Similarweb attends the Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal (via Web Summit/Flickr)

The online metrics firm Similarweb is expanding into Reston.

The company, which has its global headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, announced yesterday (Monday) that it is opening an office at the coworking site Spaces that launched in Reston Station (1900 Reston Metro Plaza) in December 2018.

Similarweb is adding around 10 employees and expects to keep hiring more here.

“Our office in Reston, VA is now open,” the company said on Twitter. “A big welcome to our amazing team members who will collaborate there.”

Despite the announcement, the office is scheduled to open Sept. 1, the company said in a statement to Reston Now.

Similarweb provides marketing and research data to businesses looking to measure the effectiveness of their websites and other digital platforms.

With economic development leaders seeking to make sure companies have the talent they need in the area, Similarweb’s hiring between local candidates and those outside the area will serve as yet another example for whether an employee pipeline is meeting needs.

The Reston office is the company’s fourth in the U.S. and its first opening since going public earlier this year. Donna Dror, Similarweb’s general manager for North America, says the technology industry’s growing presence in Reston made it an attractive location for expansion.

“We see the Dulles Tech Corridor as a great opportunity to bring in new talent, especially for our Marketing and Sales teams,” Dror said in the statement. “We’re excited to join the many great companies already based in Reston and surrounding areas.”

Dror told Technical.ly that the company has 200 open positions that are remote, and half of those will be based in the U.S. She said the company is still reviewing its return-to-work strategy and would like to see at least 25 roles filled locally, but the openings aren’t tied to the Reston area specifically.

“We are actively hiring and planning to add a number of new employees before the end of the year and beyond,” she told Reston Now. “In the U.S. alone, we have nearly 100 open roles today, and we hope that many of those can be based in Reston.”

The new office will be home for the company’s chief marketing officer, Kevin Spurway, along with other employees in the sales and marketing departments.

Similarweb launched its initial public offering in May and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Its clients have included DHL, Lego, and Lending Tree.

Photo via Web Summit/Flickr

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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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Morning Notes

Gun Discharged in Torrey Pines Court — Employees of a building in the 1700 block of Torrey Pines Court discovered bullet holes around 1:18 a.m. on June 17. Fairfax County police officers who arrived at the scene found cartridge cases nearby, but no injuries were reported. [FCPD]

Judge Considers Dismissing Charges in Taser Case — A circuit court judge is considering dismissing charges of brutality against a Fairfax County police officer who faces three misdemeanor counts for punching and using a Taser on a Black man in the Mount Vernon area in June 2020. The judge criticized the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney on Friday (June 25) for making statements that seemed misleading and failing to disclose evidence to the defense. [The Washington Post]

Tephra Institute Hiring — The Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, formerly the Greater Reston Arts Center, is hiring an education and public programs manager who will be responsible for planning and implementing programs, including family activities for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. The institute is also seeking interns to assist with its Summer Art Camp. [Tephra ICA]

In-Person Dating Returns to D.C. Area — “With 70% of people in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia at least partially vaccinated and all remaining pandemic restrictions now lifted, in-person dating is picking back up in the D.C. region. But the dating landscape has changed dramatically since March 2020 — as have people’s expectations of what dating should look like.” [DCist]

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StarKist Co. is relocating its headquarters from Pittsburgh to Fairfax County.

The food manufacturer known for its tuna is investing $3.6 million to relocate its corporate and administrative headquarters, occupying approximately 24,000 square feet at 1875 Explorer St. in Reston, according to a news release from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office.

“StarKist is proud to make Reston, Virginia our official global headquarters starting in April 2022,” Andrew Choe, president and CEO of StarKist, said in the release.

The 10-story property was developed by Boston Properties in 2008. It’s located in Reston Town Center and totals 253,643 square feet of space.

Northam noted Virginia is now home to 800 corporate headquarters, and Fairfax County “consistently attracts top talent and is well connected to key customer markets and major metro areas.”

Known for its brand mascot Charlie the Tuna, StarKist began as the French Sardine Co. in 1917 by Martin Bogdanovich, who immigrated from Croatia to California, and four associates. The company says it started selling products with the StarKist name in 1942.

The company announced in May it would relocate to Virginia in 2022 but did not indicate at the time where the new site would be. Its Pittsburgh headquarters will close March 31 next year.

