Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for Jan. 26, 2021

Cloud + Cyber virtual career fair set for Thursday

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are among 27 companies in Northern Virginia seeking to hire for thousands of open positions in the IT, cyber and cloud industries during an FCEDA virtual career fair this Thursday, January 28. Participation in the FCEDA Cyber + Cloud Virtual Career Fair is free of charge and open to technology professionals of all experience levels. Job seekers with security clearances are in demand and encouraged to attend, though it is not a required qualification. Click here to register.

Smart City Challenge runs through February 16

The Smart City Challenge, an innovation competition in which teams create solutions to address the toughest smart-city challenges in sectors including housing, transportation, health, broadband, energy, education, water, infrastructure and public safety, began January 23 and continues through February 16. The challenge is being hosted by Smart City Works, Refraction, Fairfax County, Girls in Tech DC, The Universities at Shady Grove and Virginia Tech. Click here to register.

Living it up in Reston: Money magazine ranked Reston as the number one place in the nation to live for working from home. Factors for the ranking included cost of living, safety, education quality, the number of residents working from home, access to necessities like daycare centers and pharmacies, and of course sufficient Internet connection. The magazine states that Reston, one of the most famous planned communities started in the 1960s, was “practically designed with the remote employee in mind.” Reston Now has more on the latest accolade.

Another Amazon-ian deal: Amazon Web Services, which maintains its East Coast office hub in Herndon, purchased 46.4 acres in western Fairfax County for $55.9 million, according to the Washington Business Journal. The vacant property is on Avion Parkway in Chantilly, about five miles south of Washington Dulles International Airport. The Business Journal notes that AWS paid $54 million to acquire 57 acres at 13600 EDS Drive, just off Route 28 in Herndon. It also notes that there are 179 data centers throughout Northern Virginia, including 30 in Fairfax County.

All bets are on: The Washington Football Team partnered with gaming company FanDuel Group to provide sports betting across the state — the first NFL team to partner with an online sports bookmaker. Through the partnership, which was approved by the Virginia Lottery last week, FanDuel will serve as the operational partner for a betting permit held by the Washington Football Team. The Virginia General Assembly legalized online sports betting last year. “We’re very excited for all this groundbreaking partnership will offer our valued fans throughout the commonwealth of Virginia as part of their game day experience,” said Scott Shepherd, senior vice president of corporate partnerships and hospitality for the Washington Football Team. Virginia Business passed the story along.

Funding connectivity: U.K.-based OneWeb, which has its North American headquarters in Tysons, has raised $1.4 billion in total funding after it received additional investments from Hughes Network Systems and SoftBank Group. The new funding provides OneWeb with needed capital to come up with a constellation of 648 satellites in low-Earth orbit by the end of 2022 to deliver broadband connectivity and low-latency communication services to customers worldwide. OneWeb presently has 110 satellites in orbit, after having launched 36 new LEO satellites in December, reported ExecutiveBiz.

Binational collaboration: The BIRD Foundation, an Israel-U.S. binational industrial R&D foundation, will invest $7.45 million in eight new projects between U.S. and Israeli companies, including Atlanta-based Envistacom‘s, which as an office in Chantilly, project with Ayecka Satellite Technologies, a partnership to develop a satellite communication and 5G virtual modem edge device for wireless transmission. The BIRD Foundation promotes collaborations between U.S. and Israeli companies in various technological fields. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the foundation works with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions. The Times of Israel has more.

Cornering the possibilities: Home Depot USA acquired prime property in Tysons, at the original “Tyson’s corner” in fact, though its plans for the site are a mystery, says the Washington Business Journal. The Atlanta-based home improvement giant paid $35.9 million for 2000 Chain Bridge Road, a 7.08-acre site at the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Leesburg Pike, according to public records. The acreage may be enough to meet the demands of a full-size Home Depot store, assuming there is structured parking. But the retailer has other concepts and needs that could potentially fit into that space, including logistics or a Home Depot Design Center showroom, the Business Journal said.

Bitcoin billionaire: Tysons-based MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor has made a high-profile bid to buy up hundreds of millions of dollars of bitcoins in recent months — and that strategy has made him a billionaire. MicroStrategy began buying up Bitcoin in August, as part of Saylor’s bid to hedge against what he believes is a devaluing dollar. The moves have given both MicroStrategy and Saylor a higher profile, with Saylor adding tens of thousands of Twitter followers to his account in the last few months. Google Trends shows searches for MicroStrategy are at the highest they have been since 2017, and Saylor now regularly appears in the national media and across the cryptocurrency news ecosystem, reported the Washington Business Journal.

Valet to the world: Lorton-based Kapsuun Group is among the 10 Virginia companies accepted in to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) most recent two-year Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, which helps companies work on international exporting growth strategies. During the two-year program, businesses learn international sales plan development services through trainings from international service providers, meetings with potential partners, educational events and market research, according to Virginia Business.

