If you’ve ever wanted to become an Arlington firefighter or EMT, now’s your chance.
Arlington County is beginning a new round of firefighter/EMT recruitment starting today, May 11. According to a fire department recruitment web page, the process will remain open through Tuesday May 22, 2012.
The application process for becoming an Arlington firefighter is a bit daunting, however. The following are the steps one must go through in order to be offered the job, according to the fire department website:
- Submission of online application
- Application screening
- Communication of eligibility via letter and/or email
- Written examination
- CPAT Practice Sessions
- Submission of Background Package
- CPAT Official Test
Fingerprinting & Ongoing Background Investigation
- Panel Interview with Fire Department Personnel
- Conditional Offer of Employment
- Polygraph Examination
- Psychological and Physical Examinations
- Uniform Fitting
- Interview with the Fire Chief
- Final Offer of Employment
According to a leading jobs website for those with security clearances, the average security-cleared employee in the Washington region earned $97,838 in 2011.
ClearanceJobs.com says that figure represents a 4 percent increase from one year ago. By comparison, the national average security-cleared salary was $76,152 in 2011. According to the website’s survey, there was no pay gap between men and women working in the same position.
Though average salaries may be high, security-cleared workers are increasingly worried about the future. The survey — of 11,000 security-cleared professionals — indicated that 43 percent were afraid of the loss of contract funding, 40 percent were afraid of increased work loads as a result of staff cuts, 38 percent were afraid of their position being eliminated, and 31 percent worried about their position being relocated, perhaps as a result of BRAC.
According to a Craigslist ad, the soon-to-open restaurant, which promises to serve “obscure” cuts of meat in the style of a rustic French bistro, is looking for “only those with serious food passion.”
“Don’t expect to find loins, micro greens and baby veg here,” the help wanted ad says. “Think sous vide. Think obscure cuts of meat in their finest form — food that is hearty, not heavy; sustainable and with proper technique above all.”
The ad continued: “Prior frustration with fine dining service is preferred.”
Chef/owner Scot Harlan, who used to work under celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, told ARLnow.com last month that his biggest investment in the restaurant will be hiring good people in the kitchen.
In addition to line cooks, sous-chefs, and pastry-sous, the Craigslist ad also seeks hosts and servers.
“We will be employing an eSavvy staff and familiarity with iPhones, iPods, and iPads is a plus,” the ad says, noting that the restaurant will be using wireless iPads as the point of sale system (instead of traditional cash registers and/or credit card readers).
An Arlington resident has created a new web-based video series.
Mike Kravinsky, 57, was working as a video editor and technical editor for the ABC News D.C. bureau when, in 2010, he decided to take a buyout package offered by the company. After 29 years at ABC, Kavinsky now found himself pondering what to do next. In the end, he decided to pursue a passion for filmmaking by creating a six-part scripted video series.
“The Nextnik,” as the series is called, follows the trials and tribulations of Larry Zimmerman, a 55-year-old upper-middle management type who is abruptly fired and has a year to find a new vocation before his severance money runs out.
The series — which is described as part drama, part comedy — was filmed in Arlington, at locations like Java Shack, Restaurant 3, Silver Diner (Clarendon) and several residential locations. Additional filming took place in the District and at Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Kravinsky says The Nextnik is especially topical given the current state of the job market.
“As the economy improves, many people are exploring starting over professionally, whether by choice or layoff,” Kravinsky said. “‘The Nextnik’ will focus on both professional and personal reinvention.”
The first episode of the series will premiere on the web on Jan. 1.
Memphis Barbeque, a new restaurant that’s starting to wrap up construction in Crystal City, is now hiring.
The restaurant (320 South 23rd Street) recently posted a help wanted ad on Craigslist seeking bartenders, servers, cooks, and hostesses. The ad also described the concept behind the $750,000 restaurant.
“We are Metropolitan Washington’s first upscale-casual BBQ restaurant featuring authentic hickory-pit smoked barbeque and live hickory grilled meats, fish and seafood,” the ad said.
Memphis Barbeque is taking the place of the shuttered Mackey’s Public House.
