the Power of Ideas channel

In Fairfax County, meaningful information and research fuel the Power of Ideas. That’s why we created the Power of Ideas Channel: to bring you the latest business and economic development news and information. Here, you can access articles curated and written by Fairfax County EDA, read the latest editions of our E-Bird news digest, review business news from NPR and learn about best practices from Harvard Business Review. Click below and experience the benefit of having the right information right at your fingertips.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:36am

Now hear this: Gov. Ralph Northam this morning announced that 1901 Group, a provider of IT services for the public and private sectors, will invest $4 million to expand its corporate offices in Fairfax County and an enterprise IT operations center headquartered in Montgomery County (Blacksburg), Virginia. The expansion will result in 225 new jobs in Reston and 580 new jobs in Montgomery County by 2021. Click here to read the FCEDA release.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:36am

HQ2 Q's: How might the impact of Amazon HQ2 be felt in Fairfax County? FCEDA President and CEO Jerry Gordon tells Vernon Miles of the Tysons Reporter that Amazon will bring other companies and job opportunities to the entire Northern Virginia region.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:35am

PFF, flying: Financing company PFF closed a $100 million capital raise and changed its name to Parabilis. Founded in 2013 by longtime Fairfax County businessman Edward Bersoff, Parabilis provides asset-based loans to small and medium size government contractors. Potomac Tech Wire carried a release.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:34am

Sage decision: Sage Communications, a public-sector marketing and public relations agency based in Tysons Corner, bought Virtual Marketing, a boutique marketing agency that specializes in marketing to the government for technology and professional services clients. Citybizlist wisely ran a release about the deal.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:34am

This just popped up: Starting Saturday a section of Tysons Corner Center will be reserved for pop-up stores from mostly new and emerging online retailers. The "BrandBox" space spans 11,000 square feet that property owner Macerich can divide into as many as six pop-ups. The Washington Business Journal made space for Rebecca Cooper's story. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:34am

This can be your bus: OurBus, a bus service founded in 2016 offering intercity and commuter routes, will run a new route from Tysons to New York City starting  Sunday. Vernon Miles drove this story onto the Tysons Reporter website.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:33am

Curb appeal: Monument Realty filed plans with Fairfax County to replace a planned office building at the Liberty Park development, near the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, with a 300-unit residential building. A residential component is needed to make the site more appealing for future office tenants, the property owners said. Michael Neibauer developed this story for the Washington Business Journal.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:31am

More i-List A-listers: The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce named 10 new winners of its Greater Washington i-LIST awards, which aims to honor the region's most innovative companies. The 10 include three companies based in Fairfax County: Bechtel and RiskLens, both based in Reston, and Transurban, which is based in the Alexandria area of the county. The chamber announced the first 16 "i-Listers" in October. Each month, the chamber plans to reveal another group of companies, honoring the top 10 at an awards ceremony in May. Potomac Tech Wire carried a release about the awards.


1901 Group to expand operations in Fairfax County and Montgomery County downstate, create 805 new jobs

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fairfax County, Virginia -- Governor Ralph Northam today announced that 1901 Group, a provider of IT services for the public and private sectors, will invest $4 million to expand its corporate offices in Fairfax County and an enterprise IT operations center headquartered in Montgomery County, Virginia. The expansion will result in 225 new jobs in the Fairfax County community of Reston and 580 new jobs in Montgomery County by 2021.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 10:43am

With the HQ2 announcement, state commits to big increase in tech education and training to boost high-skilled workforce 

Amid yesterday's huge news that Amazon would split its "HQ2" between Northern Virginia and New York City -- the 25,000 high-paying jobs coming to the area, many of them requiring software development skills -- was word that the state will ramp up a comprehensive technology education and training strategy that stands to benefit all companies in the Commonwealth that want to hire tech-savvy talent.

The strategy is a major workforce-development commitment that will build on the Commonwealth's already significant strengths in education and technology, particularly in Northern Virginia. Amazon officials said access to tech talent was a top consideration that drew them to designate "National Landing" -- centered on Crystal City and Pentagon City in nearby Arlington -- as one of its headquarters.

State funding will be provided to recruit faculty, address capital needs, and provide ongoing enrollment support necessary to more than double existing levels of degree production in computer science and closely related fields. The program has five components, according to yesterday's announcement:

K-12 tech-talent pipeline initiative: Over 20 years, Virginia will invest $25 million statewide in new funding in the K-12 STEM and computer-science experience for students and teachers. This investment will enable the Commonwealth to provide ongoing professional development to current and future teachers; create, curate, and disseminate high-quality curriculum and resources; support summer and after-school programming for students; and facilitate career exposure and work-based learning opportunities in high-demand fields.

Community college program: State leaders will collaborate with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and community colleges to craft performance-based community college tech-talent programs to complement bachelor's- and master's-level tech-talent education programs.

