Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

A Few Flakes Expected Tonight — “In the evening, precipitation will probably take the form of scattered snow showers over most of the region, ending before midnight. Little to no accumulation is expected.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter/@NWS_BaltWash]

Kudos to the Leaf Collectors — “Hats of to these guys. Leaf collectors jumping out of their truck to help my elderly neighbor rake her leaves.” [Twitter/@KathieNotnow]

Heavy Traffic at DCA — Sunday, which was said to be the busiest travel day of the year, saw big backups on the roads at and around Reagan National Airport. [Twitter/@LukeBerndt, Twitter/@EvanLambertTV]

Arlington Seeking Park Ranger — “Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) currently has a vacancy for Park Ranger… Park Rangers patrol designated Arlington County Parks; provide visitor information and programming services; support other County programs (maintenance, sports, recreation); and… help ensure park security and visitor safety.” [Washington Post]

Yorktown Falls in Regional Final — “It was no easy path for the Yorktown Patriots finishing second in the region tournament. After a five-point first-round victory, third-seeded Yorktown (11-2) knocked off the host and second-seed Madison Warhawks, 25-10, in the semifinals. Then Nov. 30, Yorktown fell to the juggernaut, top seed, host and undefeated Westfield Bulldogs, 35-7, in the 6D North Region Tournament high-school football title game.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Dorsey in Trouble With Metro BoardUpdated at 10 a.m. — “Metro board member Christian Dorsey to return $10,000 donation from ATU Local 689, the main Metro union, and be reprimanded and removed as chairman of Metro finance committee.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

South Arlington Pupatella Now Hiring — “Official Job Fair at Pupatella South Arlington — 1621 South Walter Reed Drive — Thursday, Nov 7 thru Saturday, Nov 9 between 10am and 4pm – All positions available (kitchen and front of house).” [Twitter]

JBG May Hold Off on Crystal City Office Building — “Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters is expected to generate additional demand for office space in Crystal City and Pentagon City, but for now… the Chevy Chase developer does not plan to start construction on the Crystal City office building without enough commitments from future tenants.” [Washington Business Journal]

Robbery on Columbia Pike — “The suspect then walked around the counter and confronted the victim, implied he had a weapon, and demanded the merchandise. The suspect fled the scene with the merchandise prior to police arrival.” [Arlington County]

Ballston Company Partnering With Google — “AES Corporation and Google have entered into a 10-year strategic alliance which they hope will speed up the expansion and adoption of clean energy. In an announcement Wednesday, the Arlington, Virginia headquartered power firm said it would leverage ‘Google Cloud technology to pioneer innovation in the sector.'” [CNBC]

Arlington Blvd Bus Stop Temporarily Closed — “4A riders: The stop on Arlington Blvd at S. Highland St will close on 11/6 for two weeks. Customers may board/exit at an adjacent stop.” [Twitter, WMATA]

Nearby: Beyer to Host Impeachment Town Hall — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) “is planning to talk impeachment at a town hall meeting later this month. [Beyer] announced today that he will be holding the event on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 7-8:30 p.m., at the T.C. Williams High School auditorium.” [ALXnow]

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) Arlington’s culinary school La Cocina is planning to add a cafe and a business incubator — as well as triple the number of students it teaches.

The bilingual non-profit donates healthy meals and trains Hispanic immigrants for culinary jobs. But now La Cocina is planning to move from the basement of a church near Ballston to a 5,000-square-foot space in the affordable Gilliam Place housing development at 3507 Columbia Pike, where the organization’s CEO and Founder Patricia Funegra says La Cocina will help residents cook up new businesses.

“We call it the zero-barriers training and entrepreneurship center,” Funegra told ARLnow today. “The new center will triple our capacity.”

For the last two years, she said she’s worked to raise money ($2.5 million so far) for the new space where La Cocina will continue training residents for culinary jobs — but also rent out its kitchen space and offer micro-lending to low-income entrepreneurs looking to start their own food businesses.

Funegra says the plan is also to launch a “pop-up cafe” with space for 40 seats where these burgeoning business owners can sell their offerings.

Also planned for the new space is an in-house catering business to help pull in revenue for the nonprofit.

The kitchen space itself will include six to eight prep tables and industrial ovens, fridges, and a walk-in freezer. All together, she hopes to quadruple the number of students a year from around 30 to 120.

