November 30, 2023: Tysons-based Hilton Named No. 1 World’s Best Workplace; Best for Vets employers are HERE + Weekly Business News Digest

Tysons-based Hilton Named No. 1 World’s Best Workplace

Tysons-headquartered Hilton has been named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Fortune and Great Place to Work. This recognition – the culmination of eight consecutive appearances on the “World’s Best” list – also marks the first time a hospitality company has achieved the top honor in this best-in-class program.

“Around the world at Hilton, our 460,000 team members are united by a common purpose: to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality. That purpose was formed more than a century ago, when Conrad Hilton set out to change the world through travel. He built this company on the noble premise that Hilton could be a force for good in the world, and famously urged us all to think big, act big, and dream big,” said Chris Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton. “Today’s recognition by Great Place to Work and Fortune is validation that our team members were the people he imagined in his bright vision for the future. It is their dedication, hospitality and passion for the stays they create that has made Hilton the No. 1 best place to work in the world.”

To determine the World’s Best Workplaces each year, Great Place to Work invites companies to take part in a rigorous, data-based model that quantifies the employee experience. The process includes soliciting employee feedback through surveys, collecting data about company culture and workforces and achieving certification status. From there, companies must be identified as outstanding global employers by appearing on at least five Best Workplaces lists in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa, North America, or Australia during 2022 or early 2023.

This recognition is a result of positive feedback directly from team members among a workforce spanning 460,000 people across 124 countries and territories, according to Hilton. In addition to the World’s Best Workplace honor, Hilton ranked no. 10 in the nation on Military Times’s annual 2023 Best for Vets ranking (see below). Earlier this year Hilton was also named the Best Workplace for Women in the U.S. and is honored to have been recognized throughout 2023 as the No. 1 Best Workplace in multiple countries, including Argentina, Austria, China, Dominican Republic, France, India, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland and Uruguay. In total, Hilton has been recognized on more than 450 Great Place to Work lists since 2016.

Hilton, along with the Hilton Global Foundation, also announced that it will launch Hilton Cares – a program that will provide $500,000 in scholarships and financial assistance for both team members and members of the community passionate about building and growing careers in hospitality. Applications will open in early 2024.

Looking for a meaningful position at Hilton? 200+ career opportunities are currently available in Northern Virginia. Click here to starting searching.

Best for Vets employers are HERE

Twenty-six Fairfax County-area headquartered companies landed on Military Times’s annual 2023 Best for Vets ranking, with Tysons-based Hilton placing at the top for the Commonwealth of Virginia at no. 10 in the nation.

With 46 companies, the Commonwealth of Virginia led the nation which is the most “Best for Vets” firms — 20 percent of all companies.

In addition, the following companies ranked on the list: (proceeded by rank on the national list.) Click on each company name to explore open positions at these Best for Vets companies in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia:

In addition, nine companies based in other Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdictions landed on the list: (proceeded by rank on the national list.) 11. Boeing (Arlington); 59: Leonardo DRS (Arlington); 89: Zeiders Enterprises (Prince William); 106: RTX (Arlington); 129: Magellan Federal (Arlington); 150: CWTSatoTravel (Arlington); 181: Technica Corporation (Loudoun); 185: CAES (Arlington); and 190: Kearney & Company (Alexandria).

In its 14th year, Military Times Best for Vets: Employers rankings are based on the results of a voluntary survey that asks companies about their policies, practices and benefits for veterans and their families. This year, 230 employers made the list – an increase of 25 percent over 2022, according to Military Times.

Helping Businesses THRIVE and Talent Up in Fairfax

THRIVE Program

WHAT? Through this new Fairfax County program, approximately 600 businesses will receive consulting services valued up to $10,000, helping them reach their business goals and continue their post-pandemic recovery.
WHEN? Application period opens Dec. 12, 2023.
WHO? Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria, application process, and more.

Talent UP Fairfax

WHAT? Fairfax County’s new program Talent Up Fairfax helps employers find qualified candidates to fill open positions with no-cost temporary internships. Through a powerful network, Talent Up Fairfax matches your hiring needs with candidates who have the skills you are seeking.
WHEN? The program will run through December 2024.
WHO? For more information, visit TalentUpFairfax.com.

AC Milan Launches First U.S. Project: A Soccer Academy in Fairfax County

AC Milan Soccer Club, based in Milan, Italy, has launched its first academy project in the U.S. in partnership with Black&Red Pumas. The academy will be based in Fairfax County, and the club said it will be the first step as it builds the club brand in the U.S., reported Inside World Football.

“AC Milan Academy Virginia is another piece in the consolidation process of the AC Milan brand on a global level. The launch of the AC Milan Academy project in the U.S. territory attests to our commitment and our contribution to the promotion of football in North America, through which we aim to export the values of AC Milan worldwide,” said Maikel Oettle, Chief Commercial Officer of AC Milan.

The academy will train boys and girls from 5 to 17 years old in “an elite technical program that will support them in their sporting and personal growth”. AC Milan will bring in their training methodology and experts will coordinate with and train local technical staff.

The project kicks off in December with a five-day Camp ahead of the official opening of the AC Milan Academy in the spring of 2024.

The club pointed to a Nielsen study that found they had about 43 million fans in the U.S., making it making them most followed Italian club.

