Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for April 20, 2021: Peraton, Northrop Grumman and Intelsat, Hilton

(photo courtesy of NASA)

Skyrocketing success: Herndon-based Peraton had 3,600 employees and $1 billion in revenue at the end of last year. This spring, coming off a successful mission to help NASA land the Perseverance rover on Mars and having acquired two big-name companies — a unit of Falls Church-area based Northrop Grumman and Chantilly-based Perspecta — Peraton will soon employ 24,000 people and bring in $7 billion in revenue. Find out more about the company’s work on the Mars mission, and how the company growth has skyrocketed, in this article penned by Kari Pugh published in the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s The Business Voice magazine and InsideNoVa.

Space milestone: Two Fairfax County aerospace firms accomplished an industry first last week, as Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman spacecraft docked successfully with a Tysons-based U.S. headquartered Intelsat satellite to provide service and extend its life. The companies hit a milestone in the growing business of servicing satellites while in space. Extending the life of an active spacecraft in orbit has only been done with human help before—such as the Hubble telescope servicing missions conducted by NASA astronauts. CNBC has more.

Optimal employers: In a year that the pandemic has dealt an unprecedented impact to the hospitality industry, Tysons-based Hilton ranked no. 3 in the country in Fortune’s 2021 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Two additional Fairfax County-headquartered companies made the list: Tysons-based Capital One at no. 9, and Vienna-based Navy Federal Credit Union at no. 59. The ranking was based on surveys of half a million employees on issues of trustworthiness, caring and fairness in a time of crisis, as well as their employees physical, emotional, and financial health and the company’s broader community impact. Technical.ly DC reported on the Fortune list.

(Black)Sky’s the limit: BlackSky, the Herndon-based provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services that recently announced a planned business combination with Philadelphia-based Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp., revealed that its BlackSky 7 satellite completed the commissioning process and entered full commercial operations within two weeks of launch. Additionally, the company revealed two additional BlackSky satellites have been shipped to a launch facility in New Zealand for its next planned launch mission with Rocket Lab named “Running out of Toes” scheduled for May 2021. Geospatial World landed this update.

Pandemic pods: SecureTech360, based in Springfield, a small, woman-owned and minority-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned cybersecurity and information technology consulting firm, will invest $155,000 to expand in Fairfax County and create 10 new jobs. SecureTech360 built “health tech pods” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pods can be used to expand hospitals or can be deployed in rural areas with limited access to healthcare. “We are always gratified to help woman-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses grow their presence in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, and working with SecureTech360 is particularly gratifying because it is working to create opportunities in IT sectors for diverse populations,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Citybizlist picked up an FCEDA release.

Climate calculations: McLean-based Mars, the global candy and pet food and product manufacturer, in partnership with consultancy Guidehouse, which has a Falls Church-area location, formed the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition to mobilize suppliers on climate action. The partnership aims to drive industry-wide movement by providing suppliers with the knowledge, resources and tools to develop their own climate plans to reduce their impact on the planet. In its first year, the program will focus on helping suppliers understand the foundations of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in their own businesses, including core knowledge of how to calculate their own GHG footprints and to set their own science-based targets. Find out more in InsideNoVa.

Ensuring technical dominance: Reston-based Carahsoft announced that its blanket purchase agreement for Splunk products and services has been designated a Core Enterprise Technology Agreement (CETA) by the Defense Department. This CETA designation is part of the DoD’s Enterprise Software Initiative to ensure technical dominance across defense agencies, intelligence communities and the Coast Guard. To fulfill this initiative and accelerate technology innovation and adoption, Splunk, which is based in San Francisco and has an office in Tysons, will provide asset management and cybersecurity software, software maintenance support, professional services, training and more, according to Homeland Security Today.

A new standard: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton and Seattle-based augmented reality (AR) company Taqtile have partnered to demonstrate how 5G-powered AR technology can support military base operations as part of a $600 million Department of Defense experimentation and testing program. “We expect this project to set a new standard for deploying advanced wireless applications on military installations,” said Chris Christou, a vice president at Booz Allen, according to ExecutiveBiz.

It’s all Greek to us: As international travel slowly ramps up, United Airlines will add its first-ever direct flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Athens, the airline announced Monday. The airline is fashioning its route network to include countries that have reopened to visitors vaccinated from Covid-19. The daily flights, the first between D.C. and Athens, are scheduled to begin July 1, the Washington Business Journal reported.

A bigger footprint: Inova Health System acquired Virginia Surgery Associates, another expansion for the Merrifield-based nonprofit for its increasing consolidation in the industry. The deal puts VSA’s 47 employees under the growing health system’s umbrella as full-time staff members of Inova’s surgery service line physician organization. It also adds four office locations in Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and Lansdowne, to Inova’s footprint, bringing its total to six general-surgery sites in Northern Virginia, reported the Washington Business Journal.