“We are moving from a workforce development nonprofit in the food service to becoming producer of food,” Funegra said of the ambitious plans. “So there is some learning process we are going through as well.”

Funegra also hopes the new location on Columbia Pike will also allow Cocina to better reach low-income individuals who need access to healthy meals. She said the organization’s existing food donation program has given out 12,000 such meals, but they hope to give out 40,000 in the new location thanks to the bigger space and larger staff.

Currently, Cocina employs six full-time staffers. It now plans to hire another six come January, including cooks, a manager of operations for the cafe and catering service, and a social worker.

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Amazon is now listing more than 300 open positions in Arlington on its jobs website.

After hovering in the double digits for much of the year since hiring began in April, the number has been quickly increasing, though it includes both jobs at Amazon’s new, temporary HQ2 in Crystal City and at an existing office in Ballston.

The top job categories listed are mostly technical in nature, including:

  • Software development (113 jobs)
  • Sales, advertising and account management (54 jobs)
  • Systems, quality and security engineering (28 jobs)
  • Project/program/product management-technical (22 jobs)
  • Solutions architect (22 jobs)

Amazon has repeatedly said it is hoping to hire 400 people to work at its new headquarters by the end of the year. There seems to be no shortage of interest — thousands attended an Amazon job fair in September and a poll found that three-quarters of IT workers in the region would consider jumping ship to Amazon.

The Amazon jobs website says the tech giant is “looking to foster a sense of place for our teams and community residents” at HQ2. The website encourages applicants to “come build the future with us.”

Amazon selected Arlington, Virginia as the location for its second headquarters. Amazon will invest $2.5 billion dollars, occupy 4 million square feet of energy efficient office space, and create at least 25,000 new full-time jobs. Our employees and the neighboring community will also benefit from the associated investments from the Commonwealth including infrastructure updates, public transportation improvements, and new access to Reagan National Airport.

By working together on behalf of our customers, we are building the future one innovative product, service, and idea at a time. Are you ready to embrace the challenge? Come build the future with us.

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(Updated at 5:25 p.m) Amazon drew an overflow crowd to its Crystal City career fair this morning as people vied for the 30,000 jobs Amazon recently announced it’s hiring nationwide, including at its new HQ2 in Arlington.

At last minute, the company tacked on extra hours to the event, which was one of six job fairs Amazon held as it looks to fill 30,000 jobs nationally — including 1,600 jobs in Virginia and 400 in Arlington. The fair was held at The Grounds at S. Eads Street and 12th Street S. today (Tuesday), leading applicants toting resumes to line up along 12th Street almost to the Route 1 overpass.

“I would say that we are incredibly pleased, and humbled, by the response from the community, ” said Amazon’s Vice President of People Operations, Ardine Williams. “I’m not sure what we expected but it’s what we hoped for. This is just amazing.”

Around noon Williams offered tips about interviewing for the company’s jobs (show leadership), writing resumes (be specific), and what the company culture was like (permits failure) in an on-stage conversation with Linda Thomas, a former Seattle journalist who now leads in-house content creation for Amazon.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about what we’re doing to ensure that there is a pipeline of talent. We came to Arlington because of the talent,” Williams said.

The head of hiring noted that the D.C. area’s universities were a big part of that pool and the company’s strategy for thinking of the 25,000 people it plans to hire for its new headquarters over the course of the next 10 years.

Thomas touted promotional videos throughout the event, which showcased Amazon’s decision to raise its minimum hourly wage to $15 last year for all workers, after facing criticism for the conditions in its warehouses.

Some job seekers at the Crystal City fair today wore fitted suits with ties knotted four in hand, while others chose more casual attire — with one job seeker wearing cargo shorts and a Nirvana t-shirt.

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Arlington is one of six locations where Amazon is holding an “Amazon Career Day” next week.

The tech and retail giant is seeking to fill some 30,000 open positions — including around 75 at Amazon’s growing second headquarters in Arlington.

The company noted on the page for its Arlington jobs event that it already had a sizable presence in the Commonwealth prior to HQ2.

“In Virginia, Amazon has created more than 10,000 full-time jobs and we’re excited to create even more,” the page says. “Arlington is the new home of our second headquarters and we have plans to create 25,000 new jobs here over the next 12 years. We also have over two dozen customer fulfillment facilities, wind farms and retail locations throughout the state, and tens of thousands of authors, small and medium sized businesses, and developers growing their businesses using Amazon products and services.”

