(Updated 7:10 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department is pouring more time and people into recruiting officers in an effort to outpace attrition.
For the past four years the number of “functional staff” at ACPD has been in decline. That includes sworn officers and higher-up positions but excludes those on light duty for medical reasons as well as those in training.
This has forced the department to cut back certain services and rely on current officers to cover empty shifts. To turn the tide, ACPD has changed its pay scale to better reward officers based on their experience and is upping its focus on recruitment.
Recruitment efforts, particularly those focused on recent graduates, are starting to bear fruit, according to ACPD. Still, these changes have to counteract high departure rates, largely driven by experienced officers retiring or seeking better-paying law enforcement jobs.
“While we have been successful in hiring larger classes of recruit officers in recent years, this has not offset the number of departures due to attrition, retirements and officers seeking other opportunities,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.
ACPD is authorized to have 377 officers but its “functional staffing” currently sits at 284, slightly higher than the 275 reported earlier this year. Another 28 positions are either unfilled or filled with officers in training or on light duty.
As for those slated to join the ranks, two officers — with and without law enforcement experience — have been hired and are waiting to go to the regional police academy. (Update at 7:10 p.m.: After publication, multiple police sources said the number provided by FOIA, 30, was incorrect and the actual number was two.)
Another 37 have applied and could accept an offer once extended, according to data obtained by ARLnow following a Freedom of Information Act request.
ARLnow was billed $75 for the FOIA response.
Officers in training would replace the 24 who retired, resigned or were fired this calendar year. Still, sources within the department say nearly a half-dozen more departures are imminent, and the total could be higher by December. Departure totals for 2022 and 2021 were 53 and 50, respectively.
This year, the intensified focus on recruitment may cancel out attrition rates, but ACPD has a long road to the 377 officers it is authorized to have. Even this number falls below consultant recommendations from a 2017 report, provided to ARLnow, which said the department should have 405 officers.
An evergreen report
Six years ago, a consultant found ACPD faced staffing shortages, particularly among patrol officers who are the first to respond to calls for service. It also highlighted concerns from officers about other local and federal agencies offering better pay and career advancement opportunities.
Four years later, in 2021, ACPD would cite these same reasons when explaining its shrinking force.
At the time, the patrol section had 164 employees and ACPD had an authorized strength of 367. Today, it is authorized for 10 more, yet the report recommended add 38, for an authorized strength of 405.
Savage said she could not share the number of patrol officers today, as that is sensitive tactical information. One publicly available number comes from the 2024 budget, which has 178 budgeted patrol officer positions.
For Randall Mason, the leader of the local police union, not much has changed since the 2017 report.
“By looking at the budgets each year, and how many sworn police we’re even authorized for, that report wasn’t taken seriously at all,” he said. “This year, they froze additional positions to pay for the raises we got through arbitration. I think we’re 50 less with the frozen positions than what the 2017 report said we should be at.”
Last Thursday, the Arlington School Board promoted two veteran secondary school principals to new positions.
Their appointments are effective July 1.
Willmore began his career at APS in 1995 as a teacher at the Spanish immersion school Escuela Key. After briefly leaving the school system, he returned in 1999 as a teacher in the Gunston’s immersion program. Willmore became an assistant principal at Wakefield High School in 2002 and eight years later, was named principal.
“I have loved my time at Wakefield and I am very proud of what the Wakefield community has accomplished and what the Wakefield student body and community represents,” Willmore told the School Board during last Thursday’s meeting. “As I hear time and time again, Wakefield is what the world will look like and our students at Wakefield get to experience that now, every day that they come to school.”
In an email to the school community, shared with ARLnow, Willmore said he poured his heart and soul into his work “because I feel strongly that that is the bare minimum of what our incredible students and staff deserve.”
After a 13-year tenure, which he described as an anomaly, he said he asked Superintendent Francisco Durán about changing jobs.
“This was a difficult decision for me to come to, but I feel that this is the right path forward for me and ultimately for Wakefield,” he continued.
The high school experienced difficult times earlier this year after a 14-year-old overdosed in a school bathroom and later died at the hospital, prompting the School Board to act and teachers to voice their fears this could happen again if protocols did not change. In late February, the school launched a confidential online form for people to report unsafe situations concerning a student.
Wiggins, meanwhile, has been with APS since 2012, serving as the principal of Gunston Middle School for the last 11 years.
