jobs-producing business we are looking to attract to our town’s commercial sector, and we applaud their application of technology toward provision of healthy, locally-grown produce,” she said.

Beanstalk’s mission is not only to grow fresh produce using new, more-efficient, sustainable technology, but to provide food at its freshest, Ross says.

“By growing in a farm within the community, we deliver food at peak freshness, which ensures all the taste and nutrition of the food is there when you take your first bite,” he said.

Photo courtesy Michael Ross

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Morning Notes

County Board Discusses Impact of Telework on Hiring — “After companies in the county have spent more than a year with much of their workforces teleworking — and with county office vacancy rates hovering at 14.6% in 2020, the highest rate in two years — Fairfax Board Chairman Jeffrey McKay asked the Fairfax County EDA whether the number of tech vacancies could lead companies to pivot to recruiting remote workers and what the ripple effects would be.” [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Waives Special Events Fee — Metro’s Board of Directors approved a temporary policy yesterday (Thursday) waiving the $100,000 per hour fee normally charged to large-scale event organizers to keep stations open past standard closing hours. The waiver will apply for professional sports games and other approved special events through Dec. 31. [WMATA]

Suffragist Memorial Dedication on Sunday — The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will be dedicated at Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton at 2 p.m. on Sunday (May 16). It is the first memorial in the U.S. devoted to the women’s suffrage movement. The ceremony, which will be live-streamed, was originally scheduled for Aug. 26, 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification but got postponed due to the pandemic. [Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association]

Colvin Run Mill and Frying Pan Recognized — The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials named Colvin Run Mill in Great Falls and the Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon among the winners of its 2021 NACPRO Awards. The Colvin Run Miller’s House Exhibit won the Historical or Cultural Facility category, and the Friends of Frying Pan won the Outstanding Support Organization category. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is hosting its fifth virtual career fair on May 20.

More than 25 Northern Virginia companies will participate in the fair, which is focused on hiring entry-level workers. The FCEDA is broadcasting the event to more than 100 colleges and universities across the country, and anyone who registers can join for free.

The fair is part of a series that the FCEDA has been organizing during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made finding work more challenging due to the ongoing economic uncertainty and limited chances for face-to-face interactions. Hiring for college graduates at entry-level positions has dropped 45% since the beginning of the pandemic, the FCEDA says in a news release.

“We want to let anyone looking to start or restart their career – from recent college graduates and retired members of our military to parents reentering the workforce – that Northern Virginia is the place to do it,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said. “We couldn’t be prouder to partner with such a diverse group of companies to introduce fresh faces to an incredible place to live and work.”

The virtual career fairs is part of a talent initiative that the Fairfax County government is funding through the FCEDA to “attract, retain, retrain and grow the workforce that businesses need to succeed in Fairfax County — and to help those looking for jobs find them here, particularly during the pandemic.”

The four previous virtual career fairs in the initiative have attracted nearly 2,900 attendees, according to the FCEDA.

As part of the initiative, the FCEDA also launched a job search website that lists all job postings in the Northern Virginia area and sorts them by different sectors and job types. There are also opportunities to enhance or gain new skills for people who may be looking for a career change.

The Entry-Level Professionals Virtual Career Fair will be held on May 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. Prospective applicants can register to receive the link to the event. They do not need to reside in Northern Virginia.

Employers looking to promote their job openings can still register their companies by visiting the employer resource page.

More information on the virtual career fair, what companies will be attending, and how to register can be found on the FCEDA website.

Photo via Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

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Fairfax County officials are meeting tomorrow (March 16) to discuss two programs aimed at helping small businesses recover from the pandemic.

The “Pivot Grant” will be smaller amounts of money given to a larger group of businesses with the aim of supporting them as they continue to operate. The intended effect is to “mitigate… business closures” due to not being able to afford operational costs.

Proposed funding needed for these grants is about $13.5 million.

The hoped-for timeline, according to pre-meeting materials, is to get the grant approved by the Board of Supervisors in April or May, open applications in May or June, and grant monies actually go out to businesses in June or July.

The “Thrive Program” will provide technical assistance and counseling to entrepreneurs and businesses trying to grow.