Previously, a company spokesperson said Amazon was on track to hire 400 HQ2 employees by the end of the year.

The career fair is scheduled to take place at The Grounds in Crystal City, at 1102 S. Eads Street, from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. It will include talks from Amazon leaders and information about working at the company.

Any interested member of the public is invited to attend. Amazon says recruiters will be on hand but they will not be conducting interviews or taking applications at the event.

More from a press release, after the jump.

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Amazon is on track to meet its hiring goals for 2019, according to a spokesperson.

This spring, the tech and retail giant said it would hire 400 people for its new headquarters in Arlington by the end of the year, and that remains the company’s target. A spokesperson told ARLnow this week that Amazon had hired a “small handful” of people since starting the process in April, but declined to share exactly how many.

The spokesperson did point to Amazon’s public HQ2 job listings, which currently number around 50.

We plan to hire people who live here to reduce the impact on the region,” said the spokesperson. “We will continue to share our growth plans with the County so they can work to ensure inclusive growth within the community.”

So far employees have been hired for roles working with Amazon’s consumer teams, its Amazon Web Services cloud platform, and its Alexa virtual assistant.

County officials previously said Amazon’s hiring process is designed to not overwhelm the county with its eventual goal of ushering 25,000 employees into offices in Crystal City and Pentagon City.

“This is not going to feel like a tsunami of new people on our streets or kids in our schools,” Board member Katie Cristol said at the time.

When asked, the spokesperson said Amazon does not provide recommendations on where new employees can find housing in the D.C. area. The company also does not provide housing recommendations in Seattle.

“Access to housing is a concern in communities throughout the U.S., including Arlington,” said the spokesperson, alluding to the county’s struggle with affordable housing. “One of the things that drew us to this location was the plans the County and the Commonwealth have in place to address this issue.”

Also this week, Amazon unveiled colorful details for its planned 2.1 million-square-foot permanent HQ2 in Pentagon City.

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Morning Notes

VDOT Repaving Planned This Month — “Upcoming @VaDOTNOVA night paving into August: Glebe Road, Spout Run Parkway, Washington Boulevard, Route 1 aka Richmond Highway aka the roadway formerly known as Jefferson Davis. Dates tentative, subject to change.” [Twitter]

ACPD Still Not Meeting Staffing Goal — The Arlington County Police Department has, on net, added a few new officers over the past year. But staffing challenges remain, echoing challenges for police departments across the region: ACPD currently has 352 officers despite a staffing goal of 374 officers. [NBC 4]

Arlington Hiring Public Safety Positions — Arlington County is currently hiring school crossing guards and 911 dispatchers.

Lee Highway Apartment Complex Sold — “A 50-year-old apartment complex along Route 29 in Arlington County has traded hands for the first time in 20 years. Connecticut-based Westport Capital Partners, through the entity WM MF Horizons Property LLC, acquired the Horizons Apartments from an entity connected to Dweck Properties to in a deal that closed June 26 for $71M, Arlington County property records show.” [Bisnow]

Rosslyn-Based Firm Buys Clyde’s — “It’s official: Clyde’s Restaurant Group, a 56-year-old institution in Greater Washington’s restaurant scene, is now a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Co. Graham, which is led by members of the Graham family that formerly owned The Washington Post, did not disclose a sale price.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: More People Biking in Alexandria — “More than halfway through this summer’s Blue and Yellow Line shutdown… bicycle volume [has] almost doubled on the Metro Linear Trail, a smaller, along-rail trail which connects the King Street and Braddock Road stations.” [DCist]

Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak

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Morning Notes

Talento Selected as School Board Chair — “The Arlington School Board held its annual organizational meeting for the 2019-20 school year and elected Tannia Talento as Chair and Monique O’Grady as Vice Chair. The terms for the new Chair and Vice Chair begin immediately and will continue until June 30, 2020.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Which Amazon Units Are Coming to HQ2 — “We’re still a pretty long way from knowing what the estimated 25,000 workers at Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters will do, but a top company executive has named three units that will be represented in Arlington: Alexa, Amazon Web Services and Amazon’s consumer division.” [Washington Business Journal]

Private Sector Job Growth in Arlington — Arlington County’s private employment grew by nearly 20,000 jobs, or about 17%, between 2010 and 2018, according to the D.C. Policy Center. [Twitter]

