June 29, 2023: Making a Difference for Families Facing Food Insecurity: StarKist, Feed the Children, Cornerstones Partner at Food Distribution Event + Weekly Business News Digest

Making a Difference for Families Facing Food Insecurity: StarKist, Feed the Children, Cornerstones Partner at Food Distribution Event

(Courtesy of Chip McCrea Photography)

Reston-headquartered StarKist partnered with Feed the Children and Cornerstones on Thursday, June 22 to bring hunger relief to 400 families living along Northern Virginia’s Dulles Corridor. The drive-through event was held at St. John Neumann Catholic Community in Reston. During the event, 400 families and seniors received a 25-pound box of shelf-stable food, including StarKist products; a 15-pound box of hygiene essentials such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; a box of Avon products; Disney storybooks and other items. This was the trio’s second annual food distribution event since StarKist relocated its global corporate and administrative headquarters from Pittsburgh, Penn. to Reston in April 2022.

“At StarKist, we have cultivated a longstanding partnership with Feed the Children, an organization dedicated to nationwide hunger relief efforts and with Cornerstones, an organization that continues to support underserved communities in Northern Fairfax County,” said Chae-Ung Um, President and CEO of StarKist. “Hunger and food insecurity are pervasive issues that affect communities everywhere, including right here in Reston. As a responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to addressing this challenge head-on and consider it a privilege to give back to this community.”

“Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) commends StarKist, Feed the Children and Cornerstones for hosting this second annual event to help families who are experiencing food insecurity,” said Alex Iams, Executive Vice President at FCEDA. “Our community is very fortunate that StarKist chose to relocate their headquarters to Reston last year.”

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Weekly Business News Digest

Advancing talent: Virginia is ranked No.1 in the U.S. for Customized Workforce Training in the 19th-annual Business Facilities State Rankings Report, advancing the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program from the No. 2 spot in 2022 and 2021, according to an announcement by Governor Glenn Youngkin. The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program is a workforce initiative created by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Governor’s administration and the Virginia General Assembly. The program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation. More information on the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program is available here.

Achieving flight heritage: Reston-based SpiderOak used a Ball Aerospace-made prototype payload to demonstrate a zero trust, end-to-end data security technology it recently deployed to space, reported ExecutiveBiz. The space systems software company said Thursday its OrbitSecure platform achieved flight heritage following tests on the Ball payload operating in low-Earth orbit. OrbitSecure is designed to mitigate disruptions in space communications and satellite services by downsizing the attack surface of space operators. It employs a software-based approach to allow for better decentralized space resilience and adaptable responses to evolving cyber threats. The prototype payload was fitted with Ball-developed Open Software System framework and was launched as part of the aerospace company’s rideshare program. Ball Aerospace is based in Boulder, Colorado and has local office locations in Chantilly and Arlington, Va. Click here to see a recent FCEDA interview with SpiderOak CEO Dave Pearah.

Successful test launch: Reston-based Leidos subsidiary Dynetics completed its first test launch of a hypersonic test bed from Rocket Lab‘s launch complex at a spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on June 24, reported ExecutiveBiz. The program seeks to accelerate testing of commercial hypersonic systems and involves the development of an experimental glide body designed to enable the Dynetics team to collect data and verify the performance of hypersonic glide body components. “This successful test has demonstrated the first hypersonic insertion of a payload from a commercial launch vehicle and the team is ready to move forward into the next phase of this program,” said Leidos CEO Tom Bell.

More Leidos news: Reston-based Leidos subsidiary Dynetics and Leidos Innovation Center are working to develop sensor technology designed to provide the U.S. Marine Corps with a 360-degree coverage area to identify the presence of air-based threats, ExecutiveBiz reported. The Marine Expeditionary Long-range Persistent Surveillance system employs a threat-sensing approach and seeks to avoid transmitting electromagnetic signals an adversary may detect. MELPS is based on the Army Long Range Persistent Surveillance technology Dynetics built to help soldiers defend against attack drones and cruise missiles.