Arlington Wages High, Growth Low — Arlington residents earn some of the highest weekly wages in the nation ($1,549/week), but the county’s wage growth is slowing. [Sun Gazette]
Songwriters Come to Iota Club — A group of 9 singer-songwriters from around the region will be performing at Iota Club in Clarendon (2832 Wilson Blvd) tonight. Among the musicians scheduled to take the stage are Brittany Jean and Justin Trawick. [Facebook, Clarendon Nights]
Health Care Company Signs Clarendon Lease — A behavioral health care company called ValueOptions has signed a lease for 37,250 square feet of office space in the heart of Clarendon. [CityBiz Real Estate]
Flickr pool by Reid Kasprowicz
Trader Joe’s has been interviewing potential employees all week to help fill positions at its new Clarendon store.
A “now hiring” sign outside the store advises interested job seekers to apply at the Arlington Employment Center, at 2100 Washington Boulevard. The employment center’s blog indicates that hourly wages start at $10 per hour.
Interior construction on the store, located at 1109 N. Highland Street, seems to be progressing swiftly. The company’s signature blue walls and wood-accented aisles are visible through the large front windows.
Last we checked, Trader Joe’s is planning to open the store at some point next month.
Civic boosters once tried to brand Rosslyn as “Manhattan on the Potomac.”
The connection between Times Square and N. Lynn Street pretty much stopped at the WJLA news ticker, but there is one actual similarity between Manhattan and Arlington as a whole.
Among U.S. counties nationwide, Arlington is second only to Manhattan in terms of average wage per job.
Recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show that Manhattan workers make an average of $109,028, compared to the $102,373 average income of Arlington workers.
According to the Business Journals, Manhattan and Arlington “are the only two major U.S. counties where average compensation is higher than $100,000 per job.”
Construction of a key ramp from I-395 to the Mark Center complex on Seminary Road in Alexandria may be delayed 18 months due to a federal decision that will require an extensive environmental study before the project can get underway. The delay may further hold up the move of military employees from Arlington offices to Mark Center.
On Friday, VDOT announced that the Federal Highway Administration had decided to require the environmental assessment for the ramp. VDOT argued that it should have instead been granted a categorical exclusion for the project, “since the ramp will be built entirely within existing I-395 right of way, will improve air quality by making transit and carpooling more convenient for Mark Center employees and will not have substantial impacts to natural, cultural, recreational, water quality, or historic resources.”
About 6,400 Department of Defense employees are scheduled to be relocated to Mark Center by the end of the year as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). VDOT says that “near-gridlock conditions will occur on Seminary Road, Beauregard Street and I-395″ unless the ramp and other infrastructure is built to accommodate the extra traffic. With the environmental assessment, it could be 2015 or 2016 before the ramp opens.
Congressman Jim Moran — who has been working “to suspend or delay the move into the Mark Center site until the necessary transportation improvements to prevent a traffic nightmare on I-395 are implemented” — says that Mark Center moves may need to be pushed back even further.
Mickey D’s is undertaking an ambitious company-wide initiative to hire up to 50,000 people nationwide, including 1,400 in the D.C. area — all in one day. To that end, they’re holding a “National Hiring Day” from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19.
Among the four area restaurants that will be hosting job applicants are two Arlington locations: 1823 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn and 40 N. Glebe Road, just off Route 50.
A job with the golden arches may not have the caché of, say, a white collar job with the Rosslyn-based Corporate Executive Board, but you can’t deny this — it does provide a first-hand lesson in efficient operations management and effective consumer marketing. Plus, they still have shamrock shakes.
Grand Opening for USAA Office in Pentagon City — A new USAA branch has opened on Pentagon Row. The “financial center” — in company parlance — will hold its grand opening celebration from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. The branch is located at 1301 South Joyce Street.
Doorways Job Featured — Arlington-based Doorways for Women and Families is looking for a new executive director. The job was featured as the MyFoxDC.com “Job of the Day” yesterday. The listing notes that Doorways’ annual operating budget has more than doubled in the past five years, to $3.1 million. [MyFoxDC]
Hilton Garden Inn Sells for $60 Million — The Hilton Garden Inn in Courthouse has changed hands for $60 million, or $320,000 per room. [GlobeSt.com]
Things are looking pretty good for Arlington, economy-wise — at least according to a presentation this morning by Arlington Economic Development Director Terry Holzheimer.