Bachelor's-level education: With General Assembly approval, the Commonwealth will establish a performance-based tech-talent investment fund through which higher education institutions across Virginia can receive startup funds for faculty recruitment, state capital investment (where required), and enrollment funding necessary to expand the number of bachelor's degrees they confer annually in computer science and closely related fields (e.g., computer engineering).

Master's-level education: The state plans investments of up to $375 million for academic space and operational support to increase master's-degree production in computer science and related fields in Northern Virginia over 20 years. These performance-based, master's-degree level investments will be provided on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis for philanthropic funds raised by George Mason University for its Arlington campus and Virginia Tech for a new graduate level Innovation Campus expected to be located in Alexandria.

Tech internship program for higher-education students: The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia will develop a program to ensure that all students in baccalaureate programs in computer science and related fields have access to work-based learning, such as internships, apprenticeships, research experiences and cooperative education programs. The Commonwealth will invest at least $25 million in this effort over 20 years.

According to the announcement, this statewide investment in computer science and related programs will more than double Virginia's tech-talent pipeline, which will benefit tech employers across the Commonwealth. The effort will produce 25,000 to 35,000 additional degrees in computer science and related fields -- roughly split between bachelor's degrees and master's degrees -- over the next two decades.

"Virginia put together a proposal for Amazon that we believe represents a new model of economic development for the 21st century, and I'm excited to say that our innovative approach was successful," Gov. Ralph Northam said. "The majority of Virginia's partnership proposal consists of investments in our education and transportation infrastructure that will bolster the features that make Virginia so attractive: a strong and talented workforce, a stable and competitive business climate, and a world-class higher education system."  

Fairfax County companies salute veterans, lead initiatives to keep service men and women active in the workforce

Veterans Day gave us pause to thank our military members -- past and present -- for their service, their contributions and their sacrifices. 

One of the consistent challenges that recent veterans face can be the transition to civilian life and finding employment. The good news is that vets generally have valuable skills that translate effectively. The hitch can be finding the right landing place.

Employment search engine Monster, in concert with, compiles an annual Best Companies for Veterans list -- companies it says "understand" veterans and go out of their way to hire them through their recruitment process. To be sure, there are many other companies doing a fine job in this regard, but the Monster/ top 10 happens to be heavy with Fairfax County representatives. 

Topping the list for the second consecutive year is Fairfax-based ManTech International. ManTech maintains a workforce composed of 47 percent veterans, is hiring veterans at that same rate, and expects to end 2018 with a 71 percent veteran retention rate, thanks in part to its ManTech University, which offers training options to help vets understand business concepts of the civilian landscape and to obtain certifications.
CACI, with major operations in Fairfax County, ranks second on the Monster/ list, and Tysons Corner-based Booz Allen Hamilton is fourth. Booz Allen says that 31 percent of its hires in 2018 are veterans and has established a goal of making that 35 percent next year.

PRISM, Inc. a Reston-based cybersecurity and IT solutions firm, ranks fifth. The company is proactive toward veterans, offering coaching on resume writing and interview techniques and programs for new hires that include a personalized onboarding process and a veteran's performance management process that includes career counseling.

Other companies with a Fairfax County presence that are ranked in the top 10 of this national list include government contractor Lockheed Martin at No.6, Intelligent Waves. a Reston-based, veteran-owned small business that specializes in IT and communications support for U.S. government clients at No.7, and global defense provider BAE Systems at No. 9.

In other military employment news:

AbleVets LLC (Chantilly), ANSER (Falls Church), Northrop Grumman (Falls Church area) and CE Thomas Co. (Lorton) are among Platinum level recipients in the U.S. Dept. of Labor HIRE Vets Medallion Program, a federal award to recognize job creators that successfully recruit, hire and retain U.S. veterans. Gold level honorees include: Two Marines and a Truck(Alexandria), VSE Corp. (Alexandria), Peoples Choice Pest Solutions (Centreville), EmeSec Inc. (Chantilly), Tech62 Inc. (Fairfax), Trademasters Service (Lorton), Novetta (Tysons Corner), Resilient Solutions (Tysons Corner), Leidos (Reston), TekSynap (Reston), Dorrean LLC (Reston), Thomas Solutions (Springfield), CWO Technical Solutions (Springfield).

