Arlington, VA

This article was written by Alex Taylor, Senior Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington Economic Development recently hosted a webinar on the future of Ballston, Arlington’s Bold Future: Innovating Ballston, featuring panelists from Shooshan Companies, George Mason University, Cushman & Wakefield, the Ballston BID and Arlington County. This was the first in a series of webinars focused on the future of Arlington’s economy and placemaking.

As home to DARPA, the Office of Naval Research and the Virginia Tech Research Center, Ballston has historically been a hub of innovation. Funded by federal research grants and commercialized spinoffs, the cutting-edge research happening in Ballston has led to technological advancements around the world as well as an influx of talent, ranking Arlington County amongst the most educated and hardest working populations in the country.

While companies have long been drawn to Ballston for its high-quality office space, prominent federal research institutions, university presence and access to tech and professional talent, the major transformation in Ballston has created a bustling 18/7 environment despite the ongoing pandemic.

The neighborhood has emerged as a more vibrant residential neighborhood with the addition of 2,000 new residential units over the last three years. These developments sit among thousands of existing residential properties, millions of square feet of high-end office space, and the experiential entertainment derived from over $300 million in investments between Ballston Quarter and Ballston Exchange.

Ballston also sits on top of one of the busiest metro stations in the region, with rail access on the Silver and Orange lines connecting workers and residents to D.C., Maryland and western suburban nodes like Ashburn, Reston and Vienna in Virginia. It will soon have direct access to two major airports (Reagan National and Dulles, coming in 2021), making domestic and international connections seamless.

Hundreds of miles of pedestrian and bicycle paths stretch across the region and allow for active commuters to run, bike or walk to the office. This combination of assets gives Ballston and Arlington a truly unmatched environment compared to other commercial districts around the country.

While Ballston is already a top-tier commercial district, it has experienced significant change over the last few years with many exciting new projects in the pipeline. The neighborhood will be welcoming George Mason University’s new Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA), and the $250 million state and University investment in the IDIA will serve as a critical catalyst in accelerating the growing innovation district and high-tech ecosystem along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

The 460,000 square foot facility will help support GMU’s new School of Computing, part of the University’s commitment to educate thousands of students in high-tech fields over the next decade. The building will incorporate cyber infrastructure and green technologies, and will support a mix of research, educational programs, corporate innovation labs, coworking and innovation programs for high-growth ventures.

This is all in addition to the $1 billion Virginia Tech Innovation Campus being simultaneously developed in Alexandria. Silicon Valley has Stanford, Atlanta has Georgia Tech, Boston has MIT and Harvard, and Arlington has GMU and neighboring Virginia Tech; the future for Ballston’s tech ecosystem is certainly bright.

Federal innovation has attracted talent to the D.C. metro region for decades, but the emergence of these high-tech university research facilities along with Amazon’s HQ2 project will create a tech talent pipeline that will bolster the region’s image as a tech hub and further place Arlington on the map as a preeminent global tech and innovation hub.

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This article was written by Michael Stiefvater, Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

Once again, Arlington made its mark on the annual Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies as 31 local companies qualified, including five that ranked in the top 500.

To qualify for the prestigious list, each company exhibited exponential growth over the preceding three-year period and earned over $2 million in revenue last year. While the companies share several traits that positioned them for success, perhaps the most important is their ability to identify and recruit exceptional talent. Along their growth trajectory, each company was able to assemble a standout team to fuel its rapid expansion.

With Northern Virginia being home to one of the nation’s top talent pools, the Arlington honorees are well-positioned to continue building teams equipped to develop innovative products or provide excellent service to commercial and government entities. Given the desire to remain a member of the Inc. 5000 for years to come, these companies are seeking talent to fill positions in a diverse set of industries, including cybersecurity, government contracting, information technology, marketing and software development.

For job seekers, this presents a unique opportunity to join one of the region’s next leading companies, including Arlington’s highest-ranked and most-recognized companies on the list, Royce Geospatial Consultants and Fors Marsh Group, respectively.

Appearing on the list for the first time, Royce Geospatial Consultants is Arlington’s highest-ranked honoree at #333. The Clarendon-based government contractor reported an impressive three-year growth rate of 1,370% and has openings in in GIS application development, data science, geospatial engineering and software development.

