State, local leaders commend Alarm.com’s R&D expansion, creation of 180 new jobs, apprenticeship program
For Steve Trundle, president and CEO of Tysons-based Alarm.com, the announcement yesterday (February 28) that the company will invest $2.6 million to expand the technology research and development division at its headquarters in Fairfax County — and create 180 new jobs in the process — was a validation of why Alarm.com began here.
“It’s a great place to start business,” Trundle said at an event at company headquarters attended by Governor Glenn Youngkin, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Victor Hoskins.
“We find this to be a great market, to recruit a lot of university access here, a lot of great skill sets, but we also are successful bringing people here and the quality of our school systems, for example, in this area really makes a difference,” Trundle said.
He noted that the business was launched at another nearby 5,000 square foot location with just a handful of employees. Today Alarm.com has 200,000 square feet of office space. Trundle said the company has hired more than 1,600 Virginians, and recruited 113 employees from other locations outside of Virginia. He emphasized that 87 percent of the hires are for research and development jobs, “so very high-paying, very highly skilled jobs.”
Trundle mentioned the Alarm.com Technical Apprentice Program, which the company has implemented in partnership with the state. Applicants do not need a technical background or college degree, he emphasized. Apprentices are trained at the company for six to nine months and hired if they are successful in the program. Nearly 75 percent of apprentices have been offered jobs, he said.
“Over 60 percent of the people that we’re bringing in the technology from that program are from what are characterized as underrepresented groups, so it’s a great way for us to compete the diversity in our labor force and in our company as well,” Trundle said.
This was the governor’s first economic development announcement since he took office January 15, and he applauded Alarm.com’s vision and growth.
“This is exactly what all Virginians want to see happen, which is new opportunity,” Youngkin said. “New opportunity springs from existing opportunity. New opportunity springs from entrepreneurs who have dreams. New opportunity springs across the Commonwealth when we in fact have an environment that fosters innovation and supports growth.”
Youngkin noted the kind of high-paying technology jobs that Alarm.com will be creating as it ramps up its R&D capacity in Tysons.
“These jobs will be in computer visualization, video analytics, facial recognition, mobile services, embedded systems, data analytics,” he said. “These are the jobs that underpin our economy of the future — and that’s why it is so exciting.”
Continuing a long tradition at economic development announcements, the governor presented Trundle a state flag that had been flown over the state capitol in Richmond.
McKay said “it is an absolute blessing to be here with Alarm.com for this expansion in Fairfax County,” and noted that Fairfax County has long embraced this kind of business expansion.
“I’m here to tell you that our pro-business environment in Fairfax County is working, obviously by what you see here today,” McKay said. “And this didn’t just happen overnight. For many, many decades, we in Fairfax County have invested in our people and our economy, and that’s why we are the economic driver of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We’re very proud of that.”
McKay cited the investment in the public school system and other public services, and said Fairfax County is the safest community of its size in the nation.
“Those things matter to people when they decide where they want to live and where they want to go and where they want to grow their businesses,” said McKay. “Here in Fairfax County, we’ve also been a welcoming community. Our doors are wide open to people all over the world to come to Fairfax County and be successful. That inclusion and that focus on equity is valued by our residents while our economy continues to grow.”
Concluding his remarks, McKay introduced Fairfax County EDA’s Hoskins, noting that since he became president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority, companies such as Microsoft, AWS, Google, Facebook, Qualtrics, Guidehouse and StarKist have announced expansions or relocations in Fairfax County.
In focusing on Alarm.com, Hoskins singled out Alarm.com’s apprenticeship program and how it has transformed families.
“The thing that really blew me away was that they have taken mechanics and musicians and turned them into technologists,” Hoskins said.
“These 180 jobs here really represents to us 450-500 people,” he said. “This is a community. And when you save those jobs, you actually begin to save households, and you begin to save communities.”
Alarm.com pioneers smarter solutions that deliver total protection for millions of homes and businesses with one innovative and unified experience for a true smart property. The company’s platform integrates with a growing variety of IoT (Internet of Things) devices through its apps and interfaces.
Alarm.com employs about 700 workers in Virginia and was recently named to Fortune Magazine’s list of the top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in 2021. Expansion of the company’s research and development division will create opportunities in innovative spaces such as computer visualization, video analytics, facial recognition, energy and water management, data analytics, mobile development, and embedded systems.
Alarm.com occupies more than 195,000 square feet of office space at their headquarters in Tysons, a testing lab in Tysons, and the Alarm.com Demo House in Falls Church, a fully-automated, state-of-the-art smart home. As an active member of the community, Alarm.com has a Charitable Giving Program that aims to positively impact the needs of under-served communities, children’s health and education, STEM initiatives, first responders, as well as disaster response. Alarm.com offers a charitable match program for employees and in 2021, supported more than 150 501(c)(3) organizations.
The FCEDA worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to secure the project for Virginia and will support Alarm.com’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.