As opposed to individual businesses, providers would apply for this and they would assist businesses. $500,000 is being proposed as the amount given to each provider. That program could launch in the summer and run through the year.

According to research, three industries with highest job losses in the county through December – not surprisingly and similar to September – are hospitality and food service, health care, and retail. They make up more than 50% of the jobs lost in Fairfax County.

A recent survey also suggested that 93% of small businesses would use any additional money provided towards operating expenses and rent/mortgage support.

In November, research was also presented that showed the greatest economic impact of the pandemic has been in the Falls Church, Annandale, and Baileys Crossroads areas.

Those areas as well have the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in the county and the highest share of communities of color.

A number of specific recommendations and proposals are also being discussed. They include:

  • Launching a “Buy local” marketing campaign focused on goods made in the county and minority-owned businesses.
  • Setting up an online permitting process aimed at alterations to keep businesses open.
  • Advocating for state legislation that prioritizes local purchasing.
  • Expanding access to affordable child-care, housing, and internet service for workers and their families.
  • Strengthening job and training programs by piloting a neighborhood job center.
  • Leveraging county to hire local workers for pandemic recovery efforts.
  • Starting a “Local Business Marketplace Pilot”

These discussions are taking place at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Economic Initiative Committee public meeting. It starts at 9:30 a.m. and will be streamed online.

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Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and 25 other technology companies will be represented at a virtual career fair hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority on Thursday (Jan. 28).

The Cyber and Cloud Virtual Career Fair will focus on the information technology, cyber, and cloud industries. Participation is free of charge for job seekers, and the FCEDA is encouraging professionals of all experience levels to attend. People with security clearances are especially in demand, though that is not a required qualification.

“Our region is a top cyber and cloud hub and there has never been a better time to land a job in this industry because of the thousands of open jobs here,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said in a press release. “We are proud to be working with such a diverse group of companies that are letting us help them cast a wide net to find the right talent to fill these jobs and keep our networks, businesses, agencies and people secure.”

This is the latest in a series of job fairs that the FCEDA has been organizing throughout the past year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous events included fairs focused on hiring and reskilling, and women in technology.

According to the FCEDA, the first three job fairs in the series “collectively attracted over 2,100 attendees and resulted in 3,100 completed conversations between job seekers and hiring reps from a wide range of employers.”

The tech industry is expected to grow rapidly in Fairfax County in the coming years. About half of the more than 86,000 open jobs on the FCEDA’s job board are in technology fields, and the D.C. area is projected to add more than 130,000 tech jobs within the next five years.

The FCEDA’s job fair series is part of an initiative funded by Fairfax County to attract, retain, and retrain workers.

“Cloud and cyber companies are an important and growing facet of the Fairfax County tech economy,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “I am delighted to see the talent initiative that the Board of Supervisors funded helping residents find jobs and emphasizing the importance of these sectors to Fairfax.”

Because the cyber and cloud career fair will be conducted virtually, candidates do not need to be currently located in Northern Virginia, and some companies are open to remote work options, the FCEDA says.

Interested job seekers can visit the FCEDA’s Work in Northern Virginia website to register and to see a full list of participating companies.

Photo via Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a free cyber and cloud virtual career fair next month.

Set for Jan. 28 from 1-4 p.m., the virtual fair will give candidates a chance to interview with 20 companies in Northern Virginia. According to FCEDA, more than 5,000 open positions are available at all experience levels.

“The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is proud to host the Cyber + Cloud Virtual Career Fair,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “We are thankful to the outstanding tech companies that will be participating in this event. This will be a great opportunity for job-seekers to interview virtually for job opportunities in two of the most robust industry sectors in Northern Virginia.”

Candidates with security clearances are strongly encouraged to attend. Attendees will be able to chat with company representatives and can register and attend from anywhere.

A lineup of the represented companies is below:

The career fair is part of FCEDA’s newly-created talent attraction and retention initiative which is funded by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Photo via Unsplash

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More than 30 companies in the D.C. metro area are looking to hire women for open positions in STEM-based fields at a Women in Technology Virtual Career Fair tomorrow (Thursday). Some of the companies include Amazon, Capital One, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The career fair is sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Capital One as part of an ongoing series of virtual career fairs that the FCEDA has supported in response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to a press release from the FCEDA.