Before coming to Arlington Public Schools, Wiggins worked in West Virginia as the executive director of the Office of Professional Preparation in the state Department of Education. In West Virginia, she also served as a middle school principal and assistant high school principal. She got her start teaching Spanish in East New York, Brooklyn.
Wiggins earned her bachelor’s degree from Messiah College, her master’s from California State University, Northridge, and her doctorate from West Virginia University.
“I am excited about this opportunity,” she told the School Board. “I’m looking forward to being able to grow, being able to bring lessons learned from my 11 years at Gunston, a passion for school leadership, a relentless drive to improve outcomes… and to work with a community that is highly mission driven.”
New Rail Bridge Design Revealed — “The new rail bridge will be built with many of the features in the existing span, including its structure, material and form, with steel girders and similar pier spacing, according to preliminary site plans approved this month by the National Capital Planning Commission. The plans also call for the use of Ashlar stone cladding for the bridge piers, and abutments and walls near the George Washington Memorial Parkway.” [Washington Post]
County Board Approves ‘Heights’ Parking — From School Board member Barbara Kanninen: “‘APS did us a solid.’ Thx @kcristol for that comment regarding our hosting the County’s temp fire station for several years! Glad to see the use permit for Phase 2 [of The Heights building in Rosslyn] approved this morning, providing important universal access improvements for all students, esp @APS_Shriver.” [Twitter]
APS Hiring Hundreds of Teachers — “Officials in Arlington Public Schools will also spend the summer working to fill an atypically large number of empty positions. Arlington, which enrolls 27,045 students, according to state data, saw 284 teachers resign between August 2021 and mid-May 2022. The district usually employs about 3,000 teachers, per spokesman Frank Bellavia. That is 96 percent higher than the average number of resignations between 2018-2019 and 2020-2021: 145.” [Washington Post]
Free Chicken Today — “July 18th is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. His birthday is recognized and celebrated world wide as Mandela day; a day for us all to inspire change and make a difference in our communities. At Nando’s we are proud of our South African heritage. We will join in celebrating his birthday on July 18th by following his example and giving back to our communities.” [Nando’s Peri Peri]
Cyclist Struck on Busy Ramp — “Police, fire on scene of cyclist struck by driver on the WB Route 50 / Washington Blvd ramp. Cyclist was thrown from bike and is being treated by medics, per scanner.” [Twitter]
Treasurer Honored, Again — “Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava received the President’s Award for her service and leadership to the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia (TAV). The award was presented during the association’s annual conference in June. It is the second time de la Pava has be recognized with the President’s Award.” [Arlington County]
More Bad Driving on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “You’ll want to see this one. Driver goes bowling with the barrels & almost takes one along for the ride. @VaDOTNOVA time for clean-up again on aisle 8C.” [Twitter]
It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy, with rain and possible storms in the evening. High of 88 and low of 74. Sunrise at 5:59 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Public Safety Watchdog Profiled — “Like a lot of people, Dave Statter got a bit bored when the pandemic hit and he was pretty much confined to his home. But unlike most of us, Statter lives high atop a Crystal City building overlooking I-395. Why binge Netflix when just outside the window is real-life drama, pathos, tragedy and comedy, all captured by the five video cameras Statter has trained on the traffic below?” [Washington Post]
Aquatics Center Struggling to Hire — “It’s been open for almost three-quarters of a year, but Arlington’s Long Bridge Park aquatics center is not immune for finding personnel that are plaguing the rest of the county government… The aquatics facility, which opened last summer after a lengthy and difficult birthing process, is still in need of a general manager and aquatics-program manager, and the 16 lifeguards on staff would require an infusion of eight to 10 more to bring it to a full complement.” [Sun Gazette]
APS May Add Some Instructional Time — “It’s a mystery: How does a school district that invariably has the highest (or close to it) per-student costs in the region also have the lowest amount of instructional time in a typical school year? Whatever the historical reasons for that anomaly, Arlington school officials are hoping to rectify the last half of that equation. Kind of.” [Sun Gazette]
Sailor Killed at Pearl Harbor Now at ANC — “A young sailor in the U.S. Navy who perished in Pearl Harbor has finally been laid to rest. U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class Walter Stein, 20, of Cheyenne, Wyoming was buried Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery. Stein was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor while serving aboard the USS Oklahoma… Stein’s remains were not officially identified until April 16, 2021 — about 80 years after his death.” [Patch]
