March 30, 2023, E-News: Closing the opportunity gap for Black tech talent + Weekly Business News Digest

Closing the opportunity gap for Black tech talent

Reston-based Revature, a tech talent enablement firm, has joined forces with OneTen, a coalition committed to closing the opportunity gap for Black talent in the U.S. by working with America’s leading executives, companies and talent developers to hire and advance one million Black individuals without four-year degrees into family-sustaining roles over the decade. Revature and OneTen will work with companies across the country to fill vacancies while helping candidates build fulfilling careers in tech. This partnership will connect individuals who are looking to kickstart their careers in tech with the training they need to thrive, according to Revature.

“We have seen that anyone, of any background and of any means, can achieve their dream with the right opportunity, which is why we are thrilled to partner with OneTen to expand opportunities to Black talent across the country,” said Ashwin Bharath, CEO of Revature. “This partnership is a big step towards building a dynamic and diverse community of highly skilled and creative technology pioneers who can affect change and promote progress.”

Currently, Black professionals make up only 7.4 percent of the tech workforce, according to Revature, and 79 percent of jobs paying more than $50,000 require a four-year college degree, automatically excluding the 76 percent of Black talent over age 25 with relevant experience who don’t have baccalaureate degrees. Through partnering with OneTen, Revature aims to close this gap and provide new tech career pathways for Black talent in the United States.

To learn more about Revature and its partnership with OneTen, click here. Yahoo Finance posted the release.

International Spotlight

Left to right: Asher Kotz, Manager International Business Investment, Fairfax County EDA; Andrea Yonah, Director Business Development East Coast, BIRD Foundation; Natalie Gutman-Chen, Minister of Economic & Trade Affairs, Embassy of Israel, Washington D.C.; Dalia Palchick, Providence District Supervisor, Fairfax County; Aisha Espey, Director of Commerce, Head of Life Science; Victor Hoskins, CEO and President, Fairfax County EDA (FCEDA photo)

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Partner Agencies Host U.S.-Israel Innovation Summit in Tysons, Virginia

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), in partnership with the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (Bird Foundation) and the Israeli Embassy, Washington, D.C.’s Economic and Trade Mission, hosted a U.S.-Israel Innovation Summit on March 16, 2023, in Tysons, Virginia. With more than 100 people in attendance, the event featured a delegation of Israeli company representatives who presented innovative and strategic solutions to highlight partnerships and market acceleration opportunities in the homeland security, smart building, and cybersecurity industry sectors.

“It was an honor to host our Israeli partners in person to learn more about how Israeli companies are advancing their mission at home and abroad,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of FCEDA. “We are here to be a conduit, to help these companies connect with the world-class innovation, cybersecurity and tech ecosystems that exist here in Northern Virginia. We are here to help them tap into the incredible U.S. market opportunity,” he continued. “We offer unparalleled access to the world’s largest customers and key decision-makers, and a highly educated regional workforce of six million people. These are just some of the main reasons why dozens of Israeli companies have already expanded their operations to Fairfax County.”

Click here to read more.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

2023 Women of Power 50 honorees with Ron Busby, Sr., president and CEO, U.S. Black Chambers in center. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Black Chambers. Photo Credit & Copyright LNJ Design Photos)

To close out Women’s History Month, FCEDA extends its congratulations to the 2023 U.S. Black Chambers Women of Power 50 honorees. USBC’s Women of Power “Power 50” list honors 50 women in the country who are leading entrepreneurs, trailblazers, advocates, executives, visionaries, and in their respective industries. The honorees represent a wide variety of backgrounds and experience levels from across the United States.

More than 400 guests attended the March 23 event to celebrate the honorees at the Salamander Washington, D.C. FCEDA Director of Entrepreneurship and Minority Business Karen Smaw and a group of women representing FCEDA and Fairfax County Multicultural Chamber Alliance from the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, Asian American Chamber of Commerce and Virginia Hispanic Chamber, as well as the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, were in attendance to celebrate the honorees.

​Honorees hailing from Fairfax County companies included: Belinda Matingou, Business Development Manager at Herndon-based Amazon Web Services and Simone Ray, Director of Supplier Diversity at Tysons-based Hilton.