According to Royce Geo’s CEO, David Sterling, “Our number one goal is to provide clients with highly mission focused subject matter experts who think innovatively with a sharp eye on mission. As a company, we operate as an employee first/mission first entity and we believe, if you take care of both with equal attention, everything else takes care of itself.” 

On the other end of the appearance spectrum, Fors Marsh Group (FMG) led Arlington companies by earning its eighth-consecutive place on the Inc. 5000. The Ballston-based, Certified B Corporation helps organizations and governmental agencies make research-backed decisions and implement solutions that positively affect customers, employees and the citizens they serve. FMG’s client portfolio has grown in large part due to the talent it recruits from higher education institutions, like George Mason University (GMU), to fill positions in the fields of data science, human capital strategy and policy evaluation.

Fors Marsh Group’s Senior Vice President and GMU alumni, Brian Griepentrog says, “The talent in our local undergraduate and advanced degree programs is simply world class, and cultivating these partnerships is central to our company’s success. And is one reason almost one-third of our almost 300 employees have a degree from a local D.C. Metro university.” 

For more information on Fors Marsh Group, Royce Geospatial Consultants and all of Arlington’s 31 companies on the Inc. 5000, Arlington Economic Development’s webpage provides a snapshot of each company and its current career opportunities.

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This article was written by Michael Stiefvater, Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

Last week marked National Nonprofit Day, founded on August 17, 2017, the goal of the day is to educate, enlighten, and empower others to make a difference, as well as acknowledge the industry’s dedicated workforce.

While National Nonprofit Day is a recent addition to the national day calendar, the positive impacts of the nonprofit industry trace back over a century to the Tariff Act of 1894’s passing on that same date. The Act imposed the first federal income tax on corporations, while including exemptions for nonprofit corporations and charitable institutions.

Over one hundred years later, the nonprofit industry has grown to employ 12.3 million people and is supported by 64 million board members and volunteers, according to the National Council of Nonprofits.

Given the proximity to the Nation’s capital and access to a talented workforce, Arlington has been a magnet for nonprofits as the County is currently home to nearly 300 organizations and their 8,700 employees. While the missions of these organizations cover a diverse set of issues, several nonprofit clusters have emerged in Arlington focusing on the following issues:

Environmental

From leading conservation efforts that improve fishing in the country’s streams and rivers to protecting millions of acres of land worldwide, Arlington nonprofits are ensuring the planet’s health for future generations. The environmental cluster is home to Arlington’s largest nonprofit, The Nature Conservancy, which employs nearly 500 people at its Ballston headquarters and has protected more than 117 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide since its founding in 1951.

Health and Wellness

As the world grapples with the effects of COVID-19, several Arlington nonprofits are addressing the needs of their target communities through creative initiatives. The National Council on Aging is combating social isolation for older adults by partnering with Airbnb to provide free online experiences to connect seniors with others and travel virtually during the pandemic.

International Development

The impact of Arlington’s nonprofit community reaches well beyond the borders of the United States, as a handful of organizations are improving lives around the globe. Following a devastating drought in 2017, Counterpart International is implementing a food security program in Senegal that will improve infrastructure and train individuals for a sustainable future.

Local Aid

Whether ensuring access to meals and shelter for individuals who are facing homelessness, or facilitating adoptions for thousands of animals annually, several nonprofits are dedicated to serving our local community. Over the past year, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network provided 38,000 meals and offered overnight beds to 1,000 people through their shelter program.

In honor of National Nonprofit Day, Arlington Economic Development highlighted over two dozen nonprofits within these clusters, while connecting the Arlington community with opportunities to get involved, whether in our local neighborhoods or in the furthest reaches of the globe.

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This article was cosponsored by Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

As companies throughout Arlington begin to make plans for a return to the workplace, Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce have partnered to release the Return to the Workplace Toolkit. The toolkit is a resource designed to aid Arlington’s businesses in safely welcoming back employees and customers when they choose to do so.

The toolkit consists of an online collection of signage and informational materials that businesses may print and display in their spaces. The two organizations are also printing 1,000 copies of the two most critical posters, with content designed by the CDC and required under Forward Virginia guidance.

Arlington businesses may pick up copies of the two posters and a complimentary mask at a distribution event to be held Wednesday, August 12 from 2-4 p.m. at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, 2009 14th Street N., Suite 100.