A company spokeswoman declined to answer questions about how many employees will be at the new headquarters and the company’s hiring plans, but Northam’s office says SunKist’s arrival in Reston will create 83 jobs.

One job listing posted nine days ago confirmed the Reston location, but another posting from over a month ago listed Washington, D.C. but said the position was in Pittsburgh.

“I am so pleased to thank StarKist for choosing Fairfax County for its new headquarters,” Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Victor Hoskins said. “This is a testament to the growing attractiveness of Northern Virginia to a wide variety of industry sectors and companies that know we have the assets and talent base to succeed here.”

StarKist comes as Volkswagen Group of America is also moving its headquarters nearby to Reston Gateway, and Metro’s Silver Line anticipates opening next year.

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County School Board Adopts Budget — The Fairfax County Public Schools fiscal year 2022 budget includes funding for 50 new positions for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, school-based technology specialists, and 18 new social worker and psychologist positions to meet state requirements. It also covers technology support fees previously charged to families and a 2% market rate adjustment for all employees. [FCPS]

Bike To Work Day Is Here — The D.C. area’s annual initiative to encourage people to ride a bicycle to work marks its 20th anniversary today. There will be a pit stop at Reston Station Plaza from 6:30-9:30 a.m. and one at the Herndon Town Hall Green that will be open in the morning (5:30-10 a.m.) and the afternoon (4:30-6 p.m.). [Bike to Work Day]

Northern Virginia Vets Will Get Free Rides to Vaccine Appointments — Starting in mid-June, veterans in Northern Virginia can get free transportation to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments, thanks to a partnership between the Dulles Area Transportation Association and Northern Virginia Veterans Association. The effort to organize rides through a taxi service was made possible by $80,000 in funding from the Federal Transit Administration. [WDVM]

Reston Association to Hold Big Yard Sale on June 19 — “Join Reston Association at the Reston Community Yard Sale. Eighty families will be selling a variety of items, so this event is a great opportunity to find things for a new home or a college dorm. Sign up to have a booth or stop by to browse for great bargains.” [RA/Twitter]

Baby Panda to Make Public Debut Today — The Smithsonian will reopen the National Zoo to the public today after a six-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and visitors will get their first chance to see giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person. The cub, whose name translates to “little miracle,” was born on Aug. 21, 2020 and now weighs 45 pounds. [The Washington Post]

Park Authority Hiring for Summer Camp — “Rec-PAC, affiliated with the Fairfax County Park Authority, is hiring to fill over 200 positions for its six-week summer camp. Rec-PAC is hosting two open hires for job seekers interested in working as a camp counselor or camp director…Join us for the virtual open hire on Monday, June 7, 2021 anytime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.” [FCPA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

No South Lakes HS Vaccine Clinic Next Week — Contrary to notices from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay’s office and Dogwood Elementary School, there will not be a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for students at South Lakes High School next Wednesday (May 26). FCPS spokesperson Lucy Caldwell told Reston Now that the site was changed and will be at Langley High School in McLean, as previously reported. “We are adding sites as needed and as school space availability/staffing allow,” she said.

Amazon Hiring for Hundreds of Jobs in Herndon — “Amazon.com has more than 3,000 job openings in Northern Virginia. More than 2,100 of those openings are in Arlington, many attached to HQ2…Almost 800 are in the Herndon area, where [Amazon Web Services] has its East Coast headquarters.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Reston Man Raises Money to Send Oxygen to India — A GoFundMe started by Reston resident Afzal Memon and five other organizers has raised over $36,000 to buy and ship more than 100 oxygen concentrators to India on behalf of The Saiyed Foundation, a nonprofit that provides health care and emergency aid to remote villages. India is in dire need of oxygen and other medical supplies as the country struggles with a COVID-19 surge that claimed a reported 4,329 lives just on May 17. [Patch]

Elden Street Business Burglarized — The Herndon Police Department is investigating a burglary that reportedly occurred in the 1100 block of Elden Street overnight between May 15 and 16. Police say “an unknown number of subjects gained entry” to the business through a rear door and took “cash and various equipment.” [Herndon PD]

Litter Clean-up Coming to Glade Drive — “Reston Association, @FairfaxCountyPD, Southgate Community Center, & Dogwood Elementary School, FCPS will be hosting a community cleanup May 26-29th along Glade Drive from Reston Parkway to Sunrise Valley. For more information or to get involved contact Ha Brock at [email protected]” [RA/Twitter]