“I am honored and grateful to have been recognized as a top 50 Honoree with the U.S. Black Chamber. It is truly humbling to be listed among such accomplished and inspiring women who share my commitment to challenging the status quo and creating a more equitable future for all,” Simone Ray said. “It is this sense of community and collaboration that makes our work so meaningful and rewarding. I am proud to be part of a community that is not afraid to challenge the norms and push for change. We believe in the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion and are committed to creating a future where everyone has a fair shot at success. We are determined to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Honorees from Virginia also included Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, the first Black woman Congressperson from Virginia. She has served as the U.S. representative for Virginia’s 4th congressional district since 2023.

Business magnate and the first Black female billionaire Sheila Johnson was named USBC 2023 Global Trailblazer of the Year. Johnson is co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, which has a Loudoun County, Va. location in Middleburg, and the first Black woman to be an owner or partner in three professional sports franchises: the Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA), and the Washington Mystics (WNBA).

Click here to see the list of all the honorees. Visit usblackchambers.org to learn more.

Weekly Business News Digest

Overseas companies setting up shop here: European businesses are increasingly setting up offices in the U.S., according to a U.K.-based Business in the News article. In Fairfax County, there are more than 100 European-based companies. According to the article’s editor Lisa Baker: “By taking your business to the U.S., you might be able to join the lucrative market that keeps constantly growing and is full of new opportunities. The country is also known for its constant progress in technology, and you might be able to get your hands on some of the latest solutions.” Reasons for business expansion to the U.S. include, according to the article: joining a strong economy and growing your customer base; growing your team with a skilled workforce; taking advantage of economic zones; and exploring the world of advanced technology. Interested in finding out more about setting up an overseas office in Fairfax County? Click here for more information.

Sharpening focus: Reston-based Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) is selling off its logistics and supply chain management unit to sharpen its focus on its faster-growing information technology business, according to Washington Business Journal. SAIC announced last Thursday that Reston-based ASRC Federal is buying the logistics unit for $350 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, at which point the SAIC’s 240 employees in the division will join ASRC Federal. ASRC Federal is the government contracting arm of Arctic Slope Regional Corp., an Alaska corporation with holdings in a broad range of businesses, including petroleum refining and building and construction. ASRC Federal has roughly 7,000 employees providing technology, maintenance and other support services for government agencies throughout the U.S.

HQ expansion: 1Spatial expanded its office space at the Westwood Metro Tower in Tysons, citybiz reported. Represented by Timothy Jacobs and Edward Saa, 1Spatial relocated within the building to construct a new larger headquarters. Kevin Sigwart, COO, U.S. Operations at 1Spatial said: “Our lease was set to expire soon, and we loved our office and our location but knew that we were expected to outgrow our space within two years.”

Possible space connection: Luxembourg-headquartered SES, which has its SES Government Solutions offices based in Reston, confirmed on March 29 it is in talks about potentially merging with rival satellite operator Intelsat, which is based in Tysons, SpaceNews reported. “At this stage, there can be no certainty that a transaction would materialize,” SES said in a brief statement. Both companies have previously acknowledged paying close attention to a wave of consolidation sweeping across their industry. A merged group would generate more than $4 billion in combined revenues.

Jump up! A partnership between Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman and Arlington, Va.-based Shield AI has secured a rapid prototyping transaction agreement from the U.S. Army to build a prototype of an unmanned aircraft system designed for vertical take-off and landing, according to ExecutiveBiz. “Our team’s enhanced V-BAT embodies more than 30 years of experience designing, delivering and sustaining advanced unmanned aircraft systems, combined with a field-proven platform and production facilities,” said Angela Johns, vice president of autonomous and tactical air systems at Northrop.

Ready for service: Herndon-based HawkEye 360’s latest cluster of satellites are ready for service, SpaceRef reported. The company announced on March 14 that its Cluster 6 satellites are now in operation after their January 24 launch aboard the debut Rocket Lab Electron flight from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. “The first thing is about providing a diversity of signals,” said Rob Rainhart, chief operating officer of HawkEye 360, which is based in Virginia not far from Washington Dulles International Airport. “As we’ve continued to build out the constellation, we add new frequency coverage or capability to the payload, cluster over cluster. “That allows us to have a diversity of collection ability and cover a number of different markets, domains and applications.”

