Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for May 18, 2021: Amazon hiring spree in NOVA; “Today” spotlights OmMade peanut butter founder

Amazonian job vacancies: Between HQ2 hiring in Arlington and Amazon Web Services (AWS) hiring in Herndon, Amazon.com has more than 3,000 job openings in Northern Virginia. More than 2,100 of those openings are in Arlington, many attached to HQ2. “This is the highest number of open positions at HQ2 since the company announced its selection of Arlington, Virginia, as its second U.S. headquarters,” John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate, told the Washington Business Journal in an article for subscribers. Almost 800 are in the Herndon area, where the company has its East Coast headquarters in Herndon.

And speaking of Amazon: Amazon Fresh is headed to Lorton. The company looks to be taking all or part of a 38,000-square-foot Shoppers store at 9409 Lorton Market Street that was closed at the start of 2020, according to the Washington Business Journal. This is the eighth new concept grocery store from Amazon coming to the Washington, D.C. area. The Lorton store will be about seven miles from a soon-to-open Franconia location.

That’s nuts! Reston-based OmMade peanut butter founder Radhika Murari was featured on TODAY in a segment called “She Made It” in connection with Asian/Pacific Islander American Month. In the segment, Murari talked about how her son inspired her to create her line of healthy peanut butter. OmMade Peanut Butter is a naturally gluten-free artisanal peanut better that uses  Virginia peanuts. Murari sells her products online and at area Whole Foods Market stores.

Friendlier skies: United Airlines said it will increase daily departures at Washington Dulles International Airport from 150 to 220 by July as part of a larger push to return its air traffic across the country to nearly 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Overall, Dulles will see a lot more activity, some of it through new nonstop routes and some through the increased frequency of existing routes, said Patrick Quayle, vice president of the international network and alliances at United. The Washington Business Journal has more.

We’ve got jobs: The FCEDA gave an update on the status of economic recovery from the pandemic in a meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors last week, noting that there are currently 36,592 open job postings in Fairfax County. The presentation went on to show that many sought-after occupations are in the technology sector. At the meeting, Board  of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay asked the Fairfax County EDA whether the number of tech vacancies could lead companies to pivot to recruiting remote workers and what the ripple effects would be. “So far, what we’ve been seeing as far as hiring is that this pipeline in our region and our state still needs to be cranked up,” FCEDA EVP Alex Iams said. The Washington Business Journal has more.

Small businesses reaching for the sky: Three Fairfax County-based companies, AvMet Applications (Reston); Dynovas (Springfield) and Fibertek (Herndon) are among the 127 U.S. small businesses to received new awards from NASA to help them develop, demonstrate and deliver technologies under the second phase of the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research program. The $105 million investment will provide awardees with up to $750,000 funding each to advance the technologies they presented to NASA. The program seeks to field technologies capable of supporting NASA’s exploration efforts as well as its initiatives in space technology, science and aeronautics.  The selected technologies have displayed great potential impacts for their respective sectors, and we are proud to continually invest in today’s booming aerospace economy through these small businesses,” said Jason Kessler, SBIR Program executive at NASA. Learn more in ExecutiveBiz. And see details on the contracts by clicking here.

Company culture kudos: Eleven Fairfax County area-based companies ranked on Inc.’s annual list of “Best Workplaces 2021”: Cassaday & Company (Tysons); Counter Threat Solutions (Reston); Glassman Wealth Services (Tysons); GuidePoint Security (Herndon); IronArch Technology (Tysons); Kingfisher Systems (Falls Church area); M2 Strategy (Tysons); Qmulos (Chantilly); Recro (Herndon); SWP Systems (Tysons); and Yoko Co (Tysons). Seven additional companies based in other Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdictions also placed on the list: Changeis (Arlington); D&G Support Services (Woodbridge); Enterprise Knowledge (Arlington); InfiCare (Dulles); PhoenixTeam (Arlington); Sriven Technologies (Ashburn); and TechFlow (Arlington). According to Inc., the list is the result of a wide-ranging measurement of American companies that have created exceptional workplaces and company culture, whether their teams are operating in person or remotely. Each nominated company took part in a comprehensive employee survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, on topics including management effectiveness, perks, and fostering employee growth.

