February 23, 2023, E-News: Welcome to Hottest Tech Jobs Market in the U.S. + Weekly Business News Digest

Welcome to the Hottest Tech Jobs Market in the United States

Reston, Virginia (photo courtesy of Comstock Companies)

Silicon Valley’s layoffs mean the Washington, D.C., region is now a hot tech hiring market, reported the Wall Street Journal. The region has more job openings for software developers than the California markets do, as nontechnology companies load up on engineering talent while startups and tech behemoths cut back.

There were 2,369 software-engineering job postings in the San Francisco metro area and 2,084 around San Jose, Calif., which includes Silicon Valley, at the end of last year. Some 3,815 jobs were posted in the Washington, D.C., region at that time, according to an analysis of listings by Vertis AI, a workplace-data company.

Fairfax County, the economic engine of the Greater Washington region, is home to more than 8,800 technology companies that are currently hiring for thousands of jobs. Here are some of their stories:

Matt Calkins founded Appian in Fairfax County in 1999. Today, the world-leading Low-code Automation Platform company’s global headquarters are in Tysons, keeping it local. With access to top-notch talent, an impressive corporate campus, and neighbors like Amazon here in Northern Virginia, Calkins knows he made the right decision to stay. 

Easy Dynamics Corporation, a technology services provider with a core focus in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and information sharing, expanded its operations in the Tysons area of Fairfax County in 2022. Here is what Easy Dynamics CEO Poupak Afshar has to say about choosing Fairfax County:

Ready to make your move to Fairfax County? We are here to help.

Twenty-eight Fairfax County-headquartered companies placed on Virginia Business magazine’s 13th annual Best Places to Work list. In all, 41 of the 100 companies on the list have a presence in Fairfax County. According to Virginia Business, more than 200 companies applied for inclusion in the 2023 “Best Places to Work” in Virginia cohort. One hundred companies were chosen, divided into three categories: small (15-99 U.S. employees); midsize (100-249); and large (250 or more). For Fairfax County-based companies, 15 of the companies ranked in the small category, 10 in the midsize, and 3 in the large company category. In addition, Fairfax County-based multiple-year winners include:

Best Companies Group makes its selections based on surveys conducted with the companies and their employees, according to Virginia Business.

Visit Fairfax: 20+ Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The museum has a fantastic collection showcasing stories about amazing African American history makers (among other historically excluded groups) in the aviation and space fields. (photo courtesy of Visit Fairfax)

Visit Fairfax recommends 20+ places that should be on your “must-see” list, not just during Black History Month — but any time throughout the year. Some of the places located in Fairfax County include George Mason’s Gunston Hall, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and the National Museum of the United States Army. 

“The African American experience is intricately entwined in the rich tapestry of Fairfax County’s history and in America’s story. As you celebrate America’s Black history this year, you’ll have the opportunity to visit sites around the region in person, or online, to reflect on an inspiring journey of hope, sacrifice, liberation, empowerment, and beauty,” wrote Visit Fairfax’s Ali Morris.

To check out the full list and to begin your journey, click here.

Weekly Business News Digest

Expansion in India: Tysons-based Guidehouse announced the commencement of its operation from Chennai, India. A global consulting firm, Guidehouse serves both commercial and public sector markets supporting clients within sectors including healthcare, life sciences, financial services, energy, sustainability and infrastructure. “We remain committed to growing our presence across India and cultivating exceptional career opportunities for the local workforce as we expand our capabilities and digital expertise in new areas,” said Charles Beard, Chief Operating Officer of Guidehouse. citybiz has more.

Video spotlight: Fairfax County-based Microsoft Federal President Rick Wagner, who is Vice Chair of the FCEDA Commission, spoke about the significance of the Department of Defense’s Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract and what it means to Microsoft to win a spot on it in an exclusive Executive Mosaic video interview.  Click here to hear Wagner’s thoughts on zero trust, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data and more.

Novel insights: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton made a strategic investment in Syracuse, N.Y.-based Hidden Level, a developer of sensing technology for unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Hidden Level has developed a sensing platform for monitoring drones and other UAS devices. “The ongoing conflict in Ukraine empirically demonstrates the value of UAS technologies and disproportionate intelligence in modern warfare,” said Steve Escaravage, executive vice president at Booz Allen. “Investments in companies like Hidden Level accelerate our ability to bring novel insights to the counter-UAS mission, expanding the potential for decision advantage by our nation’s warfighters.” GovConWire has more.

Air traffic management: Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department will roll out operational use of Tysons-based Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) service for providing air traffic management grade data,  AviationSource News reported. “The Hong Kong airspace is a perfect candidate for our AireonFLOW product. With one of the world’s busiest airports and significant overflight traffic from countries throughout the region, the ability to accurately and reliably predict traffic flows is of the utmost importance,” said Don Thoma, Aireon CEO.

Record revenue: Tysons satellite company Iridium Communications reported record revenue in 2022 and saw its subscriber base near the two million mark — a number it has since surpassed, Washington Business Journal reported in an article for subscribers. The company’s record $721 million in 2022 revenue — a 17 percent increase from 2021 — comes a month after it announced a deal with San Diego chip maker Qualcomm to add capacity for its satellite-based emergency communications to certain smartphones. That deal is expected to significantly increase Iridium’s revenue once the technology becomes available later this year and beyond. WTOP has more.