The online toolkit features numerous printable posters and additional digital resources aimed at educating business leaders and employees, including several recorded webinars with additional return-to-work webinars scheduled for the coming months.

The goal of the digital toolkit is to organize and simplify the abundance of information and guidelines on returning to the workplace for Arlington companies grappling with the responsibility and complexities associated with such a decision. The content will continue to grow and adapt as the needs of the business community continue to develop.

Arlington Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Kate Bates, reaffirms this. “Operating a business in standard times takes a tremendous amount of work,” Bates said. “The coronavirus pandemic has brought an unparalleled hardship to our businesses as they work to pivot their operations while keeping their employees and customers safe. We want to help make it just a bit easier to keep up with the regulations and best practices by compiling the key materials into this toolkit.”

AED Director, Telly Tucker, has directed staff to focus on initiatives that will support the business community in safely bringing employees back into the office when appropriate. “While the timing of a large return to the office is still uncertain for many companies, AED’s goal is to ensure that the business community feels welcomed, supported, and prepared to return to the office when they choose to do so,” said Tucker. “The digital toolkit resources are meant to help inform these decisions and ease the burden on Arlington businesses when a decision to return is made.”

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This article was written by Marian Marquez, Director of Business Investment for Arlington Economic Development.

It’s the end of Arlington County’s fiscal year, a time when we look back at our activities over the past twelve months to reflect on our collective wins, challenges and opportunities.

As we step cautiously into a new year, we know already that it will be like no other and I find myself trying to remember where we were at this time last year… riding the momentum of a solid year of wins and the excitement of welcoming Amazon’s second headquarters to Arlington, the future was bright!

After working together as a region to win this historic economic development project, relationships among the localities had never been stronger and we were getting ready to announce the formation of a regional economic development organization, the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA). With a reshuffling of economic development leadership in Northern Virginia we were at a unique point in time to join forces to make this great region stronger than ever.

At this time last year, Arlington’s vacancy rate was steadily trending downward and was around 16.5% from its peak of 21% in 2015 when we began an aggressive effort to market Arlington, further diversify the economy into fast growing sectors, and build out our tech ecosystem. With a global spotlight on our region, the State of Virginia’s over $1 billion investment in the education system and tech talent pipeline, plus a newly formed regional alliance to market the heck out of our assets, we believed the only way was up!

When I think back to what our perceived challenges were at the time, they feel rather luxurious — after all, we were still able to meet with prospective companies in person and companies were still able to occupy office space, literally.

During the first half of this fiscal year we worked hard to attract and retain companies in our target sectors such as Block.One, a blockchain company that placed its global headquarters in Rosslyn, as well as tech startups Scoutbee and Amify in Crystal City. We also saw significant wins within our foundational sectors with the retention the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Shirlington and Raytheon in Rosslyn, and notable expansions among several key employers including Nestlé, Mastercard and Evolent Health.

We watched our vacancy rate drop further, dipping below 15%, the lowest it’s been since 2012. In January 2020, I stepped up to lead our business investment with a focus on reengagement with strategic partners and restructuring the team to take a greater focus on engaging existing businesses. A few weeks later we welcomed our new Director, Telly Tucker, and two months later, on Friday, March 13, we all received stay-at-home orders.

Our team was gripped with a host of concerns, many of which we are still grappling with now: What will this mean for our business community, what will the future office market look like, what does this mean for the work that we do, what does the bottom line look like?

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Jean Borno, CEO of Arlington’s 1787fp, attends the Collision conference with Arlington Economic Development in 2018.

This article was written by Alex Taylor, Senior Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

The Collision conference is one of North America’s fastest growing technology conferences, featuring hundreds of early-stage companies and over one-thousand investors.

The conference historically connects those early-stage, fast-growing companies to the capital and resources needed to accelerate growth and succeed in innovative sectors like AI, Cybersecurity and Fintech.

Arlington Economic Development (AED) attended Collision the last four years and brought a handful of Arlington’s most innovative companies to showcase the community’s growing tech economy. In “normal” times, promoting Arlington and its companies to a global audience through conferences and tradeshows was essential to attracting fast-growing companies and creating investment opportunities for Arlington’s existing companies.

Now, in these not-so-normal times, promotional opportunities benefitting our companies are going to be critical in stabilizing our economy and ensuring that our tech sector continues its growth in the face of historic economic challenges.

