August 10, 2023: Virginia earns top spots in Business Facilities’ 2023 state rankings + Weekly Business News Digest

Virginia earns top spots in Business Facilities’ 2023 state rankings

Virginia ranked No. 1 in the nation for both “Customized Workforce Training” and “Cybersecurity” in the recently released Business Facilities’ 19th Annual Rankings Report: State Rankings, The Commonwealth also topped the charts for “Tech Talent Pipeline,” landing it No. 2 in the United States. Business Facilities’ rankings are intended to help site selection professionals evaluate locations for their corporate expansion and relocation projects.

Strengthening the Talent Pipeline in Northern Virginia

According to the Business Facilities report, with workforce attraction and retention being a crucial factor for companies across all industries, the Virginia Talent Accelerator program launched by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) in 2019 delivers what new and expanding businesses need—quickly and efficiently. Taking the top spot for Customized Workforce Training, the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program is a custom workforce initiative in collaboration with higher education partners throughout the state… this innovative, high-quality service has played a significant role in creating more than 10,000 jobs since 2019,” according to the report.

Currently, there are nearly 130,000 open jobs in Northern Virginia, and that number is expected to grow exponentially with 1.6 million jobs expected to be available in the next 10 years, according to JobsEQ. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) has developed a comprehensive Talent Program to help grow the region’s talent base, and to date, this program has successfully connected more than 250,000 job seekers to opportunities and directly impacted the talent pipelines of 17,000 employers in the Northern Virginia region.

Fairfax County: The Rising Cyber Capital

As Virginia ranked No. 1 for “Cybersecurity” in the Business Facilities 2023 report, Fairfax County continues to lead the growth of this sector in the United States with more than 500 cybersecurity companies calling Fairfax County home.

“Our location in Fairfax County and the Reston Technology Corridor enables us to tap into a community of experienced IT professionals and thought leaders in cyber operations and defense fields. The available talent pool positions us to provide innovative solutions and tangible results for our federal, SLED, and commercial customers.”

— Eva Markowitz Senior Vice President, HR Evolver, a Converged Security Solutions Company.

Educational institutions and trade associations here are developing the next generation cyber workforce, and the region boasts 22 National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. Click here to find out more about Fairfax County’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

Weekly Business News Digest

New lease on life: AEM is opening a new office in Northern Virginia after signing a lease at the One Freedom Square building in Reston Town Center, reported CoStar. The company is currently headquartered in Herndon. AEM finalized a deal with Boston Properties for the 11th floor of the 18-story tower at 11951 Freedom Drive. AEM is an information services and consulting company that primarily supports federal agencies and Fortune 500 clients. One Freedom Square was built in 2000 as part of the Reston Town Center, Boston Properties’ 4 million-square-foot mixed-use development off the Dulles Toll Road that is home to offices, retailers, restaurants and residences.

Longer circumference: Chantilly-based Arcfield, a government services and mission support provider, has completed its acquisition of Toms River, N.J.-based Strategic Technology Consulting (STC), a highly differentiated provider of full-spectrum model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and digital engineering services and solutions, citybiz reported. Post closing, STC continues to serve its commercial and government customers as a subsidiary of Arcfield. “As a decades-long leader in MBSE and digital twins, Arcfield has invested heavily in the development, refinement and advancement of our digital engineering and MBSE capabilities to support our customers in their shift from traditional SE&I (Systems, Engineering and Integration) to an all-digital model,” said Kevin Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Arcfield. “The acquisition of STC strengthens the capabilities and resources we deliver to our customers. We look forward to welcoming the STC team to the Arcfield family.”

And some beast-ly digital twins news: Chantilly-based Amentum and Florida-based software developer Beast Code have signed a partnership agreement with the goal of helping federal civilian and defense agencies adopt digital twin technology, reported ExecutiveBiz. The strategic alliance will apply a web-based software offering Beast Code designed to extract and present data from disparate sources via a 3D digital twin. Users can implement the tool to manage information in the cloud, on-premises infrastructure and edge devices.

Black sky at night, rocket launchers delight? Herndon-based BlackSky Technology and Rocket Lab USA signed an agreement to buy a block of five launches that will increase capacity and introduce new capabilities into BlackSky’s rapid-revisit, high-res constellation, GeoSpatial World reported. “We continue to see strong, growing demand for our high-frequency, low latency offering from our current and next-generation constellation especially for defense and intelligence customers who need real-time, on-demand intelligence in support of critical missions,” said Brian E. O’Toole, BlackSky CEO.

Polar payloads: Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman has completed the integration of U.S. Space Force payloads on two satellites the company is building for a Space Norway-led polar broadband mission and put the first satellite through a thermal vacuum test, reported ExecutiveBiz. The Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission will use the company’s GEOStar-3 platform and carry payloads developed for USSF’s Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization program. USSF partnered with Space Norway, a subsidiary of the Norwegian government, in efforts to continue providing satellite communications for U.S. military personnel who operate in the Arctic region.

Time for a space-lift? Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman is planning upgrades to its Cygnus cargo vehicle, such as increased payload capacity, to support both the International Space Station and future commercial space stations, according to SpaceNews. In presentations at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference on Aug. 2, company representatives outlined efforts to enhance the capabilities of the decade-old spacecraft to enable it to serve NASA and others in the coming decade. “We’re looking at what we have to do with the Cygnus spacecraft, what we have to do with the services that it provides,” said Rick Mastracchio, director of strategy and business development at Northrop Grumman Space Systems. “We’re trying to prepare and think way ahead on how do we start updating the vehicle, making sure we have a spacecraft that will be flying 10 years from now, 20 years from now.”