Donation to Local Housing Nonprofit — “Arlington Community Federal Credit Union announced a $10,000 grant to local nonprofit, Rebuilding Together- Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church (AFF). The grant was part of a national give back program award from national credit union credit card vendor PSCU to be given to a local nonprofit of Arlington Community FCU’s choice. Rebuilding Together- AFF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves low-income homeowners and nonprofits.” [Press Release]
E-CARE Returning Next Month — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Saturday, April 23, Earth Day weekend: E-CARE returns to Yorktown HS for fast, safe drop-off of household hazardous materials, old electronics, bikes and much more. Fun fact: Folks arriving by foot and bike get through even faster.” [Twitter]
Pair of Missing Persons — Arlington County police are looking for two missing people: a 16-year-old boy last seen in the Rosslyn area, and a 31-year-old woman last seen near the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center. [Twitter, Twitter]
It’s Wednesday — A chance of shower in the morning, then mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 58 and low of 36. Sunrise at 6:57 am and sunset at 7:31 pm. [Weather.gov]
County Board Wants Camp Revamp — From County Board Chair Katie Cristol: “More from the Board on expectations for reforming summer camp registration, below. Importantly for this year: 6,000 spots are still open for this summer, and families who need DPR camp can continue to register online or w/ customer service team, [email protected].” [Twitter]
Jobs in Arlington Increase Slightly — “Year-over-year employment within Arlington County improved in the third quarter of 2021, according to new federal data, but lagged the overall national rebound. There were a total of 172,600 jobs recorded in Arlington for September 2021 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported Feb. 23. That’s up 0.4 percent from a year before.” [Sun Gazette]
New ACPD K9 Graduates — From the Arlington County Police Department: “Join us in congratulating Cpl. Doescher & K9 Wilson on their graduation from basic patrol K9 school, which includes training on conducting building and area searches, advanced obedience and tracking!” [Twitter]
Yorktown Hockey Is Undefeated — “With blowout victories in their final two matches, the Yorktown Patriots completed their first undefeated regular season since 2003 with a 10-0 record in high-school club ice hockey. In its final match, Yorktown blanked Flint Hill, 10-1.” [Sun Gazette]
High School Hoops Update — “Two Arlington teams advanced to the semifinals and another lost in first-round action of the girls and boys 6D North Region high-school basketball tournaments the night of Feb. 22. Moving on are the Washington-Liberty Generals in boys action and the Yorktown Patriots in girls, each Liberty District tournament champions. The Wakefield Warriors (11-10) had their season end with a first-round 69-56 loss to the host Madison Warhawks in a boys game.” [Sun Gazette]
Va. ABC Removes Russian Vodka — “In the spirit of Gov. Youngkin’s call for decisive action in support of Ukraine, Virginia ABC is removing 7 Russian-sourced vodka brands from our store shelves. Russian-themed brands not produced in Russia like Stolichnaya and Smirnoff will not be removed.” [Twitter, Axios]
Nearby: Bailey’s Xroads Arson Suspect Sought — “Fire investigators are seeking the public’s help in identifying a person of interest related to a fire that occurred on Tuesday, February 22, at approximately 6:30 a.m., in the 5600 block of Columbia Pike.” [Twitter, Fairfax County Fire/Rescue]
It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 43 and low of 31. Sunrise at 6:43 am and sunset at 6:01 pm. [Weather.gov]
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.
(Updated 4:25 p.m.) Symplicity, a Clarendon-based company that helps college students find jobs and internships, is expanding its international presence.
This month, the company announced its third international acquisition in five years: Canadian company Orbis, a technology platform that connects university students with job and internship opportunities. Symplicity bought Australia-based CareerHub, an online career services platform, in 2017 and Brazil-based Contratanet, the country’s largest network of job portals for students, in 2018.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” CEO Matt Small tells ARLnow. “Together, we have most of the universities in Canada.”
Small oversaw all these acquisitions, which add to Symplicity’s growing career services platform — one of its eight solutions for institutions that range from student conduct to academic advising. In the last five years, he says, the company has simplified and improved the quality of these solutions and boosted sales to and renewal rates with universities. Today, the company has more than 2,000 college and university clients in more than 35 countries.
“We’ve been growing by leaps and bounds and have ben wonderfully successful,” he said.