This year, Collision was scheduled to be held in Toronto, but due to COVID-19 the conference, “Collision from Home” was moved online for the first time. AED partnered with our neighboring regional economic development offices to adapt to the virtual format consisting of a three-day event beginning on June 23.

Arlington will “bring” three companies as part of the Northern Virginia cohort that includes Fairfax and Prince Williams Counties and the City of Alexandria. Arlington cybersecurity firms, Fend and HyperQube and training company, NextUp Solutions, will join hundreds of other like-minded companies taking advantage of the virtual format to make connections, meet investors and learn from some of the world’s top thought leaders.

With a growing private sector bolstering our federal government anchors, the Arlington economy is faring better than many, but we cannot rest on our laurels. Arlington must take advantage of new and innovative ways to market our community as a place to do businesses and ensure that our companies are primed to accelerate their growth as we move into a post-COVID recovery phase.

The Collision from Home conference will feature intimate face-to-face meetings, custom group discussion lounges, one-on-one investor meetings, company pitches, as well as hundreds of panels and discussions for attendees to digest.

To follow along as AED, Fend Tech, HyperQube and NextUp Solutions tackle the Collision from Home conference this week, check out @AEDBizInvest on Twitter.

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This article was written by Sindy Yeh, Senior Business Ambassador for Arlington Economic Development.

In the unprecedented time of COVID-19, people are recognizing the sacrifices and dedication of frontline workers in the healthcare industry, public safety and emergency management.

These essential workers are embraced worldwide as true heroes in the public battle to withstand the dangers of this virus and have been venerated for their tireless effort and service to the community.

Arlington is unique in having many business and trade associations whose members are deemed essential and are on the frontlines of the pandemic. These members are located throughout the entire country and even overseas. The associations serve their members by providing advocacy, education, professional development, resources and member best practices. They advocate for members at the federal, state and local levels, and oftentimes their recommended policies have national implications. Arlington salutes these organizations and their members for their service.

The supermarket industry has been one of the most critically important sectors during the pandemic. With thousands of restaurants being forced to close, grocery stores have remained open to ensure food and essentials are available to homes around the country. Grocery workers labor long hours to make certain that store shelves are stocked and facilities are sanitized; and these days, their job includes enforcing social distancing rules.

Two national associations headquartered in Arlington represent the food distribution industry. Ballston-based National Grocers Association represents independent, privately-owned stores; and the Food Marketing Institute, headquartered in Crystal City, includes members from grocery stores to producers who supply the food. Their members are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure during the pandemic, and without a doubt, they have risen to the occasion.

Another organization whose members are on the front lines of the pandemic is the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Headquartered in Ballston, ATA is the largest national trade association representing the trucking industry with more than 37,000 members and affiliates in all 50 states. ATA members continue to haul billions of tons of freight across the country, helping drive the nation’s economy.

Pharmacists throughout the country also play a pivotal role in this crisis. They are adapting to social distancing guidelines while still making sure that every patient has the medication he or she needs. Courthouse-based National Association of Chain Drug Stores represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchants with pharmacies. Chains operate nearly 40,000 pharmacies across the country.

With the recent federal guidelines allowing pharmacists to order and administer tests for COVID-19, pharmacists are at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic.

One of the professions that most exemplifies dedication and sacrifice in the face of COVID-19 is the healthcare industry. People around the world applaud health care workers’ unparalleled bravery, compassion and commitment to their profession. In normal times, nurses provide medical advice and care for their patients.

Now, nurses have to suit up each day just to go to work, often times putting their own health in peril, in order to care for their patients. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners. AANP’s government affairs office operates out of Crystal City, advocating for policies and legislation that serve AANP’s 107,000 members nationwide.

We appreciate the work these and are many other associations are doing, and we are honored they chose Arlington to call home.

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This article was written by Sindy Yeh, Senior Business Ambassador for Arlington Economic Development.

May is Business Appreciation Month, and now more than ever, it seems appropriate to highlight and thank the many Arlington businesses that are making our community and the world a better place in the wake of COVID-19.

From diligently working to stop the spread of the virus to providing online tools to mitigate disruptions, Arlington companies are leveraging their knowledge and technology platforms to make a difference during this unprecedented time.