Today is the last day to nominate companies for the Veterans Employment Initiative Veteran Service Award, to be presented by the Northern Virginia Technology CouncilPRISM and the MITRE Corp. are previous winners of the award which honor NVTC member companies that go the extra mile to hire transitioning military members, veterans and their spouses. Click herefor info.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:49am

Merging traffic: Merrifield-based eTrans Systems, a provider of cloud-based services for connected and autonomous vehicles, has been acquired by Kapsh TrafficCom, an Austria-based transportation technology company with U.S. headquarters in Tysons Corner. Kapsh and eTrans have previously partnered on projects in Toronto and North Carolina, according to Drew Hansen of the Washington Business Journal. With expertise in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems as well as smart city planning, eTrans will mesh with traffic management and tolling systems provided by Kapsh.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:48am

The lease they could do: CGI Federal, among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world, signed a lease totaling 26,821 square feet at 12701 Fair Lakes Circle in Fairfax. CGI Federal, part of Canada-based CGI, will be joining Argon/Boeing as a tenant in the building, notes a release picked up by citybizlist.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:48am

Teaming up: Reston-based Stelligent, a technology services company that provides DevOps Automation on the Amazon Web Services cloud, has been acquired by Mphasis, an India-based firm that specializes in cloud and cognitive technology. The resulting unit, Mphasis Stelligent, will become part of Mphasis' digital business and focus on enterprise customers. Citybizlist reported the all-cash deal was valued at $25 million.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:48am

Finding innovative answers: Washington Technology is out with its 2018 class of Industry Innovators, a group of 25 area companies that developed capabilities and solved the problems to meet specific needs of their customers. Within Nick Wakeman's compilation, it's noteworthy that EngilityGeneral Dynamics ITIBM and Peraton are each cited for more than one solution.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:47am

Multiple bookings: Science Applications International Corp. has been busy racking up major contracts in recent days. GovConWire reports the Reston-based government technology integrator secured a potential 10-year, $900.3 million contract to support chain management services for the Defense Logistics Agency's Global Tire Program, which handles both aircraft and ground tires for foreign and domestic government clients. Last week, it also won a potential seven-year, $861 million contract ($597 million, five-year base) to support multiple aspects of command, cyber intelligence and reconnaissance systems for the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:47am

Worth noting: The Fairfax News was among those taking note of the FCEDA's report that it helped add 841 jobs to the county economy in the third quarter of 2018. Fresh job announcements by BechtelMAG Aerospace and The St. Jameshelped spur job growth.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:46am

Feeling Lucky: Reston Now reports a settlement in the 2017 lawsuit brought by Jackson's Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge against Boston Properties concerning paid parking at Reston Town Center. Fatimah Waseem writes that Jackson's customers will be offered validated parking by entering their license plate number at pay stations in the Orange Garage or on a tablet at the restaurant.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:45am

Senior circuit: On Nov. 20, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a plan by Erickson Living to turn a 78-acre site near George Mason University into a senior living community. The parcel, formerly home to the Virginia Training Center, is on Braddock Road. Katie Arcieri of the Washington Business Journal reports that, if approved, the development would feature up to 1,100 units, likely to include independent living, assisted living and units for those requiring skilled nursing.

Amazon ‘HQ2’ coming to Northern Virginia; economic impact will be felt throughout the Washington region

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Amazon today announced that a Northern Virginia site would be part of its second headquarters (HQ2) location. The decision will create tens of thousands jobs and billions of dollars in investment in the Washington, D.C., region, lure many companies that want to work with Amazon, and spur development of new industry strengths for the area.

Fairfax County EDA works with 21 firms adding more than 800 jobs to local economy

Thursday, November 8, 2018

In the third quarter of 2018, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) worked with 21 businesses that announced the addition of 841 jobs to the Fairfax County economy.

Major announcements came from a wide variety of businesses.

The St. James, an indoor sports, wellness and entertainment venue in Springfield, opened its doors with 300 employees.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 10:56am

Working in Tandem: The Tandem Innovation Academy, a free program focused on helping emerging tech businesses grow, announced its second batch of companies -- including three based in Fairfax County -- that will participate in its inaugural fall cohort. New to the cohort: Airgility of Reston, which designs vertical takeoff unmanned aerial systems; AtomiCorp of Chantilly, which has developed a cloud workload protection platform; and Radus Software of Reston, which is working in both the federal and public sectors. They are among 20 startups to secure spots. Seven of the companies are based in Fairfax County, which is a partner of the alliance. Michelai Graham of has more.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 10:55am

Spear fishing: Calibre Systems, a provider of management consulting and IT services based near the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, acquired Herndon-based Spear. According to Robert J. Terry of the Washington Business Journal, Spear, which provides IT cybersecurity and analytics services, will operate as a subsidiary. Spear will offer Calibre more options in IT solutions and resources-- area in which the federal government finds value in its quest for IT modernization.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 10:55am

Nearly a billion: The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a potential five-year, $999.8 million task order to upgrade its IT operations and services. Booz Allen was one of seven bidders for the contract which falls under the VA's "T4NG" vehicle. 1105 Media's notes that the contract covers modernization efforts in cybersecurity, enterprise management framework, system and data migration, cloud computing, program management, strategy, enterprise architecture and planning support.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 10:54am

To foil a threat: ThreatQuotient, a Reston-based cybersecurity company, is partnering with Visa to strengthen the security of credit card payments in retail stores. The ThreatQ Intelligence platform will utilize Visa's data to help identify possible cyber criminals and breaches before they happen. Michelai Graham reports for

Brexit Negotiations Provide A Great Challenge To May's Leadership

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 4:59am

Rachel Martin talks to George Parker of the Financial Times about the critical week for Brexit, as questions loom over whether British Prime Minister May will be voted out of office over the deal.