Traffic safety partnership: Tysons-based MITRE and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will collaborate with eight automobile manufacturers to analyze the performance of advanced driver assistance systems as part of an expanded data-sharing initiative. The Partnership for Analytics Research in Traffic Safety aims to study 40 million vehicles that represent 90 models launched on the market between 2015 and 2021 to gain insights into the effectiveness of ADS technology such as automatic emergency braking and lane management systems, ExecutiveBiz reported.

Community college update: Regional community colleges are coming up with innovative ways to stay competitive and prepare students for an evolving job market during the pandemic. WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi interviewed Dr. Anne Kress, president, Northern Virginia Community College and Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, dean of academic affairs, University of the District of Columbia Community College about their programs for upskilling students for in-demand careers and/or to transfer to 4-year colleges. Hear the broadcast on WAMU.

Staying safe: The Meridian Group, the real estate firm behind The Boro development in Tysons earned a viral response certification with the highest score in the country to date since the Fitwel healthy building certifications system launched in July. “During an unprecedented time in real estate and the world, we are honored to be recognized for our innovative efforts to optimize safe environments in our buildings,” Meridian Group CFO and COO Mark King said, according to Tysons Reporter.

Top ten Tysons: Tysons is a national leader for apartment construction in recent years, WTOP reports, citing numbers from RentCafe. It analyzed data for large-scale apartment buildings of 50 units or more in suburban areas that have delivered in the last five years. In Tysons, developers have delivered 2,562 new units in large buildings in the last five years, putting Tysons at no. 10 nationally for new apartment unit deliveries — and no. 1 in the Washington, D.C., region.

And adding more apartments along the Orange Line: A pair of developers have begun advancing plans to bring nearly 1,000 new apartments to the area around the Vienna Metro station, a project that was first pitched for the area nearly 15 years ago. Pulte Homes and CRC Companies are both pushing ahead with new construction on the 56-acre site adjacent to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro Station. The companies could start work in 2021 on what would eventually be six buildings with at least 980 units and 41,500 square feet of retail, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Pilot protection: The the Air Force selected Falls Church-area Northrop Grumman to complete final project efforts to provide the electronic-warfare suite for the service branch’s F-16 fighter aircraft fleet. Northrop Grumman’s offering will work to protect pilots from radio frequency-guided weapons by detecting, identifying and defeating advanced threat systems. “The electronic warfare suite will significantly increase protection to F-16 operators as they execute their missions in increasingly contested environments,” said Ryan Tintner, VP, Northrop Grumman Missions Systems. ExecutiveGov flew in the news.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Northrop Grumman secured a five-year, $3.6 billion contract from the Air Force to develop, test and integrate an airborne communications relay system. GovConWire

General Dynamics Information Technology won a $695 million contract from the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Enterprise Mission Information Technology Services to deliver enterprise information technology, communications and mission command support services to USAREUR headquarters, the U.S. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations and other Department of Defense organizations and Regionally Aligned Forces in Europe. Virginia Business

A joint venture between Octo and Metric5 won a five-year, $63 million from the Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to develop information technology applications. ExecutiveBiz

LMI  received a five-year, $18 million contract to continue helping the Air Force Materiel Command manage logistics processes and other supply chain functions across the Air Force Sustainment Center. GovConWire

Rolls-Royce won a $1 million in  research funding from the Navy for digital foreign object debris detection technology. SEAPOWER

Featured business events

January 23-February 18 — Smart City Challenge. Smart City Works, Refraction, Fairfax County, Girls in Tech DC, The Universities at Shady Grove, and Virginia Tech will host the first annual Smart City Challenge. The Smart City Challenge is an innovation competition, in which teams create high-impact solutions to address the toughest smart city challenges in sectors including housing, transportation, health, broadband, energy, education, water, infrastructure, and public safety. Click here to register.

January 27, February 3, February 10 — Air & Space Innovation webinar series. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a three-part international webinar series focused on the latest technologies in aviation and space for commercial and defense applications. On day 1 of the series (Jan. 27), the focus will be: “Air Innovation: Flying Cars, Drones & Unmanned Air Systems;” on day 2 (Feb. 3): “Space Innovation, Novel Communications and Expeditions;” and on day 3 (Feb. 10): “Defense Innovation in Air & Space.” 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.

Feb. 4 — Housing Production and Affordability. CREW DC presents a panel discussion to explore housing challenges and creative solutions needed to address the housing affordability crisis and enhance the region’s economic competitiveness. Click here to register.

February 16 — Filling the Gap: Finding and Upskilling Talent Across Northern Virginia. The FCEDA presents “Filling the Gap: Finding and Upskilling Talent Across Northern Virginia.” This webinar will focus on new and innovative ways for businesses, government agencies and non-profits to attract and train qualified job applicants. 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 on December 14 in Virginia to contain the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19:

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.
  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.
  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.
  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 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.
  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

Find out more by clicking here.