The first three virtual fairs in the series attracted more than 2,100 attendees, the release says.

“More girls and women need to be exposed to the high-paying jobs in the technology sectors that are a major part of the economy of Fairfax County,” Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said.

Gross, who serves as vice chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, added that “efforts such as this career fair open up a wider talent pipeline for the companies that have so many job openings even during the pandemic.”

According to the release, only 26% of the jobs held by women in the workforce are computing-related jobs. The career fair on Nov. 5 will help connect technology professionals with top organizations in the D.C. metro area, seeking to help increase access to opportunity “in a field where women have been historically underrepresented.”

Participants will be able to browse companies through a virtual lobby, enter their booths, view open positions, engage in video conferencing, and talk with human resources representatives at the virtual fair.

“In Northern Virginia, we have more than 15,000 tech firms constantly hiring. In fact, tech job postings are growing more in Virginia than in California and New York,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said. “We are a region that not just embraces, but pioneers diversity: women are twice as likely to work in tech in Northern Virginia than in Silicon Valley.”

Participation in the career fair is free of charge. Employers interested in promoting their job openings can contact Mike Batt, the FCEDA Director of Talent Initiative Programs at [email protected] or visit the Employer Resources page.

Photo via the FCEDA/Instagram

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Local Career Fair Coming Soon — The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a virtual and respelling career fair on Oct. 8 from 1-4 p.m. The fair is open to all industries and levels of experience. [FCEDA]

A Thank You from Reston Association — Nathan Wheeler, RA’s aquatics facility supervisor, thanked RA members in a recent video for their patience with this year’s abridged and varied pool season. [Reston Today]

Early Voting Continues in Fairfax County — So far, Fairfax County residents have cast 7,760 in-person votes during the first week of early voting at the Fairfax County Government Center. Voting is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Friday Morning Notes

Candidate Forum for Town of Herndon Election This Weekend — Candidates for the mayoral and council elections will take part in a panel moderated by Brian Tumulty, who covers finances and taxes for The Bond Buyer. The event is hosted by the Dulles Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. [Dulles Chamber of Commerce]

County Grant Programs Expands Eligibility Criteria — “Expanded business sectors are now eligible to apply, including small hotels and bed and breakfast lodging facilities, along with film industry companies supporting production in the commonwealth.” [Fairfax County Government]

Virtual Career Fair Set for Oct. 8 — “The Hiring + Reskilling Virtual Career Fair will welcome job seekers of all backgrounds, especially those unemployed due to COVID-19. The open positions will span a variety of industries, and not all require a college degree. Open positions include store clerks, construction laborers, security guards, program managers, information security analysts, and more.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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To attract talent to the Northern Virginia area, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a workshop for regional companies.

The online Talent Attraction Workshop: Marketing Northern Virginia will take place Tuesday (Sept. 15) from 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. and help employers understand what draws people to the area and how to recruit talented individuals, according to a press release.

There are roughly 80,000 currently untilled positions in the region, the website said.

“The workshop will also reveal top findings from talent perception research commissioned by the FCEDA, as well as findings from a national survey of 1,600+ people recently conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) — the leader in marketing places,” the press release said.

For those who are interested, the event will also include an introduction to an online hub for talent to learn about career opportunities and relocation information.

“The hub includes a job board with 90,000+ active listings in Northern Virginia, upskilling and training resources, a cost of living calculator, a community finder quiz and more.”

Potential attendees can register for the Zoom session online.

Photo by Bruce Mars/Unsplash

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Friday Morning Notes

Speech and Language Program Pivots to Teletherapy Sessions — “By switching to teletherapy sessions and using clear reusable face masks, the Health Department’s Speech and Language Program has been able to continue to provide its critical early-intervention services to children during the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Fairfax County Government]

Local Discussion on Access to Capital for Minority-owned Businesses — “Minority entrepreneurs face challenges in accessing capital to start, grow and sustain businesses, and that problem has worsened during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Nearby: Homicide Suspect Extracted from El Salvador — “Adonay Polanco Cabrera, 25, formerly of Culmore, arrived in Fairfax County on Aug. 18 after being extradited from El Salvador with the assistance of several federal law enforcement partners to include the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Marshals Service.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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