Maritime innovation: Tysons-based Spire Global, a provider of space-based data services entered into a new partnership agreement with U.K.-based Theyr to provide global weather data sets for Theyr’s weather and voyage performance optimization engine, and to relicense the integrated system, according to Smart Maritime Network. Spire collects global weather data through its constellation of over 100 satellites, using machine learning techniques to enhance the data and provide global weather forecasts. These forecasts will be added to Theyr’s AI-powered voyage optimization software and existing metocean (meteorology and oceanography) datasets to create a product that can be used by vessel operators to optimize fuel, safety and ETAs. “We’re happy to contribute to Theyr’s vision of maritime innovation that will help build more sustainable shipping operations,” said Mike Eilts, General Manager of Weather and Earth Intelligence, Spire.

Tracking staff: Remote work makes workplace disaster plans essential, according to Employee Benefit News. Tysons-based Global Guardian, an international security and medical services provider for corporate and family travelers, found that leaders of the largest U.S. companies believe there are more domestic and international risks now than there were three years ago. With 30 percent of the population working remotely, keeping track of their workforce is more important than ever. “Prior to COVID, you had a very small cohort of people who were traveling,” said Dale Buckner, Global Guardian’s CEO. “Now that corporate America has people working remotely, it means an entire firm could be considered travelers. Many employers haven’t formalized the way this is being tracked, or what they owe an employee if and when that employee gets themselves in trouble or they’re injured or sick abroad.”

Must-watch satellite companies: Three Fairfax County area companies: Falls Church area-based Lynx Global; Sweden-based Ovzon, which has an office in Herndon; and SpiderOak, which is moving its headquarters from Chicago to Reston; according to a recent SpaceNews article, were named among  Via Satellite’s “10 Hottest Companies in Satellite for 2023,” which highlights the “must-watch” companies in the satellite industry. Via Satellite editors choose the companies on the list based on “their expected activity for the year, and a mix of market share, transformational technology, ground-breaking deals, and overall industry excitement.” In addition, Long Beach, Calif., U.S.-based Rocket Lab placed on the list. Rocket Lab has a Launch Complex at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va., from which the company conducted its first Electron launch from the U.S. on January 24, placing three Herndon-based HawkEye 360 satellites into orbit.

Reducing false alarms: Reston-based Leidos will apply its artificial intelligence-based algorithm to on-person screening systems at airport security checkpoints under a recently awarded contract from the Transportation Security Administration, ExecutiveBiz reported.  “We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with the TSA to further improve the technology and the passenger screening experience at security checkpoints,” said Brad Buswell, SVP and Operations Manager at Leidos. “These new algorithms will help reduce false alarms that lead to unnecessary pat downs and checkpoint inefficiencies.”

Innovation and entrepreneurship: Eight companies have been selected for Lighthouse Labs spring 2023 startup accelerator program, including five companies from Virginia, with two based in Fairfax County: Healp (Fairfax Station) and Karambit.AI (Annandale), reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “This cohort’s companies offer bold solutions to address current-day problems in industries ranging from logistics to cybersecurity, health/wellness to retail, and real estate to software,” said Paul Nolde, Managing Executive Director at Lighthouse Labs in a statement. “This group of startups represents the best of innovation and entrepreneurship across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Lion city meets Tysons: The D.C. area’s first fine-dining Singaporean restaurant opened in Tysons Galleria on February 15, according to Washingtonian. Jiwa Singapura comes from Cranes chef Pepe Moncayo, who lived in Singapore for a decade. The main dining room features an art installation with dangling orchids, the national flower of Singapore. On the 3,000-square-foot patio, there’s a sculpture of a merlion—half mermaid, half-lion—which is considered the official mascot of the island nation whose original name, Singapura, means “lion city.”

Contract Wins

Peraton (Herndon) received an eight-year, $399.3 million contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide ground sustainment services for polar-orbiting environmental satellites. GovConWire

ICF (Reston) won a six-year, $29 million contract to help the New York State Department of Transportation incorporate technology into programs designed to assist commuters and travelers with their local trips. ExecutiveBiz

ManTech (Herndon) a $28 million re-compete contract with Naval Surface Warfare Center to provide Intelligent Systems Engineering. Intelligence Community News

General Dynamics Information Technology (Falls Church area) booked a $16 million contract to deliver electromagnetic environmental effects services to the U.S. Navy. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

March 7 – Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business in Fairfax County. Join our panel of small business experts for an interactive webinar on how to start your business. We will provide you with informative step-by-step information sessions that will cover registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. In addition, the Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature Omi Bell, Founder of Black Girl Ventures. Click here for more information and to register.

March 31 – Fairfax County Green Business Partners Forum. Smart City Works, in partnership with Fairfax County Green Business Partners, the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination, and the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives on the Green Business Partners Forum. The goal of this Forum is to inform and inspire local business leaders interested in sustainability and to share to learn from businesses already on their sustainable journey. Click here for more information and to register.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and 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.