Stopping the Spread of the Virus

For decades, DARPA has been at the forefront of research and investment in innovation. Accordingly, DARPA is funding multiple projects to combat the virus. Currently, scientists are working to design a new COVID-19 blood-based test that could identify carriers before they become infectious, as well as an antibody treatment to combat the virus until a vaccine is ready.

As experts warn of a second coronavirus wave in the fall, DARPA is partnering with pharmaceutical companies and universities to develop treatments quickly.

Zansors, an Arlington-based health analytics startup, is normally marketing its wearable sensors. Recognizing the increased demand for face masks, Zansors redirected its efforts to focus on its washable face covering masks.

One of its masks, the Micro-Shield, has recently been authorized by the FDA for use by health care personnel and the general public as a source control to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and illness. Baabi Das, co-founder of Zansors, states that the Micro-Shield face masks have gained traction and are now used by the U.S. Army and Air Force warfighters.

Blue Raster, Courthouse based web mapping company, has been assisting government agencies by providing COVID tracking dashboards over the past month. For the states of Virginia and Nevada, the company built a geospatially focused platform providing county level data on active COVID cases and fatalities, as well as number of beds in hospitals. This allows state officials to view and assess the current situation, guiding informed decision-making.

Providing Virtual Learning Tools

School administrators and educators have been grappling with the challenges associated with school closures and delivering a remote learning curriculum. Several of Arlington’s leading education technology companies have offered online tools to improve the at-home learning process.

Hobsons, based in Clarendon, focuses on connecting students to opportunities in education. Its college and career readiness software offers academic planning, career exploration and college prep tools for high schools, including Arlington Public Schools. Pivoting to serve students who are now at home, Hobsons has created instruction guides designed to help students navigate its education platforms on their own reducing support required by school staff.

Rosetta Stone, a pioneer in language learning, has recently provided all K-12 customers with an unlimited license to its literacy products in response to COVID. Schools that have purchased digital reading and literacy tools can now extend their software license to all students.

Brazen hosts a virtual career fair platform allowing universities to host job fairs online. In April, Brazen offered Marymount University the opportunity to use its platform free of charge to connect companies with Marymount students looking for internships.

More than 85 students registered to meet with 15 companies. As Ed Barrientos, CEO of Brazen, commented, “Brazen is in a lucky position of having technology that helps organizations bring their events online, so demand is high right now. We are pleased to donate the use of the platform to Marymount, our Arlington neighbor.”

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This article was written by Telly Tucker, Director of Arlington Economic Development.

We’re now in the sixth week of various shutdowns, teleworking, staff reductions and other challenges in Arlington as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Arlington Economic Development (AED) has been closely monitoring the effects on all our businesses.

In the latter half of March, just as the gravity of the situation was beginning to emerge, we conducted our first COVID-19 business survey. We had more than 600 businesses take the survey, which concluded on March 30 — coincidentally, the day before the April 1 Stay at Home Executive Order took effect in Virginia.

But even before that order was in place, it came as no surprise for us to learn that Arlington businesses were impacted — some significantly. Overall, the majority of our business respondents reported declining sales, hiring freezes, supply chain disruptions and delayed or canceled investments, with a considerable number having laid off workers as a result of the pandemic.

More than 70% of all Arlington businesses, and more than 90% of small businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees), said COVID-19 was “extremely disruptive” or “very disruptive” to their business operations. Additional details on survey results can be found on our website.

Across the varied results, the most pressing need respondents identified was financial assistance, everything from grant assistance to SBA economic injury assistance, tax payment assistance to landlord assistance. Remember — these results were even prior to the Stay at Home order. AED has been working diligently to connect companies to resources while working to develop some of our own.

Last week we announced the creation of the Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program, which will provide up to $10K in funds for businesses who need to keep up with payroll, rent and other expenses during the pandemic. We plan to have the application process open in early May; to receive future communications as details about the GRANT program are finalized, please add yourself to the mailing list on our GRANT page.

Additionally, we set up a COVID-19 Business Support section on our website, which covers everything from lists of restaurants providing carryout/delivery options to special offers from local businesses. We’re also providing the latest breakdowns on CARES Act and SBA actions as well as free webinars and counseling for businesses to help them navigate the various assistance programs and resources out there.

Finally, AED has just launched Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Arlington business survey. Each week brings new challenges and we understand the importance of keeping up-to-date on the impacts being felt by our community.