Weekly Business News Digest

Combined company: Chantilly-based engineering contractor Amentum is merging with the government consulting units of engineering company Jacobs in a deal that will send a $1 billion cash dividend to the Dallas, Texas-based company upon closing, reported Washington Business Journal. Amentum is acquiring Jacobs’ critical mission solutions and cyber and intelligence units through a Reverse Morris Trust deal, which will make the transaction tax-free for Jacobs’ stockholders.  The companies said the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2024. The new company, which will be led by current Amentum CEO John Heller, will be a publicly traded company with roughly $13 billion in revenue and more than 53,000 employees in 83 countries, the companies said. The combined company would become one of the largest headquartered in Greater Washington by revenue, based on Washington Business Journal research.

Longer celestial Arc: Chantilly-based Arcfield completed the acquisition of Colorado-based Orion Space Solutions, a developer and manufacturer of small satellites and sensor payloads, according to SpaceNews. Arcfield is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Veritas Capital. It was formed in December 2021 from Peraton’s former systems engineering and support services business. “The acquisition of Orion enhances Arcfield’s space exploration and hypersonic detection and tracking capabilities for agencies in the Department of Defense and intelligence community by bringing expertise in sensor and payload design, spacecraft integration and manufacturing, and space mission operations and data analysis,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman and CEO of Arcfield.

Touting plasma railguns: Chantilly-based five-person startup NearStar Fusion said “it’s one to watch in the fusion energy space,” technical.ly reported. “No one has cracked the code completely on fusion yet, but we think that because of our expertise in plasma railguns, we have a unique approach that will get us there faster than the others,” CEO Amit Singh said.  The company recently received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation and the Fairfax Founders Fund. NearStar is funded through grants, angel investors and a $130,00 crowdfunding campaign. The company is also raising a $10 million seed round, with $2 million of that earmarked as a pre-seed round with a discount for investors. With the seed round, NearStar plans to hire approximately 20 scientists and engineers and break even around 2028.

Back to the office proponents: Reston-based Comstock Holdings, NAIOP and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce have teamed up in a campaign “to bring attention to the impact of remote working policies that are continuing long after the pandemic has ended and its impact on the local economy — or really — the entire economy,” said Chris Clemente, CEO of Comstock Holdings, according to the Washington Business Journal. The Greater Washington native has been a vocal proponent of in-person work since the early days of the pandemic, calling back its roughly 70 office-based employees after 30 days of remote work in the spring of 2020 once appropriate safety measures were put in place. Not a single employee got Covid that year, he said, and the company, which pulled in $39.3 million in revenue in 2022, even completed a move into its current space later that year. Now, he said, it’s time for other business leaders to put an end to hybrid and remote work, for the sake of the region’s economy. Click here to read the Journal’s recent Q&A interview with Clemente.

Without killing the golden goose: Tysons-based Appian Founder and CEO Matt Calkins told Yahoo Finance in a Yahoo Finance Live episode that the past turmoil that happened at OpenAI seems to be a “governance failure. Calkins explained that he understands how it can happen, saying “in our industry, the software industry, we’ve got a lot of talented, essential, and sometimes unpolished people and the board’s job is to educate, not necessarily to discipline, but to try to smooth the edges without killing the golden goose.” Calkins doesn’t think that issues at OpenAI are resolved, but that these changes represent “a chance to reset.”

Done deal: Herndon-based Eqlipse Technologies has wrapped up its acquisition of Florida-based SR Technologies in a move that aims to expand its portfolio of products and engineering offerings for key national security customers within the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, according to GovConWire. SRT is expected to strengthen Eqlipse’s electronic warfare and signals intelligence capabilities as well as add custom-designed tactical platforms across mobile satellite communications, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals of interest to its proprietary portfolio.

Evolving at pace: Reston-based Transaction Network Services (TNS), a provider of call analytics and robocall mitigation tools, announced the launch of AI Labs, a new initiative designed to help TNS’ carrier and enterprise customers tap into the full potential of advanced artificial intelligence technologies. “Hundreds of global carriers and enterprises rely on TNS for innovative, proven technologies that drive better business outcomes, provide a compelling subscriber experience and help protect consumers,” said TNS Communications Market Chief Data Officer, Greg Bohl who will lead AI Labs. “AI is evolving at pace; our goal is to create a platform for innovation where our customers not only benefit from artificial intelligence but serve as a true partner in researching and building applications for near- and long-term impact.” Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Baa baa black sheep, can you do my lawn? Fairfax County-based Lamb Mowers rents sheep to mow lawns, Yahoo News reported. Launched two years ago by “Chief Shepherd” Cory Suter, the sheep eat weeds and blades of grass. Suter said he’s already booked around 150 clients. “We’re definitely the quietest lawn care service on the East Coast,” Suter said.

Contract Wins

ManTech (Herndon) secured a five-year, $261 million contract to provide mission information technology, intelligent systems engineering and cyber support services to the U.S. Air Force. GovConWire

Leidos (Reston) will develop four Medium Range Air Defense Radar prototype systems under a two-year, $32 million contract awarded by the Marine Corps System Command through the Consortium Management Group. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

January 18, 2024 — Northern Virginia Space & Satellite Summit. Join the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council at their Space & Satellite Event! This is an opportunity for firms in these industries to gain insights, make meaningful connections, and develop business opportunities with key players in this field. Featured speakers: David Bettinger, CEO, Axta Space; Dennis Gatens, CEO and Founder, LEOCloud; George Nield, President, Commercial Space Technologies; Joseph T. Darden, Director, Aviation Business Development, Iridium; and Stephen McCall, Director of Government Relations, Firefly Aerospace. 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.