Fairfax County EDA CEO on regional pact: “This is an historic moment for Northern Virginia”

Fairfax County, Virginia  – Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), has pushed for years with leaders of localities such as the City of Alexandria and Arlington County to create a Northern Virginia-wide organization that promotes regional collaboration to build the area economy. Their efforts paid off today with the announcement of NOVA EDA, the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.

NOVA EDA consists of the FCEDA and representatives from nine other jurisdictions in Northern Virginia: Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

> Link to the NOVA EDA press release on the announcement.

The 10 community entities signed a memorandum of understanding that commits them to working together on regional brand creation and promotion activities and to engage more fully with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) as a regional economic development organization. VEDP offers regional organizations additional access to site-selection activities, conference attendance and familiarization tours for companies.

“This is an historic moment for Northern Virginia,” Hoskins said. “We have plowed this road alone and been successful. Imagine what we can achieve when we work together.”

Hoskins noted that Fairfax County and Northern Virginia today compete for employers and workers with technology centers such as Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, London and Shanghai. “We have to be a bigger target. We have to take advantage of the entire housing market, the entire transportation system, the whole package. We have to handle the talent pipeline as a region, organize ourselves to work with universities and the state on the talent issues, and create more destinations for innovative people and companies.”

He added that this approach by the city of Alexandria and Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties helped land Amazon’s “HQ2” in Northern Virginia.

Fairfax County leaders agreed that the benefits of working together will be substantial.

“Northern Virginia is known for its cultural and economic vibrancy,” said Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “We have so much to offer workers and businesses, and them to us. It is essential that we work together as a region to manage economic development in a way that benefits communities throughout Northern Virginia. I believe NOVA EDA will do just that.”

“This alliance is a major step forward in the region’s continued efforts to become an innovation hub,” said Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill. “While companies like Amazon will push us forward, we also need to attract the talent required to support our region as we continue to diversify our economy. As a region, Northern Virginia offers the education, lifestyle and job opportunities that workers want, and we have a competitive advantage when our region works as one.”

A member of the business community who has long advocated for regional cooperation among Washington-area jurisdictions praised the timing of the Northern Virginia initiative.

“The need to leverage the lessons learned from the HQ2 experience is obvious,” said Bob Buchanan, principal at the Buchanan Group, a full-service commercial real estate development company. He also chairs the 2030 Group, a group of Washington-area business leaders who have advocated for regional approaches to issues such as transportation and housing.

“How can you not leverage this with a sense of togetherness, collaboration and cooperation?” Buchanan asked. “The region is much better when we work together than when we work against each other.”

On the NOVA EDA website is a link to the memorandum of understanding, a fact sheet about the organization and bullet points about the region’s assets for business and economic growth.

Business growth and innovation helps Fairfax County fund one of the nation’s most prestigious school systems and other public services that contribute to the quality of life of residents. Fairfax County offers businesses a state-of-the-art infrastructure, access to global markets through Washington Dulles International Airport, a vibrant investment capital community and a highly skilled and well-educated workforce.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest business district, the FCEDA maintains business investment offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv. Follow the FCEDA on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Contact: Jessica Reape, jessica.reape@finnpartners.com, 202-884-7325