Happy anniversary! Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton has marked the first founding anniversary of its corporate venture capital arm focused on developing and deploying emerging technologies for defense and national security applications, reported ExecutiveBiz. Since its launch in 2022, Booz Allen Ventures has expanded its portfolio to six start-ups spanning artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge computing deep technology and cybersecurity sectors. “Through the fund, we don’t just invest in niche capabilities; we provide clients with direct access to—and application of—breakthrough technology that will transform the next generation of national security and global defense,” said Susan Penfield, chief technology officer at Booz Allen.

Advanced tech acquisition: Reston-based ICF has acquired Chicago-headquartered power and energy engineering firm CMY Solutions, which offers advanced technologies and data analytics and methods in support of decision-making related to grid modernization, programs and investments, reported ExecutiveGov. The organization comprises a team of approximately 50 specialists with experience advising executives of utilities and developers across several continents.

Ooh, double vision, I need my double vision: Tysons-based Spire Global has launched DeepVision, a new weather monitoring and alerting system for the energy, supply chain and logistics industries, ViaSatellite reported. “The world is witnessing an increase in extreme and high-impact weather events. Now, more than ever, businesses require highly scalable solutions that can monitor weather impacts and optimize their supply chains,” said Mike Eilts, general manager of weather and earth intelligence at Spire. “With DeepVision, our customers can weather-proof their supply chains, allowing them to make informed decisions and enhance operational efficiencies in the face of weather-related challenges.”

Contract Wins

CACI International (Reston) booked a $2.7 billion National Security Agency award for network and exploitation analysis to support NSA foreign intelligence and cybersecurity missions. ExecutiveBiz

ManTech (Herndon) will integrate and maintain systems for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s C5ISR Center under a five-year, $622 million task order. GovConWire

Parsons Corporation (Centreville) won a $52 million contract to deliver design engineering consultancy services to Qatar’s Public Works Authority for a new road and infrastructure framework. citybiz

ICF (Reston) obtained a three-year, $24 million recompete contract from the government of Puerto Rico to provide technologies to support its disaster relief programs. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

August 17 — GovFuture Forum. Attend GovFuture Forum, a monthly demo and panel event where government innovators, technologists, thought leaders, movers-and-shakers, government ecosystem partners, and interested people see showcases on cool new technology in a demo format, learn from innovators in high-value panels, and interact with each other. Click here to see the agenda, featured speakers and to register.

September 6 — Harnessing the Power of Economics to Solve Whole of Nation Challenges. With keynote speaker Dr. Emily Blanchard, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of State, MITRE Corporation is hosting a one-day conference at its co-headquarters locations in McLean, Virginia and Bedford, Massachusetts, as well as via Teams Meeting. This conference will join MITRE economists with speakers and panelists from government, academia, and industry to examine the role of economics in collaboratively solving whole-of-nation challenges. The conference will include presentations from distinguished speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions, posterboard displays, vendor booths, and audience interactive activities. MITRE seeks to serve as a catalyst to foster collaborative cross-sector research, drive innovation, and inform decision makers. Click here to register to attend this free conference.

September 12 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The Fairfax HiCounty Economic Development Authority hosts Entrepreneurship 101, or “E-101,” a bi-monthly workshop that features a panel of small business experts on how to start a business. Presented by the FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the workshop provides an overview of business start-up fundamentals.  Click here to register.

September 19 — Hire Vets Now Networking and Hiring Fair. This in-person event at Fort Belvoir Community Center is a networking reception and career fair offering transitioning service members, military spouses and veterans the opportunity to connect with Virginia employers looking to hire military talent. Participating employers are offering career opportunities in IT, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, defense, government, law enforcement and more. Resource Providers will be on hand to assist with resume writing, and  SkillBridge internships and mentorships. A complimentary lunch will be provided. Click here to register.

September 21 — Northern Virginia Space & Satellite Summit. Join the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council at their Space & Satellite event at Womble Bond Dickinson in Tysons. Speakers will include: David Bettinger, CEO, Axta Space Team; Dennis Gatens, CEO and Founder, LEOCloud; George Nield, President, Commercial Space Technologies; and Stephen McCall, Director of Government Relations, Firefly Aerospace. The main objectives of this seminar are to provide insights about the current ecosystem of space and satellite assets and industry in the Dulles region; and to delve into the aspects of the commercialization of the space sector and discuss challenges and opportunities. Click here to register.

September 21 — GovFuture Forum. Attend GovFuture Forum, a monthly demo and panel event where government innovators, technologists, thought leaders, movers-and-shakers, government ecosystem partners, and interested people see showcases on cool new technology in a demo format, learn from innovators in high-value panels, and interact with each other. Click here to see the agenda, featured speakers and to register.

September 26-28, 2023 – Quantum World Congress 2023. Quantum World Congress 2023 will once again bring together leaders from across the quantum ecosystem around the globe to address pressing challenges and emerging trends and share insights that help to accelerate and commercialize quantum technologies. Programming will take many forms — from presentations and panels to fireside chats and networking sessions. QWC will enable relevant, timely, and industry-leading information sharing and relationship building across these formats to foster a responsible environment for quantum growth. QWC 2023 will be held at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia. REGISTER NOW.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.