Creativity, collaboration, proactivity: The global satellite industry must figure out how multiple stakeholders can work together to manage space and mitigate debris while addressing concerns such as lack of trust or the presence of bad actors, and the need for open, interoperable technology, experts said in a space domain awareness panel during SATELLITE 2023, a recent conference in Washington, D.C., according to Via Satellite. With the panel moderated by Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, senior vice president for Government Strategy and Policy with Reston-based Inmarsat Government, panelists included Joe Chan, chairman of Space Data Association and director of flight dynamics at Tysons-based Intelsat and Eric Ingram, co-founder and CEO of Fairfax County-based SCOUT Space. During the discussion, Ingram called for three things to solve these challenges: creativity, collaboration, and proactivity. “We need more and diverse data sets in order to understand everything that’s going on in orbit,” said Ingram. “And if we don’t act together as an industry [and] work on coordinating ourselves and figure out how to intermingle on all the things we’re working on, government will do that for us.” Ingram believes the industry will see more collaboration in the commercial, or NGO, area.

System of Trust: Tysons and Bedford, Mass.-based MITRE has established a community engagement group to guide the development and implementation of its System of Trust supply chain security risk management framework, ExecutiveGov reported. The 30-member group is tasked with using evidence-based data to identify supply chain risks and assess their impact on financial stability, legal and ethics, foreign and competitor influence, business operations and service delivery. “As aligned to our whole-of-nation approach, the MITRE System of Trust community brings together not only major chip manufacturers and IT and OT companies but also representation from financial, energy, defense, and telecom industries, as well as from government and industry associations,” said Yosry Barsoum, vice president and director of the Center for Securing the Homeland at MITRE.

Creating opportunities: In collaboration with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, and Break Through Tech DC, George Mason University’s College of Engineering and Computing and Institute for Digital Innovation hosted a Computing Career Reception following the university-wide career fair on February 22, according to George Mason University College of Engineering and Computing News. Juniors and seniors majoring in computer science and information sciences and technology were invited to network with tech industry representatives from companies such as Appian, Brillient, and Verisign. The FCEDA was proud to facilitate a potential employment pipeline for local tech talent, according to Michael Batt, vice president, Talent, FCEDA. “The students at George Mason University are doing incredible work, and it’s a privilege to be able to connect them with Fairfax County businesses that will give them opportunities to continue doing that caliber of work post-graduation,” said Batt.

Contract Wins

General Dynamics Information Technology (Falls Church area) will provide flight simulation training services to the Army under a nearly $1.8 billion contract. Virginia Business

Xator (Reston), a Parsons (Centreville) company, obtained a $750 million award contract by a sensitive client, including a one-year base period of $250 million and two one-year option periods valued at $250 million each. citybiz

Peraton (Reston) received a $144.4 million contract from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency to will carry out background investigation fieldwork. GovConWire

ManTech (Herndon) won a five-year, $133.1 million contract to perform analysis work for the U.S. Navy’s Warfare Effectiveness Department. GovConWire

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

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.

April 20 – Temperature Controlled Cargo to/from Dulles to Spain: a Conversation about the Region’s Uniquely Positioned Supply Chain Opportunity. Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents a hybrid event featuring a panel of experts who will discuss the challenges and opportunities in moving products into and out of Spain. The panel discussion will feature Rich Kilmer, CEO, Cargosense and April Redmon, Director, U.S. Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration. The opening remarks will be provided by Maria Pilar de Carlos Villellas, Commercial Counselor, Economic and Commercial Office, Embassy of Spain. Welcoming remarks will be given by C. Melissa McKenna, President & CEO DRCC; and closing remarks by  Jatinder Khosla, Fairfax Economic Development Authority and Chair, DRCC International Business Council.  Click here for more information.

May 4 – NAIOP Bus Tour and Trade Show. This annual tour looks at what is driving the market in Fairfax from office to industrial and retail to mixed-use. Bus Captains talk about all aspects of the market and provide valuable input on what is going on in the market. One of the most successful and interesting commercial market bus tours in America. The day starts with a trade show with vendors, properties and local government sharing news and closes with a reception once the buses return in the early afternoon. Click here for more information.

September 26-28 – 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.