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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Morning Notes

Virginia Raises Minimum Wage on May Day — Effective Saturday (May 1), Virginia’s minimum wage went up from $7.25 per hour to $9.50, the state’s first increase since 2009. Wages could rise to $15 in 2026, if approved by the General Assembly in 2024. Localities now also have the authority to adopt ordinances allowing collective bargaining with public employees. [DCist]

Twin Sheep Born at Frying Pan Farm Park — “Frying Pan Farm Park’s Suffolk ewe, Bristol, delivered the last of the sheep births that the farm will see this spring. Her twin ewes arrived April 11.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]

Dulles Greenway Hosts First “Run the Greenway” Races — The first annual “Run the Greenway” race in Loudoun County attracted more than 1,400 runners and raised over $156,000 for 27 different area nonprofits on Saturday. The event featured 5K, 10K, and 800-meter Kids Fun Run races with staggered start times for social distancing as well as a virtual option. [Loudoun Now]

Porcupine Quills Seized at Dulles Airport — Customs and Border Protection seized 100 porcupine quills from a U.S. citizen who came to Dulles International Airport from Africa on April 21. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CBP to seize the quills, because they are a potential vector for the monkeypox virus. [CBP]

The Water Mine Seeking New Lifeguards — The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole in Reston is hiring more than 150 lifeguards for the upcoming summer season. Several drive-thru, socially distanced job fairs will be held on site (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) throughout May, with the first event coming on Friday (May 7) from 4-6 p.m. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Fairfax County government workers whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 will now receive $2,000 in hazard pay, an increase from the $1,500 that county staff initially recommended in January.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the one-time bonuses on Tuesday (Feb. 9) before directing staff to look for additional funding to cover bonuses for all employees.

“It has been something to watch the response of our county employees over the past year to this pandemic,” Board Chairman Jeff McKay said after introducing the motion. “To be able to do this and have the resources available to reward these employees and thank them is absolutely critical.”

While the board expanded the program to include limited-term employees as well as merit employees, it backed staff’s suggestion of using the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health COVID-19 risk assessment to determine workers’ eligibility for hazard pay.

When the proposal first came to the board during its budget committee meeting on Jan. 12, some supervisors expressed concern about leaving out workers who could contract COVID-19 while on the job but don’t meet the VOSH standards for their risk level to be classified as “high” or “very high.”

The board planned to vote on hazard pay on Jan. 26, but the decision was postponed so that county staff could continue talks with the Fairfax County government employees’ union, SEIU Virginia 512, and other workers’ groups, which were advocating for hazard pay to be available to all employees.

Because the hazard pay comes from CARES Act relief funds, Fairfax County staff say federal guidelines dictate that the money must be limited to employees whose duties involve physical hardship directly related to pandemic emergency response efforts.

The approved proposal will cost an estimated $9.2 million, keeping it within the $10 million allocation that the Board of Supervisors set aside from the county’s coronavirus relief fund for hazard pay.

A broader hazard pay plan would have to use county funds, which McKay previously told Tysons Reporter would be “unlikely” to happen with the fiscal year 2022 budget. County Executive Bryan Hill will present an FY 2022 budget proposal to the board on Feb. 23.

The Board of Supervisors instead hopes to find the money for more bonuses in its FY 2021 budget through a third-quarter review that will be approved when the FY 2022 budget is marked up on Apr. 27.

“I think this is exactly the type of environment that we’re in right now that contributes to making bonuses a practical, doable solution to really value the work of all of our county employees at a time when we can’t do all of the things we’d like to do,” McKay said.

For the FY 2021 third-quarter review, staff have also been asked to evaluate the county’s leave programs and determine if new options can be provided to employees who have been unable to take advantage of existing programs due to the nature of their job.

SEIU Virginia 512 Executive Board President Tammie Wondong says the union was glad that Fairfax County ultimately included limited-term employees in its hazard pay plan.

“We are headed in the right direction, because the fact is we were heard, and we got their attention,” Wondong said. “That’s the most important thing, that they heard us and they responded. It’s not fixed. We’ve still got a lot more work to do, but…now we’re able to continue to lift our voices and talk about how it continues to impact us, with the pandemic that’s going on and how people are risking their lives just to be out there.”