It’s showtime: The Tysons Partnership is out with a new brand and a new website. The business group is in the midst of sorting out what “Tysons Partnership 3.0” will look like, as the organization enters its 10th year, according an article penned by Alex Koma  at the Washington Business Journal. By the end of the year, the partnership’s executives said they hope to lay out a roadmap for how it plans to match the explosive growth of Tysons with new capacity of its own. The new website has new features including a map of development projects now in progress and a guide to local events. Check out the new website by clicking here.

Advancing diversity: ExecutiveGov reported that Reston-based Maximus’ president and CEO Bruce Caswell signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, which unites the talent and resources of more than 2,000 signatories to advance racial equity through public policy. Maximus said Caswell’s signature illustrates the company’s ongoing strategy to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace. Additional CEOs of Fairfax County-based companies that signed the CEO Action Pledge include Horacio D. Rozanski of Booz Allen Hamilton, David M. Brickman of Freddie Mac, Christopher J. Nassetta of Hilton and John Wasson of ICF. ExecutiveGov reported that Caswell also signed The Valuable 500 commitments, a global CEO community revolutionizing disability inclusion through business leadership and opportunity. Click here to see additional signatories.

Target IPO: Reston-based civil engineering company Bowman Consulting Group raised $51.7 million in an initial public offering. Founded in 1995, Bowman employs more than 750 people in more than 30 offices across the United States. In January 2021 Bowman closed its acquisition of Herndon-based engineering firm KTA Group, Virginia Business reported.

Infusing hospitality: With the potential return of travel and vacationing this summer, Washington, D.C.-based alternative lodging service WhyHotel announced that a hospitality-infused, hotel-like apartment complex will open in Tysons. In partnership with developer the Meridian Group, WhyHotel is offering expanded amenities for rentals at the Rise and Bolden Apartments in The Boro starting June 1. “There’s a very large opportunity to permanently infuse hospitality into a multifamily building,” CEO Jason Fudin said. “We call that business hospitality living.” technical.ly brought the story home.

Digital divide development: Reston-based Internet Society Foundation launched a second round of grants to support digital skills development. Grants of up to $150,000 will be awarded to eligible organizations in Bangladesh, Colombia and Senegal for projects lasting up to 24 months. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Adding to the team: Tysons-based Integrity Management Consulting acquired Fairfax-based MHM Innovations, a provider of technology and program management to intelligence agencies. MHM will operate as a subsidiary of Integrity Management Consulting, a consultancy focused on the government. “As Integrity grows and expands our footprint in a variety of areas, including in intelligence and information security, we need team members with the exact skills MHM provides,” said Christopher Romani, CEO of Integrity Management Consulting. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Adding another pillar: Fairfax-based software developer 3Pillar Global launched the 3 Pillar Global Advisory Council, comprised of leaders in digital innovation from companies such as Mastercard, Estee Lauder and Consumer Reports. The council brings together seasoned industry executives with direct experience guiding companies through digital transformation and product development. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Eyes from the sky: While environmental agreements are hard to enforce without independently verified data, satellites can help monitor deforestation, illegal fishing, pollution and other environmental problems, helping to measure whether governments are hitting their targets, AXIOS reported. Different types of satellite data can also work in concert with one another toward this objective. Herndon-based HawkEye 360, for example, is able to tip off imaging satellites to get photos of various points of interest if it detects radio frequency signals — from illegal shipping vessels, for example — that merit closer inspection. “It’s one thing to say, ‘Hey the world’s warming up,’ but it’s another to be able to showcase the way in which that impacts humanity,” said John Serafini, CEO of HawkEye 360 told AXIOS. See FCEDA’s video interview with Serafini by clicking here.

