Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for Dec. 8, 2020

Parent pleasing: Six Fairfax County-headquartered companies ranked in the top 100 on Great Places to Work’s 2020 Best Workplaces for Parents list, which was compiled from a survey of working parents focused on their work experiences during the pandemic. Tysons-headquartered Hilton placed second on the list, and these companies also made the grade: no. 16 Capital One (Tysons); no. 38 Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna); no. 49 Expel (Herndon); no. 59 Collaborative Solutions (Reston); and no. 74 Modern Technology Solutions (Alexandria area). The Great Places to Work methodology: Parents and non-parents responded to more than 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their employer creates a “Great Place to Work For All.” Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what parents say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential at work, no matter who they are or what they do. The remaining 15 percent are based on how parenting status influenced other aspects of employees’ work experience.

Top 10 times 3: Amazon is now a top 10 employer in three Northern Virginia counties: Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington. It’s a big jump — Amazon didn’t make any of those lists last year. Most of those workers are in Fairfax County, where Amazon became the seventh largest employer with between 5,000 and 10,000 employees. That kind of jump doesn’t happen overnight, said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “Given the rate that they are moving right now, and if you think of total jobs for all Amazon companies, they could easily be upwards of the fifth slot next year,” Hoskins said. Read more in the Washington Business Journal.

A big deal: Northrop Grumman, based in the Falls Church area, and Veritas Capital, based in New York City, announced that Herndon-headquartered Peraton, an affiliate of Veritas, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Northrop Grumman’s federal IT and mission support services business for $3.4 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021. “This divesture allows us to drive value and reflects our strategy of focus on growing core businesses where technology and innovation are the key differentiators,” said Kathy Warden, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Northrop Grumman, citybizlist reported.

Post-COVID Collaboration: Connected DMV released its report on how to strengthen the region’s economy post-COVID. The report, authored by dozens of D.C.-area business executives, politicians, academics and others, as part of a “strategic renewal” task force, calls for more regional thinking on everything from economic development to coronavirus containment to new regional research centers to help build a more resilient economy in Greater Washington. Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, leads Connected DMV’s economic development work. He expects the task force to be able to “create ground rules on cooperation,” and bridge the gaps between these new alliances. Find out more in the Washington Business Journal.

Connecting with the county: The aforementioned Victor Hoskins was interviewed for the December episode of the “Connect with County Leaders” podcast. During the interview, Hoskins discusses the EDA and its role in Fairfax County, and he offers insight into his leadership style. Get the inside scoop from our CEO by listening to the podcast here.

Destination Fairfax County: Radhika Murari is the founder of, for now, the home-based OmMade Peanut Butter. She is currently working with Fairfax County and state officials to identify a small-scale manufacturing facility. “Right now, we are still making peanut butter in very small batches, which is extremely labor-intensive,” Murari said. “When we move into a manufacturing facility, we will be able to install commercial equipment that will produce peanut butter exponentially faster. It will also allow us to lower our prices while maintaining the high quality of our product,” according to the Washington Business Journal in an Q&A piece.

Rousing a retail renaissance: George Mason University’s School of Business launched the Center for Retail Transformation, aimed at providing research, events and a talent pipeline to the struggling retail industry. The center will be led by Gautham Vadakkepatt, who has spent the last decade in academia focused on marketing and has advised retailers on business strategy. He is putting together an advisory board of 30 retail industry professionals to guide the center. “We started talking about the center before COVID, but definitely COVID has accelerated the need of a center such as this, focused on small- and medium-sized retailers,” Vadakkepatt said. We are happy to shop this Bisnow story.

PPP lifeline: The Small Business Administration released additional information about all approved borrowers from its $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) small business relief program last week, this time including searchable data with the exact company names, loan amounts, addresses and other information. Of the top 25 Virginia PPP recipients, more than half received $10 million, the maximum amount, including several Fairfax County firms: Digital Intelligence Systems (Tysons); Potomac Family Dining Group Operating Co. (Herndon); CALIBRE Systems (Alexandria area): and The Medical Team (Reston). Also landing in the top 25 for the state was Reston-headquartered Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, which received $8.39 million. Virginia Business has more.

Let’s dance: Tysons-based communications satellite services provider Intelsat completed the acquisition of in-flight broadband connectivity provider Gogo’s commercial aviation business for $400 million in cash. Intelsat plans to pair its satellite and ground network to Gogo’s customer base of more than 3,000 commercial aircraft. “Combining Intelsat’s next-generation global telecommunications network with Gogo Commercial Aviation’s leading capabilities and airline relationships will create unprecedented innovation in inflight digital connectivity, unlocking exciting new growth and brand loyalty opportunities across the airline industry,” Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said, according to Virginia Business.

