Reston, VA

Reston has been ranked as the number one place to work from home.

According to a recent ranking from Money magazine, Reston came on the top of a national list, which considers the cost of living, safety, education quality the number of residents working from home, access to necessities like daycares and pharmacies, and sufficient internet connection.

The magazine states that Reston was “practically designed with the remote employee in mind.”

The ranking comes as Americans across the country make the transition to remote work, transforming living rooms into work stations and closets into virtual classrooms.

According to a recent survey by Redfin, roughly 72 pe recent of homebuyers expects to continue working remotely after the pandemic winds down.

Here’s what Money had to say about Reston.

Built from the ground up in the 1960s, Reston is a planned residential community created to be a green suburb where families could live, play and work without having to rely on a car.

The census-designated place has 55 miles of paved pedestrian pathways and trails that connect the various neighborhoods and a majority of residents live within a 10 minute-walk of one of Reston’s 73 parks. It’s home to two golf courses and four man-made lakes perfect for fishing, boating, or lakeside picnics.

The city has one main town center and five village centers — one for each neighborhood. Residents boast about the endless food options they offer. Like Cafesano in South Reston, where you can enjoy a $14 steak kabob seated on a deck that overlook Lake Thoreau.

The city is no stranger to work-from-home families so it’s well-equipped to take care of your remote needs. Pre-pandemic, about 6.3% of Reston residents worked from home, compared to the national rate of 4.5%.

Nearly all households have an adequate internet connection by the BroadbandNow definition. But if you need access to an office, Washington D.C. is only a 33-minute drive away (or 45 minutes and $8 via public transportation). In the opposite direction, Washington-Dulles International Airport is only 15 minutes by car (or 20 minutes and $2 on the Fairfax Connector).

The community has a median home price of $434,000 and roughly 88 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Overall, a little over 3 percent of residents were working from home before the pandemic.

Other areas that ranked high on Money’s list include Naperville, Illinois., Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Roseville, California.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston Association Phone Service Restored — After experiencing issues with inbound calls to its member services line, phone service has been restored. [RA]

Snow Days Possible During Virtual Learning — With snow expected on Wednesday and into Thursday, school officials are saying they still anticipate providing “additional approaches” for observing snow days that could include teacher-led and independent learning. Days off are also possible. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Fairfax County Shelter Offers Safe Adoption — Local police are looking into cases of puppy scams in the area. A spike in the number of pet scams has also been reported. [Reston Patch]

Search Underway for Classroom Monitors — The school system is currently looking to hire temporary classroom monitors. A job description is available online. [FCPS]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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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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Friday Morning Notes

Blackboard to Sublease Half of Reston Headquarters — “Blackboard Inc., which has played a role in helping school systems shift to online learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic, is hoping to shed half of the headquarters space it leased in Reston nearly two years ago as part of a relocation from its longtime home in the District.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Offers Job Training — “The Fairfax County Department of Family Services is able to reskill and upskill job seekers recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic. Focusing on high-demand skills, eligible Virginians can access free training in five essential industries.” [Fairfax County Government]

Deaths Increase in Virginia During Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic — “Ten people died on Virginia roadways over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the Virginia State Police. One of the deaths was a 6-year-old boy. From Nov. 25 through Nov. 29, the state police reported eight fatal crashes, leading to the 10 deaths, an increase from 2019 when there were eight traffic deaths during the five-day Thanksgiving period.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

Virtual Job Fair Set for Job-seekers Age 50+ — The county is hosting a free virtual employment expo. On Friday (Dec. 4) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is open online.  [Fairfax County Government]

Herndon High School’s NJROTC Donates Holiday Meals — “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing need for food in the area, the Herndon High School NJROTC donated 11 family meals for Thanksgiving and pledged another ten meals for Christmas, for a total of 21 in honor of the Class of 2021, to families in need via Food for Neighbors.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

70,000 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Expected in Virginia — “Gov. Ralph Northam said in a Wednesday news conference in Richmond that an estimated 70,000 doses would be in the first wave of Pfizer vaccines sent to Virginia. Should the FDA give approval to Pfizer’s vaccine, doses would go to states immediately, which Northam expected would happen as early as mid-December.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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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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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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Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) plans to hold a virtual job fair on Wednesday to hire educators.

The job fair is scheduled to take place in two sessions, with the first running from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and the second from 3-7 p.m.

People interested in participating are urged to learn about the school system, apply to open jobs and register for one or both sessions, which have attendance caps.

During the virtual job fair, job hunters will be able to chat one-on-one with HR or school representatives from FCPS.

FCPS has more than 90 job opportunities listed online. The majority of the open positions are for high school and middle school teachers.

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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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After a surge of new jobless claims seeking unemployment benefits in April, Fairfax County is seeing a steady decline in initial unemployment claims.

Roughly 5,300 initial unemployment claims were filed in the county for the week of May 16 — a drop from 7,000 during the week of May 2, according to the latest data from the Virginia Employment Commission.

Meanwhile, continued unemployment claims — now at 47,000 for the week of May 16 — are rising less quickly in the county.

The county’s unemployment trends mirror statewide data.

More from the VEC:

For the filing week ending May 16, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 44,699. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 7,440 claimants from the previous week. The weekly total was the lowest since before the initial spike in unemployment insurance claims during the March 21 filing week.

For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 403,557, up 2.8% from the previous week and 385,380 higher than the 18,177 continued claims from the comparable week last year.

The continued claims total is mainly comprised of those recent initial claimants who continued to file for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, continued claims during the May 16 filing equaled 56% of all initial claims filed during the pandemic. This percentage was a significant drop-off from the previous week.