Unemployment and office vacancies are low. Real estate prices and hotel occupancy rates are on the rise. And a number of new construction projects are underway. Holzheimer said he expects the local unemployment rate to continue declining in 2011 while the impact from BRAC is mitigated by a robust demand for office space.
Holzheimer noted that between 2008 and 2010, Arlington saw a net employment increase while Alexandria and Fairfax saw a net employment decline.
Today’s presentation included a list of the top public and private employers in Arlington. The total number employees in Arlington in 2011 is noted below in parenthesis.
Given the current talk in Congress of significant federal budget cuts, Arlington’s large number of government employees may be of some concern.
- Deloitte (3,490)
- Lockheed Martin (2,668)
- Virginia Hospital Center (2,042)
- Marriott International (1,600)
- Booz Allen Hamilton (1,370)
- SRA International (1,359)
- CACI (1,251)
- US Airways (1,300)
- SAIC (1,281)
- Corporate Executive Board (986)
With Circa in Clarendon “just weeks away from opening,” according to its Facebook page, the restaurant has started hiring the bulk of its staff.
Circa is seeking servers, bartenders, barbacks, hosts and food runners for its first Virginia location. Interested parties can apply via this Craigslist posting.
Interior work is still on-going at the restaurant, located on the ground floor of the Clarendon Center project’s south building, at 1200 North Garfield Street. The restaurant released new construction photos (above) on Thursday.
After all, every taxpayer in Arlington knows that our famously progressive county probably pays employees more than anyone else in the region, right?
Arlington is, in fact, still playing catchup with Fairfax and Alexandria compensation-wise, County Manager Barbara Donnellan told a group of Arlington County Civic Federation delegates Tuesday night.
Donnellan cited a study released last year which determined that while employee benefits were on par with Fairfax and Alexandria, Arlington’s two biggest competitors in the job market, employee salaries lagged in more than half the job categories examined.
Another such study will be conducted next year.
Donnellan said that Arlington will likely continue to grant merit-based step increases to employees in the upcoming budget. That, she said, should help Arlington compete with Fairfax, which has frozen step increases. Like Arlington, however, Alexandria is still granting pay raises.
“Overall, we’re trying to maintain competitiveness,” Donnellan said. Comparisons to the private sector and to similar jurisdictions in other parts of the country are generally not helpful, Donnellan said, because the county is drawing from a different pool of potential job applicants.
Out of some 70 prospective applicants for a significant number of police vacancies (perhaps 20 to 30), only four were ultimately hired after a battery of physical and mental tests.
“Four doesn’t cut it,” Donnellan said, adding that more public safety recruiting classes will be necessary. In other job categories, she said, hiring is a mixed bag.
“We had a hiring freeze for two years, so when we do open up a job, we get a lot of applicants who are applying for it,” she said. “Are they the best and the brightest and fit exactly with the experience that we’re looking for? Not always. But we certainly have been able to capture some people in this downtime that are looking for a more stable environment to work in.”
Sept. 15, 2011 was supposed to be the date by which some 5 million square feet of military-occupied office space in Arlington — 17 percent of the county’s office inventory — would be moved out as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act.
Now, it appears that most of that leased space will still be in use by the military through 2012 and beyond.
A new report by commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley that examined lease renewals suggests that BRAC relocations are years behind schedule. According to the firm, “[BRAC-related] leases totaling 2.3 million square feet have been extended through 2013 or later.”
And yesterday Rep. Jim Moran threw another wrench in the stalled relocation process. Per a provision Moran inserted into a Defense Department funding bill, the DoD’s Inspector General will be investigating the planned BRAC relocation of 6,400 jobs — many from Arlington — to the Mark Center project in Alexandria.
Moran has been working “to suspend or delay the move into the Mark Center site until the necessary transportation improvements to prevent a traffic nightmare on I-395 are implemented,” according to a statement announcing the investigation.
Such a delay could ease some of the economic pain the county will experience as a result of BRAC job losses.