Reston, VA

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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Friday Morning Notes

Volunteers Needed at Fellowship Square — The Reston and Lake Anne location need volunteers who can call seniors and deliver food to senior apartments. Sign up is available online. [Fellowship Square]

Hoskins Reflects on Year One — “Victor Hoskins took the helm of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) on August 5, 2019, after leading economic development in Arlington County for almost five years and winning the biggest economic-development competition in history: Amazon’s second headquarters, aka HQ2.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Sales Tax Holiday Returns — The three-day holiday starts today and ends on Sunday. Residents can buy qualifying supplies, clothing, footwear, emergency preparedness items and Energy Star products without paying sales tax. [Virginia State Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Several local companies are among the 15 tech employers listed for an upcoming virtual job hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

The fair is targeted to mid-career tech professionals, especially ones with security clearances, and the companies represented will have a total of 3,000 open jobs in the Northern Virginia region, according to FCEDA.

“While the fair is primarily for those in tech fields including data science, software engineering, IT, cybersecurity, defense and aerospace, some companies are featuring non-tech positions such as marketing, sales, finance, human resources and legal,” according to FCEDA.

Companies signed up for the fair include:

Previously, FCEDA hosted a virtual career fair for recent college graduates.

“Every job represents a household, so when we connect people — whether newly minted graduates or those midway through a career — to thousands of open jobs, we are really improving lives, saving households and communities,” Victor Hoskins, FCEDA’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

People will be able to browse companies in a virtual lobby before entering “virtual booths” to view open positions and video conference with recruiters.

The job fair will be hosted on Tuesday, July 14, from 1-4 p.m. People can register online.

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

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Reston Association’s ‘Camps in a Box’ Ready for Purchase — RA’s camp activity box– which includes different activities and a link to connect with camp staff during weekly Zoom’s calls — is now available for purchase online. [Reston Association]

Around Town: Vacancy Spike Expected in County— “Fairfax County’s office vacancy rate is likely to suffer as remote meetings continue to be the norm, the county’s economic development chief warned in early June. Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, delivered that warning to the county board of supervisors during a June 2 meeting.” [Washington Business Journal]

Next Comprehensive Plan Meeting Set for June 22 — The third meeting fo the Reston Comprehensive Plan Study Task Force takes place virtually on Monday, June 22 from 7-9 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Though Fairfax County is known as a hot-bed for government contract work, non-profit news organization ProPublica discovered that over $560 million in contracts were awarded to five Reston and Herndon based companies working to combat COVID-19.

This dedicated money will go towards a variety of research and response types, according to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, including relief programs.

For example, Herndon based RER Solutions, Inc. was awarded the highest amounts of money in Fairfax County. With the $500 million contract, the woman-owned small business will help the U.S. Small Business Administration with data analysis and loan-recommendation services, the Fairfax County EDA said in a press release.

“The SBA is administering several emergency relief programs for small businesses, including the Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program,” the EDA press release said.

Other contracts in the area include:

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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New-Grad Virtual Career Fair is Today — The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is holding a virtual job fair today for new graduations from 1-4 p.m.  Almost a dozen companies including Northrop Grumman, NTT Data Federal and Sparks will attend the event. [FCEDA]

Athletic Fields to Reopen Tomorrow — All outdoor athletic fields in Fairfax County will be open beginning tomorrow (Friday). This includes more than 850 athletic fields, including synthetic turf fields. At Fairfax County parks and public schools. [Fairfax County Government]

Honoring the Fallen in a Small Way — Members of the Post 184 Avenue of Flags Committee did not hold a Memorial Day ceremony at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Herndon. Instead, the group received permission to place small American stick flags with name cards indicating the fallen soldier being honored at the cemetery. [The Connection]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Several local companies have snagged spots on the Fortune 500 list of the largest publicly-traded companies in the United States.

The list, which was published today, includes 11 companies from Fairfax County, representing the high number of Fortune 500 companies the county has ever had.

Rankings are based on revenues from last year.

“Only a handful of communities can say they are home to 11 Fortune 500 companies. It sends a really strong message from the corporate world that this is a strong, stable, resilient location for headquarters operations,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

Reston-based informational technology company SAIC was a newcomer to the list, coming in at#466. Beacon Roofing, a Herndon-based building materials company, came in at #434. Reston-based informational technology company Leidos Holdings took spot #289.

Photo via SAIC

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Wind Advisory In Effect Today — A wind advisory is in effect for today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The National Weather Service encourages caution while driving. Outdoor objects should also be secured. [National Weather Service]

A Request for Local Businesses — The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is conducting an online survey to determine how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting local businesses. Responses are due by tomorrow (Friday) at 5 p.m. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Reston Shop Donates Dresses to Coronavirus Responders — Scout & Molly’s in Reston Town Center is donating dresses to frontline responders. When a customer purchases a dress online, the store will donate a dress of equal or lesser value. [Reston Patch]

Northam Pushes Elections Back — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam pushed elections back due to the COVID-19 crisis. The state’s June 9 congressional primary has been delayed by two weeks to June 23. [WTOP]

School Board to Discuss Budget Today — The Fairfax County Public Schools’ board will meet at 10 a.m. today to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the school system’s budget. [Twitter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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