County fetes public works employees with 1,400 meals from from local vendors; Fairfax County EDA to present May 28 virtual career fair for college grads

Fairfax County officials and 18 local food vendors came together yesterday to serve 1,400 meals to public workers across 19 sites throughout the county in appreciation of their service as frontline essential workers during COVID-19. The workers span multiple areas of public works including solid waste and recycling, landfill, wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, vehicle maintenance and facilities management.

Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA, secured funding of $13,000 from a local philanthropic couple, then connected food vendors – many of which are small, woman- or minority-owned companies – with Fairfax County officials to put on the event, which took place during National Public Works Week.

“It takes the skills and talents of everyone to keep an economy and a community safe and strong, so I am honored to show appreciation for a group of dedicated people that work relentlessly behind-the-scenes to provide essential county services to our community,” Hoskins said. “These are jobs that keep us healthy and help provide the amazing quality of life we enjoy in Fairfax County. These are jobs that cannot be done at home and jobs that are physically and personally demanding.”

The meals were organized in partnership with local companies Curbside Kitchen and Cureate, which worked with local food vendors to coordinate breakfast or lunch at each of the 19 public works locations. The diverse range of cuisines represented included Asian, Egyptian, Mediterranean, Indian, Latin, Pacific Islander and Southern comfort. In addition to recognizing the service of essential public works employees, the event showcased the talents of these local food trucks and other vendors whose businesses have been hurt during the stay-at-home orders.

Chewish Deli served up bagels to workers at the Noman M. Cole, Jr., Sewage Treatment Plant. (Photos, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services)

The event was the result of a collaboration with multiple public works agencies in Fairfax County, including Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Fairfax County Department of Vehicle Services, Fairfax County Facilities Management Department, Fairfax Water, the Town of Herndon Department of Public Works and the Town of Vienna Department of Public Works.

“Our frontline workers are our heroes, stepping up to keep our county going during these challenging times and handling critical operations,” said Deputy County Executive Rachel Flynn, who was interviewed by ABC7 (WJLA-TV) at the Noman Cole Sewage Treatment Plant on Richmond Highway. “The FCEDA understands this and took the initiative to reach out to their partners in the public and private sectors. This initiative resulted in an anonymous donor paying it forward, food vendors immediately offering their services, and the County organizing various entities. I know our employees were very honored that so many thought of their well-being.”

Deputy County Executive Rachel Flynn (right) prepares to be interviewed by ABC7 (WJLA-TV) at the Noman Cole Sewage Treatment Plant on Richmond Highway.

Click here to see the story and video posted by ABC7. Click here to see a story in Herndon Patch.

Fairfax County EDA to present May 28 virtual career fair for college grads and students

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is actively connecting jobseekers with hiring companies in Northern Virginia by presenting virtual career fairs.

The first virtual career fair will take place Thursday, May 28, from 1-4 p.m. Eastern Time, for enrolled college students and recent college graduates. Click here to learn more and to register for the fair.

At least 11 employers will participate in the New-Grad Virtual Career Fair including Northrop Grumman, NTT Data Federal, Boost LLC, Strategy and Management Services (SAMS), Harmonia and Sparksoft. Participants will be able to browse companies in a virtual lobby, enter companies’ booths, view open positions specifically curated for recent grads and chat with HR representatives in real-time – all from the comfort of their homes.

With more than 30 top-ranked colleges and universities within a four-hour drive of Northern Virginia and more than 50,000 current job opportunities in the region, the FCEDA is creating virtual career fairs to serve as a bridge between open positions and jobseekers.

“As a result of Covid-19, this is not the same job market that this year’s graduates envisioned entering even a few months ago, and that is why we’re working with corporate and academic partners on these virtual career fairs to get grads and students in contact with companies in our region that are hiring,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA.

“Because of our innovative and creative companies and our economic base that emphasizes professional and technical services, Northern Virginia is still a great place to land your first job,” Hoskins said. “It’s a place where you can pursue a successful, high-paying position and see your way forward for an amazing career.”

The FCEDA has more fairs on the horizon, each one for a different pool of candidates. The next virtual career fair, slated to take place in June (date to be determined) will be targeted at seasoned, mid-level tech professionals in industries including IT, cybersecurity, defense and aerospace, software engineering and data analytics.

County stands up $5 million grant fund for safety-net nonprofits — applications close Friday

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has established a $5 million fund to support 501(c)3 and 501(c)19 nonprofit organizations that support social safety net services to vulnerable populations within Fairfax County.

The grant application process concludes at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

This program is in addition to the $25 million Fairfax Relief Initiative to Support Employers (Fairfax RISE) grant program that will assist small businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. Applications for that program will be accepted in June. The county also stood up a $2.5 million Small Business COVID Recovery Microloan Program.

The Nonprofit Sustainability Grants program will offer grants to qualified nonprofit organizations in one of three amounts, $25,000, $50,000, and $75,000, depending on the size of the organization and operating budget. The program will be funded with stimulus funds from the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Nonprofits that function as a part of Fairfax County’s social safety net provide support in the areas of financial stability, food and nutrition, literary/educational attainment, health, housing, positive behaviors and healthy relationships. These organizations are focused primarily on serving people from communities that are more vulnerable to self-sufficiency problems, including people with limited income; immigrants and refugees; people with disabilities; and people who are historically subject to disparate access to opportunities.

Applicants must be recognized as a 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 nonprofit organization, according to the Internal Revenue Code; serve Fairfax County residents; currently operate as part of Fairfax County’s social safety net; and submit a complete application, including the most recent IRS 990 Form.

To apply, visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/procurement/nsgrant, email dpmmnsgrant@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-324-2861.

This program will be administered by the County’s Department of Procurement and Material Management and the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.