Reston, VA

Several employers in Reston and Herndon ranked high in Military Times’ annual ‘Best for Vets’ list.

The ranking determines how companies nationwide have expanded efforts to recruit and retain former service members into the job market.

Of the 14 companies in Fairfax County that made it to the list, five are in Herndon and Reston.

Here’s a list of the local companies that made it to the list:

  • ManTech International Corporation (2251 Corporate Park Drive) – #15, 48 percent veterans
  • Leidos (1750 Presidents Street) – #39, 22 percent veterans
  • MAXIMUS (1891 Metro Center Drive) – #54, six percent veterans
  • Peraton (12975 Worldgate Drive) – #87, 19.6 percent veterans
  • Constellis (13530 Dulles Technology Dr) – #133, 25 percent veterans

A total of 144 employers took part in this year’s survey. Military Times conducted the survey with ScoutComms, a marketing and research firm that focuses on the military community. The firm recently ceased operations due to COVID-19, according to its company page.

Firms responded to nearly 100 questions detailing their policies and practices related to veterans.

Here’s more from Military Times on the project:

The success in recent years is evident in veterans unemployment figures, which have fallen steadily from their peak a decade ago. Even with this year’s spike in joblessness due to the coronavirus, unemployment among veterans remains lower than among their civilian counterparts.

In recent years, more companies are focused on not just hiring veterans but making sure the veterans who are hired succeed in the long term.

“It’s not about a job. It’s about a career. It’s about fit,” said Rosalinda Maury, who serves as IVMF’s director of research and analytics.

Comcast NBC Universal topped the list, followed by Southern Company.

Rendering via Boston Properties

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To celebrate Armed Forces Day, residents at Hunters Woods at Trails Edge in Reston will be treated to a parade of antique cars this Saturday (May 16). 

The Northern Virginia Regional Group 96 Early Ford Club of America will drive roughly a dozen antique cars by the senior living facility around 10:45 a.m., according to a press release. The Cub Scouts Pack 159 of Fox Mill Elementary School will also participate by standing 10 feet apart and holding flags to represent each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

“Our LifeStages Director Paul Adam put together this creative event to honor the Armed Forces while safely treating our residents to a parade of wonderful antique cars,” Cissy Nickel, the executive director of the facility, said in the press release, adding that this event is special because many of the residents are veterans. 

Residents and staff will remain inside their rooms and observe from their windows in order to maintain social distancing measures, the press release said.

Antique cars featured in the parade will range in age. Many of them were built between 1932 to 1953, according to the press release. 

Photo via Hosea Georgeson/Unsplash

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American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association will be under new leadership after the retirement of its current president and treasurer, according to a press release.

The non-profit organization, which is based in Reston, provides military life insurance,  help with wealth management, survivor assistance and mortgage services, according to its website. Walt Lincoln, who served with the company for 28 years will be succeeded by Michael Meese, the press release said.

Both Meese and Lincoln served in the United States armed forces for significant stints themselves, according to the press release, which added that during Lincon’s management, the company expanded membership growth 36%.

“Working for, and alongside, so many great people for so long, doing work that we know makes such a positive difference in the lives of the families who have sacrificed so much for our country and its freedom — it will be difficult to step away from all of that,” Lincoln said in the release.

It is unclear exactly when leadership responsibilities will transition over to Meese, but he comes into the position after serving as the chief operating officer for the company since 2013, according to the press release.

Photo via Jon Sailer/Unsplash

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Carahsoft, a Reston-based IT company that was founded in 2004, is taking part in the state-based veteran employment program.

State Gov. Ralph Northam announced this week that the company will participate in the Virginia Values Veterans Certification Program, which aims to give veterans more employment opportunities through training and education.

The Reston-based company is the 1,000th to receive certification in the state program.

The program was created in 2012 and is describes the first state-based program dedicated to improving employment opportunities for veterans by training employers on national best practices for recruitment, hiring, and retention.

Northam plans to visit Carahsoft next week to present the certification.

Photo via Unsplash

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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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Reston Landscaper Wins $200,000 in Lottery Scratcher — Brett Calhoun scratched the winning Jewel 7 ticket in his car, but had to send a picture of the ticket to his wife to make sure he was reading it right. Calhoun, a landscaper, bought the winning ticket the 7-Eleven at 29900 Centreville Road in Herndon. [Inside NOVA]

Taste of Reston Needs Volunteers — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers to help put on the annual event on June 14 and 15. Volunteers will receive a volunteer T-shirt and a dozen taste tickets. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston Nonprofit Marks 140 Years of Supporting Military Families — “Before he got a job assisting military members and their families, Michael Meese was in the military himself. Meese served in the U.S. Army for 32 years, a period that included deployments to Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan and concluded with a stint as professor and head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After retiring as a brigadier general, Meese became the chief operating officer for the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, and he has worked at the Reston-based nonprofit since 2013, now holding the title of executive vice president.” [Fairfax County Times]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Decreasing the chances of opioid addiction — The director of neurosurgery trauma at Reston Hospital Center is using a new technique to reduce the chances of opioid addiction following major surgery.

Nearby: Amazon HQ2 decision coming close — “New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for Amazon’s second and third headquarters, according to people familiar with the matter, ending a more than yearlong public contest that started with 238 candidates and ended with a surprise split of its so-called HQ2.” [Wall Street Journal]

An honorable retirement — Old Glory can sometimes get old, tattered and torn. If you need to dispose of an American flag, there are several available locations in the county to do so, including the Reston District Station, the lobby of the government center in Fairfax and the I-66 and I-95 transfer stations. [Fairfax County Government]

The report card is in for Comstock — Comstock Holding Companies reported total revenue of $14.9 million, as compared to $13.8 million around this time last year. [Global Newswire]

Updates about the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department — The annual report for the department, which offers an overview into programs, services, and progress, is out. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Photo by Gail Crockett

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Ahead of Veterans Day on Monday, the Fairfax Jubil-Aires will perform patriotic a cappella barbershop tunes to honor those who currently serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The event is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. Below is a limited list of other events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.