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Has No Plans to Remove Snow with Plows — The association does not plan to remove snow on its pathways because they do not have enough snow on them for the organization to safely operate the plows. Instead, crews have removed high traffic areas by hand. [RA]

Virtual Instructional Job Fair Set for Feb. 20 — Fairfax County Public Schools is hiring a virtual job fair on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 8-11:30 a.m. Virtual interviews are planned from Feb. 22 through March 5. [FCPS]

Fairfax Connector Issues Reminder of Mask Requirement — Fairfax Connector passengers are reminded that they must wear a mask or a face covering, as now federally mandated, when taking public transit or visiting a transit hub in Fairfax County. This safety measure, which has been in place on board Fairfax Connector buses since May 2020, aims to protect passengers and bus operators during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.’ [Fairfax County Government]

Reston District Station Town Hall Set for Today — The police department will introduce its new data dashboard at a virtual meeting today at 5 p.m. [Zoom]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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Fairfax County should provide hazard pay to all local government workers, a union that represents more than 2,000 general county employees argues.

The county is currently considering a proposal to provide a one-time $1,500 hazard pay bonus to workers who are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. Staff say about 4,000 employees would be eligible for the benefit.

However, SEIU Virginia 512 — the Fairfax County government employees’ union — says the bonus should be available to all workers, because they have all taken risks and been forced to adapt so the county can keep providing essential services during the pandemic.

As of yesterday (Wednesday), a petition urging Fairfax County supervisors to extend $1,500 hazard pay bonuses to all staff has been signed by nearly 1,000 workers, with more signatures expected to come, according to SEIU Senior Communications Specialist Rachel Mann.

“We’ve all been impacted by what’s going on. Whether we are doing our assigned work or not, we are still working,” SEIU Virginia 512 Executive Board President Tammie Wondong said. “…We are continuing to keep Fairfax County running. Residents are being continually served. So, that’s why everyone needs to have hazard pay.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors was initially scheduled to vote on the proposed plan on Tuesday (Jan. 26), but the decision was postponed after Chairman Jeff McKay asked staff to continue discussions with the union and other workers’ groups.

Under the staff plan, hazard pay would go to workers whose risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is rated “high” or “very high” by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) risk assessment. It would also be limited to merit or career positions.

Fairfax County intends to pay for the bonuses using CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds. Federal guidelines, however, dictate that CARES Act money can only be used for hazard pay if an employee is performing duties that involve physical hardship related to COVID-19 response efforts.

In other words, localities must establish criteria for hazard pay eligibility to use CARES relief funds, Fairfax County Department of Management and Budget Director Christina Jackson told the board on Jan. 12.

The county could use its own funds to extend hazard pay to more workers, but McKay suggests employees should temper their expectations for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

“Based on the economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic, it will be challenging to address many of the Board’s priorities in the FY2022 [budget],” McKay said in a statement to Tysons Reporter. “The budget is still early stages and we are exploring what options are available, but it is unlikely we would have the resources to increase hazard pay funding in the next budget cycle.”

SEIU Virginia 512 supports the amount of the proposed bonus, which came out of talks between workers’ groups and county staff, but the union argues restricting hazard pay to select positions and agencies ignores the risks all employees face when doing their jobs.

For instance, a sanitation worker may not typically come into direct contact with the residents whose trash they collect, but their job still requires them to regularly go out into the community.

“You don’t know who you’re passing, and you don’t know who’s infected. You just don’t know,” Wondong said. “It’s a risk that we take just coming in and out of our homes every day.”

The burden placed on workers who test positive for COVID-19 to prove they contracted the disease through their job could also potentially be a concern.

Further complicating matters, Fairfax County has been reassigning many employees to duties outside their usual purview as some departments have reduced operations and others have ramped up during the pandemic.

Wondong is a social worker for the county’s aging and older adults services division, but she is currently working in a different role for her department, one that allows her to work from home but also normally carries a higher salary than what she’s being paid.

Wondong says hazard pay would not be up for debate if Fairfax County employees had stronger collective bargaining powers to guarantee equitable compensation and working conditions.

“What we believe as a union is that all county workers deserve fairness and equity when it comes to pay and benefits. That’s what we believe,” Wondong said.

Photo via Fairfax County government/Facebook

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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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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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