If you represent a business in Arlington, please take a few moments to complete this new survey in English or Spanish so AED can continue to assist you. The survey will remain active through April 30. Some of the questions may seem repetitive if you took our first survey, but we ask for your participation to help us continue to monitor the situation and aid us in developing appropriate resources and communications.

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This article was written by Telly Tucker, Director of Arlington Economic Development.

These are unprecedented times. Like so many other communities, Arlington is working through the effects and global impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Arlington Economic Development, a division within the Arlington County Government, is continuing to update and support the local business community throughout this pandemic and is following the lead of local and state authorities. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has now issued a Stay at Home order in response to the spread of the coronavirus and has prohibited people from gathering in groups of more than 10 people.

Under the direction of the Governor, Arlington restaurants have closed their dining rooms, and quite a few are providing meals on a takeout basis. Other businesses, such as gyms, theaters and shopping malls have closed as well.

The Governor has asked that people stay home unless it’s essential that they go out. However, there are many ways we can all support the Arlington business community. You can see a list of Arlington businesses offering specials and online ordering/curbside delivery options on our website.

For the business community, and especially our small business community, this situation can be devastating, if not catastrophic. More than 90% of Arlington County businesses employ 50 people or fewer, and some have already had to make very difficult decisions when it comes to employees.

We at Arlington Economic Development are reviewing the newly enacted federal CARES Act legislation to better understand how our local businesses can take advantage of this stimulus. We are also keeping track of other resources at the state and federal levels designed to help our business community weather this global situation.

Locally, the Arlington County Treasurer will not impose penalty and interest for those affected by COVID-19 for tax due dates between now and April 30. We are also collaborating with our regional partners in the NOVA EDA to study the short and long term economic impact of coronavirus. We will be sharing those results once the study is complete.

Arlington is a resilient community. We have weathered hardships before and learned the lessons to come out even stronger on the other side. But to echo the thoughts of Governor Northam, we must work together to do so. We will continue to share available resources with our business community.

In the meantime, we ask all of you to make responsible decisions for the health and welfare for yourselves, your employees and your neighbors in Arlington.

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Photo via David Hills

This article was written by Alex Taylor, Senior Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington Economic Development has many evolving strategies to attract business to the County, but one consistent piece is cultivating our partnership with the commercial real estate community.

In February, we hosted the first Broker Breakfast, a series of events that will occur over the coming months and will focus on synchronizing messaging to enhance our efforts to bring business to our commercial corridors.

Companies looking to expand into a new market often rely heavily on real estate experts to be the front door into the locations that best suit their needs. Whether it’s a new gym, rooftop employee lounges or just easy access to metro, there are dozens of factors that can drive a real estate decision within a building itself. And while buildings are important, the key drivers for most of these decisions boil down to one thing: attracting and retaining a quality workforce.

Workforce is currency that every tenant in the market is working to leverage. A highly-educated and reliable workforce is pivotal for business success and overall economic growth. Arlington is fortunate enough to sit at the center of the second largest tech talent pool in the U.S., and our universities are near the top of every ranking in the country for graduating technology and professional degrees.

The smartest and hardest working employees reside here, and the future workforce will be here as well. The Commonwealth’s $1.1 billion investment in the Tech Talent Pipeline is set to create nearly 31,000 tech degrees in the next two decades between Virginia Tech in Alexandria and George Mason in Arlington.

The County’s public infrastructure, built environment and overall quality of life are huge draws for companies and their employees. Arlington is the model for urban-suburban development, a product of smart planning during the 1960’s and 70’s as Metro began expanding into the suburbs, a decision that has paid dividends ever since.

There are many factors that lead to a high quality of life, but the ones at the top of the list typically involve easy walkability, quality transit, access to amenities, high quality of life and a strong public education system — all things that Arlington has in abundance, and all important factors for workers when choosing where to live and work.

Quality environment, product and workforce are true drivers of real estate decisions on the commercial side. Fortunately, Arlington, along with the rest of the region, is very well positioned in these areas as well. Amazon, Nestlé, Lidl and dozens of other small and medium-sized businesses have had success in our market due to these features.

While many companies have struck gold here in Arlington, not all companies in the U.S. know these stories and statistics. It is our job to help relay these themes, but we are a small staff with limited resources. We must maximize and leverage our partners in the real estate industry at every opportunity.

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