  • Herndon High School’s advanced theatre class kicks off performances of The Diary of Anne Frank tonight at 7 p.m. and into the weekend at the school.
  • Celebrate international games week at Reston Regional Library with classic board games and some new options from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Vera Kochansky presents her autobiography of her father, Boris, who lived through the Holocaust. The event is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Scrawl Books.
  • Caitlin Teal Price, a DC-based photographer known for her photographs of people, offers a talk about her work at Greater Reston Arts Center on Saturday from 3-5 p.m.
  • Donna Ulisse, a veteran songwriter and singer, performs during the Bluegrass Barn Series at Frying Pan Farm Park on Sunday at 7 p.m.
  • Build a machine powered by an electric motor that rolls and goes home from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, at Reston Regional Library.
  • South Lakes High School students are raising money for the school’s band by organizing a mattress sale at the school on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Take a drive into the history of World War II with this six-part series led by Professor Harry Butowsky from 2-4 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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Herndon High School’s band program is hosting a free concert in order to honor veterans on Nov. 7 (Wednesday).

The Tag Day Concert, which is set for 7 p.m.,  aims to celebrate and recognize members of the American military with patriotic songs, according to event organizers.

The concert will focus on World War II as the marching band prepares to go to Normandy, France to participate in a parade marking the 75th anniversary of D-day.

The band is raising money to offset the cost of next year’s trip.

The concert is free and concert-goers should park in front of the school and enter through door 11. The event will take place in the auditorium of Herndon High School.

Photo via Herndon High School Band/Facebook

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Monday Morning Notes

Reston Association to Set Budget for Next Year — On Thursday, RA’s board of directors will set the annual membership assessment rate and approve a new budget. The meeting will air live on YouTube at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

South Lakes High School to Hold Dinner for Veterans — The school’s JROTC program is hosting an appreciation for 400 honorees on Dec. 9 from 6 – 9 p.m at 11400 South Lakes Drive. The dinner will include cadet demonstrations and music by the school orchestra. [South Lakes High School]

Reston Association Club Features Weekly Themes for Children — This week’s Reston Today video looks at RA’s Fit Kids Enrichment Club, which allows children to explore their talents and abilities.  [Reston Today]

South Lakes’ Seahawks Advance to Second Round of Class 6 Playoffs — On Friday, the high school’s varsity football team advanced to the second round of playoffs with a decisive 49-14 win. [Seahawks Athletics]

Herndon High School Hosts Holiday Vendor Sale — On Saturday, the school will host a sale that will include cake, cotton candy, crafts, face paint and more. The event is at the high school’s cafeteria (700 Bennett St.) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Herndon High School]

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CEO Mark Rockefeller and Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe - StreetShares

A Reston startup run by veterans, for veterans has been honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia for its efforts.

StreetShares, a small-business funding operation geared toward military vets, has received recognition as a certified company by Virginia Values Veterans. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe presented a first-place award from the program to CEO Mark Rockefeller during a Wednesday ceremony at the company’s headquarters (1985 Isaac Newton Square West).

“Exactly what you’re doing, we’re trying to do at the state level,” McAuliffe said. “We’ll be the first state in the United States of America that actually does that, to help our veterans who want to be entrepreneurs who need a little lift there.”

StreetShares has facilitated more than 1,000 loans for veteran-owned small businesses across the country, with many of those coming in Virginia.

“When I came back from Iraq in December of ’08, I realized that I was representative of a generation of veterans who would want to start businesses the way that our grandparents did after World War II,” said Rockefeller, a nine-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “We had to solve that, as veterans do, by turning to each other — and that is what StreetShares does.”

John Harvey, Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, spoke during the event to praise both McAuliffe’s and StreetShares’ commitment to the commonwealth’s veterans.

“You invest in Virginia’s veterans and you invest in Virginia,” Harvey said. “It’s just the perfect combination for growth, for building that new Virginia economy that’s so important to our future.”

Also during the ceremony, McAuliffe announced that he is expanding the V3 program’s goal for hiring veterans within the state. Originally aiming for 10,000 veteran hires by the end of his term, the new goal calls for 25,000.

Rockefeller said StreetShares would continue to do all it can to help toward the goal.

“The businesses that we are funding, each of them goes on to hire veterans, just like we have,” he said. “StreetShares wants to commit to funding companies to produce 1,000 of those [hires] toward [McAuliffe’s] 25,000 goal in the next 12 months.”

Each month, the StreetShares Foundation names 10 veteran-owned small businesses from across the nation as finalists for grant funding, made possible through a partnership with JPMorgan Chase. Online voting determines the top 3, which receive grants for $5,000 (first), $3,000 (second) and $2,000 (third).

This month’s finalists were announced at Wednesday’s event:

Nicole Amelio-Casper, Amelio Media LLC (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Keith King, National Veteran Business Development Council (Detroit, Michigan)

Meegan Mackay, Artes pro Vita Academy (Altus, Oklahoma)

Chris Nichols, Narrows Hill LLC (Swanton, Maryland)

Richard Sanders, SHplates (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, Gracefully Global Group LLC (Hayward, California)

Scott Tucker, Be Financially Fit (San Diego, California)

John Van Horn, Veteran Unmanned Solutions LLC (Marietta, Georgia)

Jaime Velez, PingMomo (Chicago, Illinois)

Brian Zimmerman, Income Designers (Castle Rock, Colorado)

Voting will be available on the foundation’s website.

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