VEC’s preliminary data indicate that the pandemic has hurt the accommodation and food service industry the most.

Workers in that industry “continued to see the greatest percentage of continued claims for unemployment benefits” for the May 16 filing week, VEC said. “Moreover, claimants in that industry comprised over a quarter of pre-pandemic payroll employment.”

Data and image via Virginia Employment Commission

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Unemployment claims due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic continue to pour in.

Nearly 14,500 Fairfax County residents filed unemployment claims on the week of April 11, according to the latest unemployment data.

Overall, the number of statewide claims between March 21 and April 11 — 410,762 — is only 67,000 fewer than the average of all initial claims filed during the last three economic recessions, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. More than 121,000 Northern Virginia residents have filed claims since business closures began.

The latest claims figure, however, represents a decrease of 42,750 statewide claims and 6,848 countywide claims from the previous week, according to data from the commission.

The commission noted that the overall 29 percent decrease in the number of claims suggests that most people filed unemployment claims during the week of April 4.

Here’s more from the commission:

Initial claims measure emerging unemployment and the recent increase in initial claims in the Commonwealth is clearly attributable to impacts from the COVID-19 virus. The accommodation and food service industries have comprised the majority of these initial claims. Because of their prevalence in those and other affected industries like retail and health care, younger workers and female workers have been disproportionally impacted. The number of initial claims filed during the week ending April 11, 2020 was 45.6 times higher than the comparable 2019 week–an increase of 102,326 claims.

Despite a dip in the number of claims, the commission noted that claims still remain at historically high levels.

On the national level, the number of initial claims has totaled roughly 5.2 million, a decrease of 1.4 million from the previous week. During a comparable week in 2019, only 196,364 claims were filed countrywide.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Board to Meet Tonight — RA’s Board of Directors will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. to discuss several matters, including revisions to lake use and access and comprehensive evaluation of the organization’s activities. [Reston Association]

Around Town: Substitute Teacher Charged with Indecent Liberties Against Children — “A 60-year-old substitute teacher is facing two felony charges of indecent liberties by a custodian and one misdemeanor charge of simple assault for inappropriate contact with three students at Glasgow Middle School. Detectives from the Major Crimes Bureau Child Abuse Squad arrested Albert Keys, of Lorton, on Jan. 17.” [Fairfax County Times]

County Schools to Hold Job Fair — “Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the largest school system in Virginia, is searching for educators with a strong academic background and a passion to make a difference in the lives of students during the 2020-21 school year.  Principals and program managers will interview candidates at the FCPS Instructional Job Fair on Saturday, February 1.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Still No Word on Cafesano’s Cafe Reopening — A company representative tells us they have no idea when the cafe at South Lakes Village Center will reopen. Although catering and takeout services are still being offered, the cafe has been closed since early December due to a fire in the kitchen.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Lily Siegel, the Greater Reston Arts Center‘s executive director and curator, has resigned effective mid-February as the institution explores rebranding and repositioning itself in the community.

Siegel will become the next executive director for Hamiltonian Artists in the District as its fellowship program and exhibit transitions into a nonprofit organization.

In a Jan. 13 letter, GRACE’s Board of Directors credited Siegel for leaving the center in “a much stronger position than we were in when Lily arrived three years ago.”

As difficult as it is to lose someone of Lily’s great capability and vision, that challenge presents opportunity. We look forward to announcing in the near future the hire of a new Executive Director and Curator who we are confident, given our achievements and repositioning, will also be someone of world-class caliber capable of taking us to the next level of accomplishment and distinction.

In the meantime, we will not miss a beat. As so many of you know, we have a very experienced and highly capable team of whom we are proud (Erica Harrison, Elizabeth Denholm, Sofia Blom, and Sarah Berenz), each of whom is already stepping up to ensure we stay right on track.

The leadership that Lily has provided this institution is something for which we are all grateful and celebrate, and every one of us wishes Lily all the best for what we know will be continued success in her career.

Siegel — who looks forward to changing jobs to a location where she lives — told Reston Now she’s proud of all her accomplishments over the last three years.

“I’m so proud of everything that I’ve done here and all that our team has accomplished,” she said, adding that she looks forward to continuing to support and work with artists in the community in her new role.

As executive director, Siegel helped bring on more main gallery exhibitions with established, nationally, and internationally recognized artists.

In addition to strengthening partnerships with area organizations, also helped establish GRACE’s satellite gallery at Signature in Reston Town Center, support Sue Wrbican’s new sculpture in Town Square Park in RTC, run the summer art camp with Reston Association, and add Festival Friday to the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

GRACE is accepting applications for Siegel’s position online.

Photo via GRACE

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Job site Monster’s list of the 2019 best places for veterans to work includes several Reston-based companies.

Ahead of Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11), Monster and Military.com ranked 10 companies in the United States as the best companies for veterans.

Intelligent Waves, a veteran-founded company that specializes IT and communications support, ranked second on the lost. This year, half of its hires were veterans and 44 percent of its total workforce are veterans. judges noted the company “focuses on placing veteran hires on the right job where they can be successful at building a civilian career.”

Cybersecurity and IT enterprise solutions company PRISM came in sixth on the list. Roughly 25 percent of its total workforce are veterans. The company was recognized for offering a veteran-focused performance management program.

A Tysons-based company, DynCorp International, topped the list. Roughly 60 percent of all employees are veterans.

The list was created with the help fo veteran-hiring experts who selected employers that demonstrated an “extraordinary commitment to veteran-hiring and retention,” according to a press release.

File photo

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