That growth is happening amid a reportedly unsteady job market for college graduates due to the pandemic. Small says more colleges and universities are making employability a top priority, as hiring rates still flag for Gen Z graduates and as student loan debt deepens. He adds that institutions leaned on Symplicity in new ways when universities, and all the services they provide, had to go virtual.
But the chief problem for graduates and universities alike — a skills gap between higher education and industry — predates and has been exacerbated by the pandemic, Small says. When polled, he says, universities would say their students were ready for work, while heads of student recruiting would say students weren’t ready.
“They weren’t talking to each other: employers preferred three years work experience, so they didn’t have to train workers in the actual job,” he said. “Having right major and good grades wasn’t enough to do the job.”
He tells students to get to the career center “early and often” to map out what work studies, internships or volunteer programs they can complete and which technology platforms they can master concurrent to their four years of classes. Symplicity placed 450,000 students in internships in the last 12 months.
“It just makes you much more marketable when you graduate,” he said.
Small was tapped in 2016 to work for Symplicity after Miami-based H.I.G. Capital purchased the company. At the time, he was the president of Blackboard International. Symplicity attracted a number of other Blackboard employees and executives, he says.
“I would say we came in and fully professionalized the company and made big product enhancements,” he said.
Two years before Small came on, Symplicity’s founder and then-CEO Ariel Manuel Friedler pleaded guilty to federal computer hacking charges after gaining access to his competitors’ computers in order to steal customer and product design information. Former President Donald Trump pardoned him in February 2020. Symplicity was not charged in the case.
Under the new leadership, Symplicity has also swelled to 300 employees, about a third of whom work from the Clarendon headquarters (3003 Washington Blvd, Suite 900), says Small. The company is actively hiring talent in the software industry.
“I joke that we’re the Ted Lasso of the software industry — everyone here is that level of caring and committed,” he said, referencing the TV show about a college football coach whose charm and optimism win over the English soccer team he is unexpectedly hired to coach.
“We work really hard, but it’s a fun, vibrant culture and a personable place,” he added.
Board OKs More Small Biz Money — “The Arlington County Board voted 5-0 today to approve the Small Business GRANT 2.0 program, which will provide direct financial assistance to small businesses as they continue to recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT 2.0 program will provide immediate funds to businesses and nonprofits to aid in their short-term recovery.” [Arlington County]
Amazon Ramps Up HQ2 Hiring — “That job posting is one of roughly 2,700 openings newly unveiled by Amazon for its HQ2 campus, 99% of which are full-time corporate roles. The slew of new openings was added to the company’s jobs site earlier this week, ahead of Wednesday’s annual Amazon Career Day, held virtually… This is one of the bigger hiring pushes by the tech giant, which disclosed this month that its latest HQ2 employee tally tops 3,000, nearly double its last count in December.” [Washington Business Journal]
Amazon Charts Path to Net Zero Carbon — “Amazon.com Inc.’s design for the second phase of its HQ2 development must be carbon-neutral to comply with both Arlington County’s policy, as well as the tech giant’s own climate pledge to reach that status by 2040… The company’s consultant, Seattle-based Paladino and Co. Inc., found that carbon neutrality is “likely feasible” based on the current PenPlace [HQ2] design.” [Washington Business Journal]
Lots of Locals Want to Work at the Polls — “Arlington has too many people wanting to serve as poll officials in the upcoming election. Way, way too many. About 440 are needed and more than 1,100 expressed interest in serving, said Eric Olsen, Arlington’s deputy registrar. He called it, without hyperbole, ‘an extraordinary amount of interest.'” [Sun Gazette]
Remembering the Alexandria Canal — “The canal was completed in 1843. It roughly followed today’s Metro blue line and South Eads Street in Crystal City. Canal shipping, though interrupted by the Civil War, continued until 1886, by which time, railroads had rendered it obsolete. In modern times, remnants of the Aqueduct Bridge are visible from both the Virginia and Georgetown sides of the Potomac.” [Falls Church News-Press]
There are now more than 3,000 Amazon employees assigned to the company’s HQ2 in Arlington.
That’s more than double the amount of employees this time last year, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
Meanwhile, Amazon is seeking more than 2,500 new corporate employees for a variety of technical and non-tech jobs — another tenth of its stated goal to hire 25,000 employees for its second headquarters. Positions range from software development engineers to financial analysts to “solution architects” in a variety of departments, from Fire TV to Alexa.