Arlington Winners at the RAMMYs — Ambar in Clarendon captured the Service Program of the Year award at the 2019 RAMMYs over the weekend. The distinction of Chef of the Year at the D.C. area restaurant industry award show, meanwhile, went to Kyle Bailey of The Salt Line, which is opening a location in Ballston. [Washington Business Journal]

APS Testing New Visitor System — “Summertime will bring a security pilot program to a number of Arlington’s public schools, with a full roll-out of the initiative slated throughout the system in the fall. The new visitor-management system to be tested at five sites during the summer will require visitors, volunteers and contractors to provide specific photo identification, and their identities will then be checked against state and federal sex-offender registries.” [InsideNova]

ACFD Holds ‘Camp Heat’ — “Camp Heat, put on by the Arlington County Fire Department, concluded Friday night. During this week-long immersion into firefighting, campers learned everything from running hoses to breaking down doors to working on water rescue techniques. All the campers are young women, 15 to 18 years old.” [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Morning Notes

Overturned Vehicle on GW Parkway — “The northbound George Washington Parkway was closed [past Key Bridge] during Tuesday morning’s rush hour after a vehicle overturned, authorities said… The southbound side of the parkway was also affected.” [Washington Post]

Transgender Policy Discussion at School Board Meeting — “Students, parents and advocates packed the [Arlington school] board meeting to loudly back [a transgender non-discrimination] plan, waving miniature LGBT and transgender pride flags to signal agreement with the nearly three dozen speakers who proclaimed support… Supporters on Tuesday vastly outnumbered those who turned out to protest the plans.” [Washington Post]

Good Samaritan Murder Trial — “The Good Samaritan who intervened to try to stop a sexual assault in Arlington last fall was beaten so badly it was impossible to tell what killed him, a medical examiner testified Monday.” [Washington Post]

Feds Giving Grant to DCA — “Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International both will see millions in funding from the FAA for improvements. DCA is slated to get $4,921,500 in funding.” [WUSA 9, Press Release]

ACFD Chief Battalion Honored — “Chief Wesley was recognized at the event for being the #first #AfricanAmericanWoman Battalion Chief not only in @ArlingtonVA but also the entire Northern Virginia region.” [Twitter]

Amazon HQ2 Jobs Update — There are currently 63 positions listed on Amazon’s HQ2 jobs page, many of them technical. Recently listed job titles include “Region Build Technical Program Manager,” “Full Stack Software Development Engineer” and “Systems Development Manager, Cloud Computing Operations.” [Amazon]

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Morning Notes

Goldstein Fends Off Challenger — “Incumbent School Board Chair Reid Goldstein emerged as the victor Saturday night in the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s [School Board endorsement] caucus… Goldstein received 1,231 votes out of 1,999 ballots counted, or 61.6%… Challenger David Priddy received 763 votes.” [Arlington Democrats]

Car Runs Off Glebe Road Into Ditch — “At 1:54pm Sunday, units were called for a car off the road in 4500 blk of N Glebe Rd. Crews were able to walk 1 patient out with minor injuries. Patient was transported to local hospital while Hazmat team worked to contain leaking fluids. Please watch your speed on the wet roads.” [Twitter]

Del. Hope Not a PAC Man — Del. Patrick Hope (D) has joined a group of Democratic state Senators in announcing “their intention to introduce legislation in the 2020 General Assembly legislative session to limit excessive campaign contributions from influencing Virginia elections.” The proposed bill is in response to a PAC contributing nearly $1 million to the commonwealth’s attorney primaries in Arlington and Fairfax. [Blue Virginia]

New Additions to Amazon HQ2 Job Page — There are now 47 open jobs listed on Amazon’s HQ2 jobs page. Among the positions Amazon is hiring for in Arlington are hardware, system and software development engineers; recruiters; and numerous Alexa-related technical positions. [Amazon]

Middle School Project Running Behind — “It might be a little cramped for the first few months as students settle in at Arlington’s Dorothy Hamm Middle School… County school officials have known for months that the expansion of the school won’t be ready for occupancy when classes begin in September… On its website, the school system now pegs completion of the expansion at next March.” [InsideNova]

Wardian Places Third in Horse Race — “Mike Wardian, 45, of Arlington, Va. did not succeed at outrunning all the horses at the 40th anniversary of Whole Earth Man v. Horse Marathon in Wales yesterday, but he did pretty well nonetheless, placing third among the humans and finishing in 2:34:03.” [Trail Running]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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