Island talk: Tysons-based Iridium Communications announced that the Republic of Indonesia’s government adopted Iridium Push-to-Talk devices to support communication efforts across the country. By fully deploying 500 Iridium PTT handsets, the Indonesian government now has a reliable “grab-and-go” real-time satellite communications solution, ideal for communications on-the-move applications across the country’s diverse island landscapes, according to InsideNoVa.

Living the good life: Six Northern Virginia localities — the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, the City of Fairfax, Fairfax County, the City of Falls Church and Loudoun County — ranked in the top 50 best counties in the United States to live in, according to 24/7 Wall St. The list included Virginia’s independent cities. 24/7 Wall St. said it based its methodology on poverty levels, life expectancy at birth, and bachelor’s degree attainment. According to the article, many of the best counties to live in either encompass, or are within commuting distance to a major urban area such as metropolitan Washington, D.C., with a high concentration of jobs, which draws educated workers. And speaking of jobs, check out our talent website, www.workinnorthernvirginia.com, to see almost 100,000 open jobs in Northern Virginia.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Science Applications International Corp. secured a $200 million contract to help the Defense Intelligence Agency manage laboratory operations. GovConWire

ManTech SRS Technologies won a seven-year, $100 million contract to provide architect-engineer services and sustainability support for U.S. Navy ranges around the world. GovConWire

Perspecta obtained a five-year, $71 million contract to provide data analysis assistance for the U.S. Space Force’s forecasting system for space weather phenomena. GovConWire

LMI won a five-year $16 million contract from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for services in support of Department of Defense technology acquisition and international cooperation efforts. ExecutiveBiz

Alion Science and Technology received a five-year, $39 million task order to provide prototyping and experimentation research, development, engineering, technical analysis and solutions for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. ExecutiveGov

Featured business events

April 28 — BES: Virtual Leadership – The Role of Courage Building in Conflict Resolution. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Laura Sharon, Principal of Imperative Dimensions and a Relationship Manager for TrainingPros. The session is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series. Click here to register.

May 4 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA and small-business experts from the Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership, Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the U.S. Small Business Administration present an interactive webinar on how to start a business. This session’s Entrepreneurial Spotlight will feature Kristina Bouweiri, CEO of Reston Limousine, who will share valuable business tips based on her entrepreneurial journey. Click here to register.

May 6 — 9th Annual NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference & Expo Online. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a virtual event that will include matchmaking, educational breakout sessions, a virtual Expo Hall, and innovative keynotes Click here to register.

May 6 — Tri-County Economic Development Update. The Committee for Dulles presents a conversation with representatives from Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties regarding economic development activity updates featuring presentations by David Kelley (Fairfax County EDA), Brandon Farris (Loudoun County), and Michele Weatherly (Prince William County) on economic development activities for the three jurisdictions. Click here to register.

May 18 — ExportON! Emerging Tech Trade Forum Northern Virginia, USA/ Ontario, Canada. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Province of Ontario, Canada presents a program for innovative tech companies on partnership opportunities between the Province of Ontario and Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

May 20 — Entry-Level Professionals Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents a free virtual career fair for entry-level professionals or recent (or soon-to-be) college graduates looking to launch their career at 25 leading companies in Northern Virginia. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date 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.

Virginia measures to contain COVID-19

Starting Thursday, April 1, Governor Ralph Northam announced that certain sports and entertainment venues may begin to operate with additional capacity and indoor and outdoor gathering limits will increase. He amended Executive Order Seventy-Two with the next steps of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the virus.

The Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued mitigation strategies like physical distancing, teleworking, and universal mask requirements. Key changes in the Fourth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two include:

  • Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 50 people for indoor settings and 100 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Entertainment venues: All indoor and outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity. Indoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity or with a maximum of 500 people, an increase from the current cap of 250 people. Outdoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees. These venues were previously limited to 30 percent capacity or up to 1,000 attendees, whichever was fewer. 
  • Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators allowed at recreational sporting events will increase from 25 to 100 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for indoor settings, and from 250 to 500 people per field or 30 percent capacity, whichever is less for outdoor settings.
  • In-person graduation and commencement events: Governor Northam has issued preliminary guidance on safe in-person graduations and commencements, which included a cap of 5,000 people or 30 percent of the venue capacity for outdoor events, whichever is less. Events held indoors may have up to 500 people, or 30 percent of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.

The full text of Fourth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine is available here. Updated guidelines for specific sectors can be found here. Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.