Fairfax County E-Bird for February 25, 2020

You’re hired: Tysons-based Alarm.com, in cooperation with Northern Virginia Community College, launched an apprenticeship program aimed at producing workers with in-demand tech skills. Supported by the state’s GO Virginia economic development initiative, 10 initial apprentices, including three from the military community, will participate in Alarm.com’s paid year-long apprenticeship program. FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins called it a model that other companies can adopt. “There are more than 100,000 job openings right now in Northern Virginia, half of them in technical fields, so the need for connecting companies with talent is obvious,” Hoskins said. Virginia Business has more on an event Friday where Alarm.com introduced the apprentices.

New engineer on board: George Mason University appointed Gregory Washington, the engineering dean at the University of California, Irvine, to serve as its eighth president beginning July 1. Washington will join the university at a pivotal time for the Fairfax-based university, as it ramps up its technology offerings — it plans to launch a school of computing this year, and it announced it had received state approval to create a Department of Cyber Security Engineering — in response to the need for more tech-savvy workers in the region. Washington becomes the first African-American president at Mason. The Washington Post engineered this story.

Soft touch: Robotic process automation company UiPath is donating software valued at $16.4 million to the George Mason University School of Business with the goal of providing resources for students to learn about robotic technology. UiPath has been a part of efforts to expand access to robots around the Washington area. Last year, the company partnered with tech-inclusion organization Byte Back to promote diversity in the robotics workforce and has a partnership with BAE Systems (which is moving its U.S. headquarters to the Falls Church area of the county), Technical.ly reported.

Talking billions: Leidos will take over the new phase of the Navy’s Next General Enterprise Network, in an eight-year deal worth up to $7.7 billion, one of the Navy biggest non-weapons contracts ever. Find out what happens next on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin podcastAlso, Leidos CEO Roger Krone discussed the company’s health during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” program.

Now that’s a workout: A journalist chronicled spending 12 hours at St. James, the 450,000 square foot fitness center in Springfield, which among other things houses two NHL-size ice rinks, a gymnastics center, hardwood basketball, volleyball, a climbing wall, a soccer field, an Olympic-size swimming pool, batting cages, a full-service spa, and a restaurant. Read Cathy Alter’s account in Washingtonian Magazine.

Steel yourself: Schneider Downs, the largest independent accounting firm in Pittsburgh, opened a new office in Tysons to expand its practice in the region, the Washington Business Journal reported in an article for subscribers.

Green vision: Halley Rise, a major mixed-use development going up across the Dulles Toll Road from the Reston Town Center Metro Station, will “go green” by being powered by renewable energy. Once complete, the development will bring 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 250,000 square feet of retail space to the area, according to Reston Now.

About to spring forward: Fairfax County and Dominion Power officials went on WUSA9 last week to talk about the autonomous shuttle that will ply a route between the Dunn Loring Metro Station and the Mosaic District in Merrifield. The shuttle is expected to start sometime in the spring.

Lux lounge: Capital One will brand a 9,100 square-foot upscale lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport. Authorization for the project is expected by The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) this week, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Flying in the right direction: Dulles International and Reagan National airports recorded higher passenger traffic in 2019, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced. Thanks to new domestic and international service, Dulles topped National in traffic for the second year in a row, 24.7 million passengers to 23.9. WTOP landed this story.

Now hiring: Wegmans, the Rochester, N.Y., grocery chain that consistently ranks as one of the best places to work, is hiring for its story that is expected to open in the fall on the Capital One headquarters campus at the Capital Beltway and Route 123 in Tysons. With plans to hire a staff of 500, the store is recruiting to fill the first 180 full-time positions, WTOP reported.

Scoring again: Reston-based digital-audience measurement firm Comscore signed a multi-year renewal with all 27 CBS local television stations. Under the agreement, the stations will continue to use the company’s local television and advanced automotive and political currencies. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Saving energy: Fairfax County launched a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency program, an initiative that offers commercial-building owners an avenue for obtaining private funding for capital improvement projects intended to save energy or water, or to make their property more resilient to climate-related threats. The program offers building owners access to loans so they can make substantial improvements to older buildings or add sustainable technology to new buildings at little to no upfront cost. Property owners then repay the loans through property tax assessments. Find out more in this Fairfax County Times story.

10,000 more jobs: In 2019, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with 131 businesses that announced the addition of 10,057 jobs to the Fairfax County economy. “Fairfax County’s 2019 job expansions reflect robust hiring in fields such as information technology, software and cybersecurity, as well as strong job growth in a diverse range of additional industries, including cloud computing and data analytics, health care, financial services, and engineering and construction,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA, citybizlist reported.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Perspecta won an $810 million State Department contract to provide enterprise-infrastructure services to the bureau’s global consular affairs IT. Washington Business Journal

General Dynamics Information Technology scored a $505.2 million contract to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration manage weather-modeling computers. Washington Technology

Booz Allen Hamilton won a $147 million contract with the National Institutes of Health to provide technical support and services. citybizlist

Dark Wolf Solutions won a $75 million contract for cyber innovation, including software penetration testing and adversarial assessment. Homeland Security Today

Science Applications International Corp. obtained a $15 million contract for military engineering projects in Afghanistan, Iraq and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Homeland Security Today

1901 Group, a provider of information technology services, won a $6.2 million task order from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to design a low-code, cloud-based system for FTC business applications. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Featured business events

February 26 — When Smart Businesswomen Control Their Cashflow. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a discussion by Jenevieve J. Lenz, an integrated wealth advisor with First Financial Group. This is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series. Click here.

March 3 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA presents monthly workshops with our partners: the Fairfax County Government, Fairfax County-based Community Business Partnership, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Click here.

March 4 — CSR Roundtable of Northern Virginia: The Corporate Role in the 2020 Census. Volunteer Fairfax presents a panel of experts on the corporate role to ensure a complete count and the consequences of an undercount on your business, employees, and the nonprofits your firm supports through its Corporate Social Responsibility. Click here.

March 25 — Innovate 2020: Tech Talent Pipeline. The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents a conference on developing the workforce needed for Northern Virginia’s growing technology sectors. Click here.

March 25 — Impact AI: National Impact, Local Innovation. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents a conference on developments in artificial intelligence and the strength of the regional AI ecosystem. Click here.