News Brief: California Wildfires, Brexit Negotiations

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 4:59am

The search goes on for more victims, and President Trump visited some areas impacted by the fires. And, Britain's prime minister begins a critical week of Brexit negotiations with the EU.

Russian Cheesemaker Benefits From Putin's Sanctions

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 4:59am

At a panel discussion attended by Vladimir Putin, a man got up to thank the Russian president for the ban on EU food imports, which he credited for helping his local cheese business to flourish.

Opinion: Amazon Deal In New York Creates Some Unlikely Allies

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 7:47am
Protesters gather in Long Island City to say "no" to the Amazon "HQ2" decision to establish part of its second headquarters in the New York City neighborhood.

NPR's Scott Simon reflects on Amazon's plan to open a headquarters in New York. It has prompted an unlikely coalition to unite in opposition, because of tax breaks and subsidies the company will get.

(Image credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Federal Investigators Pinpoint What Caused String Of Gas Explosions In Mass.

Friday, November 16, 2018 - 5:49pm
Fire investigators search the debris at a home where an explosion occurred following a gas line failure in September in Lawrence, Mass.

The National Transportation Safety Board says a natural gas company engineer made a major mistake in developing construction plans, resulting in a disastrous chain reaction.

(Image credit: Charles Krupa/AP)

Jennie-O Recalls Ground Turkey Following One Case Of Illness From Salmonella

Friday, November 16, 2018 - 5:32pm
Jennie-O is recalling 45 tons of raw turkey that may be tainted by salmonella.

Over 45 tons of meat could potentially harbor the food-borne illness, the USDA said. More recalls from other companies could follow, as the government tracks a widespread outbreak of the same strain.

(Image credit: Hormel Foods Corporation/AP)

Recession Indicators, Pt 1

Friday, November 16, 2018 - 5:18pm
10 indicators

Are we heading into a recession? The Conference Board's Leading Indicator has ten ways to tell.

(Image credit: NPR)

Why Ford Is Getting Into The Scooter Business

Friday, November 16, 2018 - 10:03am
Ford is buying electric scooter company Spin in what experts say is the biggest investment of an automaker into "micromobility."

Money is going a lot of different ways in the car industry. Experts say companies are investing in new technology simply because they don't want to be left behind.

(Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Facebook Is On The Defensive After 'NYT' Report On Response To Russian Interference

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 6:04pm

Facebook says it is cutting ties with the Washington consulting firm Definers Public Affairs, which spread disparaging information about the social network's critics.

The Lucky Country

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 4:46pm

Australia hasn't had a recession in 27 years. Good policy? Or just good luck?

(Image credit: NPR)

FDA Seeks Ban On Menthol Cigarettes To Fight Teen Smoking

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 11:22am
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he wants to ban menthol cigarettes because teenagers often become addicted to nicotine by smoking them.

In its latest effort to curb smoking by young people, the FDA wants to outlaw menthol cigarettes. The agency would also restrict sales of flavored e-cigarettes to reduce youth addiction to nicotine.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Startup Offers To Sequence Your Genome Free Of Charge, Then Let You Profit From It

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 9:00am
"Everything is private information, stored on your computer or a computer you designate," says George Church, genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, about the approach of Nebula Genomics.

A full genome sequence costs about $1,000. But Nebula Genomics expects that companies and researchers would defray the cost in exchange for key medical information about the person involved.

(Image credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Airline Pilots Raise Training Concerns About Boeing's 737 Max

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 5:05am

Pilots accuse Boeing of downplaying changes to a critical system made in the newest version of the popular 737, which may have played a role in last month's fatal crash in Indonesia.

'Auntie Maxine' Waters Gets Ready To Take On The Banks As House Panel Chair

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 5:02am
Rep. Maxine Waters, seated next to Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, at a hearing in July, is set to become chair of the House Financial Services Committee.

California Rep. Maxine Waters has been a favorite target of President Trump and his supporters. Now she's in line to chair the House Financial Services Committee, where she could slow his agenda.

(Image credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Oil Up, Oil Down

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 5:09pm
oil rollercoaster

The decline in the oil price since the end of October has been stunning in its depth and speed, and follows more than a year of climbing. What changed?

(Image credit: NPR)

What's On Amazon's Wish List? All Of Us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 11:06am

How big is too big?

(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)