Amazon reports it is now the largest job-creator in the U.S. after hiring more than 450,000 people during the pandemic. Across its more than 220 locations in the U.S., it is looking to hire more than 40,000 corporate and tech roles as well as tens of thousands of hourly positions.
And those interested will soon have the chance to engage with Amazon recruiters. The company said it will host a training and recruiting event on Wednesday, Sept. 15 to help current and future employees grow their careers. Starting today (Wednesday), people can register for the free event online.
“The event is designed to support all job seekers, whether they are looking for a new job or hoping to transition to a different career altogether — at Amazon or another company,” Amazon said in a press release. “The event is open to all, regardless of their level of experience, professional field, or background.”
During Career Day last year, Amazon said it saw the highest one-week number of job applications in the history of the company. In 2020, it saw a staggering 30 million applications, nearly double from 2019.
This year, the company will offer more than 20,000 personalized career-coaching sessions with Amazon recruiters, while two senior recruiters will lead a “How to Interview at Amazon” breakout session. Software development engineers will lead coding workshops.
Attendees will hear from Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, who replaced founder Jeff Bezos as chief executive this summer, as well as long-time Amazon executive Dave Clark, New York Times best-selling author David Epstein, and Carla Harris, vice chairman of global wealth management at Morgan Stanley.
Meanwhile, over in Pentagon City, construction continues on Metropolitan Park, the first phase of HQ2 construction, which includes two office buildings dubbed Met Park 6 and 7/8. Construction crews are working on the 10th stories now, Clark Construction employees told visitors to the National Landing Farmers Market on Saturday.
APS Working With Nonprofit on ‘Cultural Competence’ — “This week, RISE, a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, began facilitating interactive workshops with Arlington Public Schools Student-Athlete Advisory Council members and coaches. This is the first in a series of interactive cultural competence workshops that APS and RISE will be providing to athletes and coaches as part of a new partnership.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Northam to Sign Bill at Marymount — “This coming Monday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam will be visiting Marymount University to hold a ceremonial bill signing for House Bill 2123 and Senate Bill 1387. The legislation will make Virginia students eligible for state financial aid if they are eligible for in-state tuition in the fall of 2022, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.” [Press Release]
GOP Candidate Running Against Del. Hope — A Republican challenger has emerged to contest the re-election campaign of Del. Patrick Hope. Laura Hall said she filed paperwork last week. Hall said she would share more publicly when she hears back from the state regarding her filing. A Democratic primary for the delegate’s district did not occur, after the state Board of Elections determined challenger Matt Rogers did not meet a filing deadline. [Twitter]
Metro Changes On the Way — “Rail service will be extended to midnight, seven days a week, in July, and other bus and rail service improvements and fare changes will start being implemented in the Fall, beginning Labor Day weekend, as many in the region prepare to go back to work and school.” [WMATA, DCist]
Domino’s Is Offering a Signing Bonus — The Domino’s Pizza location on Columbia Pike has signs advertising a $500 hiring bonus for new employees, amid a national labor shortage that is hitting restaurants particularly hard. [Twitter]
Video Shows Wrong-Way Driver on I-66 — Updated at 8:20 a.m. — “Scary video footage shows a driver speeding the wrong way on Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia on Thursday morning. Virginia State Police say the driver headed the wrong way on the Capital Beltway and I-66, hit at least one car and set off a wave of 911 calls… The driver finally pulled over in the Rosslyn area because of a flat tire. No information on an arrest or charges was immediately released.” [NBC 4]
Amazon is in the process of hiring for nearly 2,000 open positions in Arlington, while it also reveals new renderings of the planned second phase of its HQ2 in Pentagon City.
Additional renderings of HQ2 Phase 2 were released by the company this morning, showing a conceptual view of “The Forest” plaza from S. Elm Street — including the base of the lush, futuristic “Helix” tower — as well as a view of the S. Fern Street Plaza that will host community events and a number of retail businesses.
The renderings “illustrate a nature-filled, pedestrian-friendly environment for all to enjoy and highlight Amazon’s continued commitment to building a neighborhood rather than a closed-off campus,” a PR rep for the company said. In addition to areas for events, Phase 2 will feature 115,000 square feet of retail and retail equivalent space across its four buildings.