Silvery moon: Tysons-based information technology company By Light Professional IT Services acquired Port Orange, Fla.-based technology training company Raydon. Founded in 2002, By Light provides engineering, cyber, modeling and simulation services to defense and government agencies, employing more than 2,000 people. Raydon, which formed in 1988, provides engineering, custom manufacturing and supply chain management services to support the Department of Defense’s virtual training and simulation programs, Intelligence Community News reported.

Clouds overhead: Centreville-based Parsons Corporation created a series of Cloud Native Stream Platforms that deliver government and commercial customers with capabilities to meet current and future mission objectives of processing ever-increasing data volumes. Their scalable nature ensures maximum cloud resource utilization and performance while reducing costs associated with infrastructure overhead, reported InsideNoVa.

Catching a big bear: Tysons-based NuWave Solutions, a data management and technology provider to the federal government, acquired San Diego-based data analytics firm BigBear, which has a Reston location. As part of the acquisition of BigBear, NuWave is expected to gain its expertise in big data computing and analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, geospatial information systems, data mining and systems engineering, according to GovConWire.

Bringing it home: Another area office building could be converted to apartments. An affiliate of Tysons-based A&A Properties filed an application with Fairfax County for a conversion project at the Flint Hill office park that would yield more than 400 residential units. The 15-acre site at 3211 Jermantown Road and 10530 Rosehaven Street, near the Interstate 66 exit at Chain Bridge Road, consists of two office buildings with surface parking, Bisnow reported.

Investing in Tysons: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to nominate the Tysons Partnership to receive $1 million in additional economic opportunity funds. The funds will help the nonprofit continue wayfinding, business and event promotion, and other initiatives designed to support the growth of Tysons in accordance with the Tysons Comprehensive Plan. The $1 million will come from Fairfax County’s Economic Opportunity Reserve fund, which goes to projects that are expected to stimulate economic growth in certain priority areas but don’t fall under the county’s capital improvement program or other standard procurement processes, according to Tysons Reporter.

Ship shape: Reston-based Bechtel‘s plant machinery company won two contract modifications with a combined $1.14 billion to provide propulsion components for the Navy’s nuclear-powered ships. The goal is to provide the military with effective nuclear propulsion plants and ensure that they are safe and reliable, according to the DOD, Virginia Business reported.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

ManTech won a five-year, $273 million contract with the Department of Homeland Security to provide Business Intelligence Support Services in support of the anti-crime and anti-terrorism efforts of the department’s Customs and Border Protection. ExecutiveBiz

Leidos obtained a $162.1 million contract from the Federal Trade Commission to provide information technology and system support services for the agency’s information-sharing platform for investigating consumer fraud reports. GovConWire

General Dynamics received a two-year, $128.2 million contract from the Navy for a subsidiary to maintain, modernize and repair the USS Comstock dock-landing ship. GovConWire

Cloud Lake Technology, an Akima subsidiary, won a $99.4 million contract from the Army to provide sustainment support for emergency management systems at Army installations. GovConWire

LMI booked a $77.5 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to support and advise the department on efforts to prevent chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks. Virginia Business

Booz Allen Hamilton received a $49.9 million contract to help the Army modernize research and development of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies. ExecutiveBiz

RiverTech, an Akima subsidiary, landed a six-year, $9 million contract to help the Air Force maintain and sustain a platform used by the Department of Defense to manage the condition of military working dogs. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

December 8 — Government Contracting in a Changed World. George Mason University Center for Government Contracting and Defense Acquisition University present a virtual conference, with this module focusing on operations. Click here to register.

December 8-9 — InnoTech: the international broadcast edition for innovation, HLS & cyber technologies. The Fairfax County EDA is a sponsor of this virtual cyber and homeland security conference from Israel. It will include expert presentations and panels, as well as a startup competition, and will host senior officials from government and defense organizations, including police, security and intelligence agencies. The event will also host leading figures from Israeli and global defense industries, tech companies, and hundreds of start-ups. Click here to register.

December 10 — Best Workplaces for Commuters. The Dulles Area Transportation Association presents a free webinar. Watch it to see if your company qualifies for the “Best Workplaces for Commuters” designation. Click here to register.

January 28 — Cyber & Cloud Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents this virtual hiring event with 20+ companies for professionals in the IT, cyber and cloud industries. It is open to all experience levels. Job-seekers with security clearances are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information and 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 sets up new statewide measures to contain COVID-19

The following measures took effect November 15 in Virginia to contain the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19:

  • Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
  • Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians ages 5 and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29.
  • Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.
  • On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.

Find out more by clicking here.