Enterprise technology services: Reston-based CACI will start delivering services under a $5.7 billion blanket purchase agreement the U.S. Department of the Air Force awarded to support its Enterprise Information Technology, ExecutiveBiz reported. CACI and its team will provide enterprise technology to over 800,000 individuals across the Air Force and Space Force. “We are honored to serve the Air Force and deliver on the department’s vision for a modern IT infrastructure,” commented John Mengucci, president and CEO of CACI.

Mustard agent-filled munitions destroyed: Reston-based Bechtel has completed the safe destruction of mustard agent-filled munitions at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado, according to ExecutiveBiz. The Bechtel Pueblo Team destroyed over 780,000 projectiles and mortar rounds under three campaigns involving three various sizes of chemical weapons and reported the milestone to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the company said. “Bechtel is proud to have played a significant role in eliminating chemical weapons from the stockpile in Colorado. We understand the international implication and the U.S. commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention,” said Michael Costas, general manager of defense and space business at Bechtel.

EY entrepreneur kudos: Tysons-based ShiftMed Founder and CEO Todd Walrath is among the seven Virginia business leaders named winners of Ernst & Young LLP’s Mid-Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2023, Virginia Business reported. Awards were based on demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, as well as other attributes, according to Ernst & Young. ShiftMed is a mobile app that gives nurses and healthcare providers the ability to schedule shifts with more than 1,500 partners across the country. The software company, founded by Walrath in 2019, landed at No. 1,713 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list. The company announced in February that it had raised $200 million to expand its footprint.

Building a diverse cybersecurity workforce: Reston-based Peraton entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with Dakota State University to support the U.S. government’s national cyber strategy by helping build a diverse cybersecurity workforce, according to ExecutiveBiz. As part of the collaboration, Peraton said it participated in DSU’s annual CybHER event that aims to increase diversity by introducing female students interested in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to cybersecurity. “While the percentage of women in cyber fields has doubled over the past decade, we still have plenty of work ahead of us,” said Tom Afferton, president of the cyber mission sector at Peraton.

Contract Wins

Science Applications International Corp. (Reston) won a $1.3 billion cloud modernization contract from the Department of Treasury to support the Treasury’s adoption of a multi-cloud environment as a cloud broker, centralizing management of services from major cloud providers with the opportunity to onboard others. FedScoop

Noblis (Reston) will provide the National Geospatial-Intelligence College with learning resources and services under a $78 million contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. GovConWire

Serco Group’s Americas division (Herndon) will continue to provide IT and programmatic support services to U.S. Navy bases worldwide under a five-year, $69 million task order. GovConWire

Carahsoft Technology (Reston) secured a $43.1 million contract to provide enterprise-wide platform engineering support of Tanzu applications to the U.S. Air Force’s Kessel Run through the General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedule. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

Summer 2023 – Interstellar Dreams Space Camp at George Mason University. Interstellar Dreams is a new take on a summer space camp, designed for rising 6th graders through rising 9th graders that blends “hands-on” fun and “minds-on” tech with their imagination to launch the future of space exploration. Campers will Explore space, Imagine the future, and Design the possibilities of ethical space exploration.  The Interstellar Dreams Space Center at George Mason University is a partnership between the Pearl Project Institute and George Mason University Observatories. Click here for more information and to register.

September 26-28, 2023 – Call for Experts: Connecting the Global Quantum Ecosystem. Quantum World Congress 2023 will occur September 26-28 in the Greater Washington region. It will once again bring together leaders from across the quantum ecosystem around the globe to address pressing challenges and emerging trends and share insights that help to accelerate and commercialize quantum technologies. Programming will take many forms — from presentations and panels to fireside chats and networking sessions. QWC will enable relevant, timely, and industry-leading information sharing and relationship building across these formats to foster a responsible environment for quantum growth. If your expertise and experience position you as a thought leader, then you are invited to complete the speaker application. Please also review the sponsorship packages to explore ways to showcase your brand at the event. Click here for more information.

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.