The second phase of the project will be built on the mostly vacant PenPlace site across from its Phase 1 construction site, a block from the Pentagon reservation and the Pentagon City Metro station. The company is still in the process of tearing down the former Residence Inn hotel on the site, which was once considered as a possible location for the Washington Nationals stadium.
As Amazon continues to build, it is also continuing to hire.
“Hiring across Amazon’s Arlington Headquarters is ramping up,” the tech giant said on its blog today. “Amazon is seeking 1,900 new employees for a variety of technical and non-tech jobs — this is the highest number of open positions at HQ2 since the company announced its selection of Arlington, Virginia as its second U.S. headquarters.”
“Currently more than 1,600 corporate Amazon employees call Arlington home,” the blog post adds. “Amazon’s more than $2.5-billion investment in HQ2 and the surrounding area will result in 25,000 Amazon jobs over the next decade, and thousands of indirect jobs across the entire region.”
Open positions in Arlington on Amazon’s jobs website include Alexa SmartHome software developer, Amazon Fresh Store designer, and Amazon Web Services Systems Engineer.
Last month an Amazon official said the company expects that most employees will return to offices after the pandemic, with some flexibility for remote work.
“But there is no substitute for Amazonians being together,” said the official, as quoted by the Washington Business Journal.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn.
Virginia continues to hold its own as a hub for tech talent and jobs, coming in fourth for overall tech jobs and Artificial Intelligence jobs posted in March. Job postings increased enough from February to land the Commonwealth in the sixth, while it ranks eighth for work-from-home positions.
“While Virginia does not rank among the states with the highest tech industry employment growth rates over the past five years, this is largely due to the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia already has a very large tech industry,” Suzanne Clark, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, said. “States that have seen the most spectacular growth in tech industry employment are by and large ones that began with very small tech industries.
Clark said the organization wants to see more economic diversification in the form of more private sector — as opposed to public sector — tech jobs.
“Much of Virginia’s underperformance in tech sector growth is attributable to our over-reliance on the federal government for tech sector jobs,” she said.
Arlington is doing its part to sustain Virginia’s tech job growth, according to Arlington Economic Development. The county’s tech industry is expected to stay ahead of the growth of the tech industry nationwide over the next five years, said Kirby Clark, a spokeswoman for AED.
“Arlington maintains its competitive edge for tech talent with its highly educated workforce, above-average millennial workforce participation, a cluster of higher education institutions and proximity to innovative government agencies,” she said.
Arlington’s tech industry grew by 19.3% from 2015 to 2020, nearly 4% more than the national average. It is expected to grow by 15.6% over the next five years, compared to the expected national growth of 14.7%, the AED spokeswoman said.
Last year, Arlington’s top industries included computer systems services and technical consulting services, sectors she said are poised to continue growing.
Many of the employers with the most job postings in March have headquarters or prominent outposts in Arlington: business and tech consulting group Deloitte has a space in Rosslyn, Amazon is moving into its HQ2 in Pentagon City, consulting group Accenture has three spaces in the county, including a cybersecurity center, while another consulting group, ICF International, has an outpost in Crystal City.
The local Deloitte office is also driving a 361-position increase in AI jobs in Arlington, with its recent announcement that it will launch a new AI research center to advance federal work, Clark said.
“Demand for AI professionals has grown substantially since 2017, when there were 165 total AI jobs posted in Arlington,” she said. “Fast-forward to 2020, there were 1,172 AI jobs posted in Arlington.”
The VEDP spokeswoman said the demand for people with AI skills in Virginia during the past year was more than twice the national average.
Nationwide, thousands of tech jobs are remote opportunities, and Kirby Clark said AED is dedicated to ensuring Arlington remains an attractive place to work from home.
“Many employers intend to adopt a hybrid work model following the pandemic, making Arlington well-positioned to remain a hub for companies by enabling them to offer an attractive home and work environment in a single setting,” Clark said. “Whether working at an office or home, Arlington will continue to provide an outstanding quality of life that attracts people to live here.”
The VEDP spokeswoman, meanwhile, said the organization expects hybrid to be the new norm as well, which could help lift up the state as a whole, not just its large metro areas.
“Capitalizing on tech telework positions is also an important opportunity for rural and small metro regions that might not have been first in line to land tech jobs in the past,” Clark said.
Charts via CompTIA