Expanding reach: Tysons-based Nolij Consulting, a provider of healthcare IT services to the federal government, expanded its services into the commercial sector. The company said it will now be able to help modernize and improve operational efficiencies for clients such as hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Brick by brick: Brickyard, the suburban co-working concept, opened the doors of a 5,100 square foot space in Chantilly. Located at 14508 Lee Road, Brickyard has locations in Ashburn and Woodbridge, reported InsideNoVa.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Perspecta received a five-year, $473.8 million contract from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency for enterprise information technology application development support services. GovConWire

Noblis scored a $263.3 million contract to provide the Defense Threat Reduction Agency with advisory and assistance services. Washington Technology

Strategic Alliance Solutions won a three-year $215.59 million contract from the Missile Defense Agency for warfighter operational integration advisory and assistance services. Virginia Business

SAIC secured a $200 million contract to help the Defense Intelligence Agency manage laboratory operations. Intelligence Community News

Parsons Corporation obtained a $185 million contract by the Space and Missile Systems Center Special Programs Directorate for Integrated Solutions for Situational Awareness support. citybizlist

ManTech won a five-year, $123 million contract to help the FBI manage, secure and maintain information systems. Intelligence Community News

General Dynamics Information Technology scored a five-year, $52.1 million contract from the Navy for research and development and technical support services. ExecutiveBiz

General Dynamics won a pair of contracts worth $43 million combined by Raytheon Technologies to manufacture components for two new variants of the Standard Missile-3 system. ExecutiveBiz

A team of Northrop Grumman and Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems, a joint venture between L3Harris Technologies and Thales, will collaborate to build a model for a Triton unmanned aerial vehicle as part of a contract from the Navy. ExecutiveBiz

Rolls-Royce North America received a contract from the Navy to supply  generator sets for phase one of the Navy’s class frigate programs. Seapower magazine.

Featured business events

May 19 — Investing in Richmond Highway: Exploring New Development and Business Opportunities in Southeast Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Fairfax County Government and Bisnow present a webinar on commercial real estate development opportunities in the Richmond Highway area. Click here to register.

May 19 — State of the Capital Region 2021: Examining the pandemic’s impact on the geography of jobs. The Brookings Institute presents a webinar featuring a presentation by Leah Brooks, director, Center for Washington Area Studies, The George Washington University. A panel discussion will feature Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. 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.

May 20 — Cybersecurity to Prevent and Protect: Securing America’s IT Frontier. George Mason University’s School of Business Center for Government Contracting is presenting a webinar and virtual networking opportunity. This is the second webinar in the “New Directions in Federal Spending & Contracting” series, which is sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.  Click here to register.

May 20 — Best Workplaces for Commuters Works for Your Business! The Dulles Area Transportation Association presents a webinar moderated by an informative panel discussion will be moderated by Jatinder Kaur Khosla, Business Investment Manager, Europe at the FCEDA. Click here to register.

May 24– Metro Monday: Growing NoVA’s Innovation Ecosystem. The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar. FCEDA Commissioner Steven Partridge, Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development, Northern Virginia Community College, is among the featured speakers. 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.

Governor Northam Lifts Mask Mandate to Align with CDC Guidance, Announces Virginia to End COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on May 28

On May 14 Governor Ralph Northam lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Governor Northam also announced that Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than planned. The updates to Virginia’s mask policy are reflected in amendments to Executive Order Seventy-Two and will become effective at midnight tonight along with previously announced changes to mitigation measures.

Governor Northam made the announcement in a new video message.

Virginia is able to take these steps as a result of increasing vaccination rates, dramatically declining COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and statewide test positivity rate, and revised federal guidelines.

The state of emergency in Virginia will remain in place at least through June 30 to provide flexibility for local government and support ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Governor Northam will take executive action to ensure individuals have the option to wear masks up to and after that date. Masks will continue to be required in K-12 public schools, given low rates of vaccination among children.

Virginia has administered nearly 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. More than 4 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, representing over 63 percent of Virginia’s adult population. Governor Northam has said he remains confident the Commonwealth will meet President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4.

The full text of Seventh Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine, which took effect on May 15, can be found here.

The full text of Executive Order Seventy-Nine, which takes effect on Friday, May 28, can be found here.

Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions. Click here to schedule an appointment in Fairfax County.