Oracle Acquiring Opower — Updated at 9:55 a.m. — Technology giant Oracle is acquiring Arlington-based Opower in a $548 million cash deal. Opower recently went through a round of layoffs. [Reuters, Oracle]
Clarendon Z-Burger to Get New Name — The Z-Burger location in Clarendon will be rebranded soon as part of a legal settlement between the founder and the former partners in the business. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Unemployment Remains Lowest in Va. — Arlington’s unemployment rate ticked up by a tenth of a percent in March, but remained the lowest in Virginia. The county’s unemployment rate is currently 2.7 percent, with just under 4,000 residents looking for work while 142,000 are employed. [InsideNova]
Foggy Morning Commute — Arlington and much of the region was under a Dense Fog Advisory this morning. [Weather Channel]
Arlington Unemployment Down — The unemployment rate for Arlington County residents fell below 3 percent in April. The jobless rate fell to 2.9 percent from 3.1 percent in March. Arlington has the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia. [InsdeNova]
Office Vacancy Still Rising — The office vacancy rate in Arlington rose to 21.7 percent during the first quarter of 2015. That’s up from 20.5 percent one year prior. [InsideNova]
Evolent Health IPO — Updated at 9:45 a.m. — Ballston-based Evolent Health is completing its initial public stock offering. The software company is raising about $195 million at a price of $17 per share. Public trading of ticker symbol EVH on the New York Stock Exchange is expected to begin today (Friday). [DC Inno, Venture Beat]
Beyer Speaks Out Against Metro Cuts — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and a group of eight other D.C. area members of Congress have joined to oppose Republican-proposed cuts to WMATA. “We saw earlier this week at Memorial Bridge what happens when Congress abdicates its responsibility to fund our nation’s infrastructure,” Beyer said in a press release. “Now is not the time to back out of our commitment to the national capital metro system. For the safety of all the thousands of tourists, commuters, and federal employees that ride it every day, Metro has to improve. Bleeding the system dry with shortsighted reckless funding cuts is no way to do that.” [U.S. House of Representatives]
Arlington Loses Lowest Unemployment Crown — Arlington’s years-long streak of having the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia has ended. In November Falls Church had the lowest jobless rate, at 3 percent, to 3.1 percent for Arlington. Statewide, Virginia’s unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent in October to 4.5 percent in November. [InsideNova]
Arlington Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking — Arlington resident Anthony Tatum, 36, has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, money laundering and other related crimes, according to federal prosecutors.Tatum and a co-conspirator were accused of distributing cocaine and heroin, primarily in Maryland. Tatum, who agreed to forfeit $108 million in cash, vehicles, jewelry and other items, reportedly lived in a Pentagon City apartment building. [Patch]
Pinkberry to Close? — The future of Arlington’s Pinkberry frozen yogurt store is uncertain. The local Pinkberry franchisee has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. The franchisee, which has stores in D.C., National Harbor, Clarendon and elsewhere in Northern Virginia, cited debts of more than $1.2 million in the filing. Those debts include $44,121 in back taxes owed to Arlington County. [Washington Business Journal]
Wardian Sets New Record — Arlington resident Michael Wardian, 40, has set a new world record for the fastest indoor 50K. Wardian covered the distance in 3:06:07 at a 200-meter indoor track in Hagerstown, Md. That shatters his former world record, of 3:12:13, set at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington. [Herald-Mail]
Arlington Native Releases Music Video — Arlington-born rapper C-Luv has released a new music video for his track “Grind.” The video features scenes shot around Arlington, including in a skatepark, Wakefield High School and in the Nauck neighborhood. [YouTube – NSFW]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Eliminating the stigma against technical education will help young Virginians get better jobs, Sen. Tim Kaine said at a panel discussion Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol, where two Arlington teachers spoke about their successes in the field.
Young people can get better-paying jobs if the perception of high school job-skills courses is changed from an option for failing students to a smart choice, Kaine said. The discussion was held by the national education coalition Advocates for Literacy and the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, of which Kaine is co-chair.
“This big-picture goal which our caucus is related to is de-stigmatizing [career and technical education] and making it really hot, sexy and cool,” he said. “Technical education is coming back strong and it’s something we can celebrate.”
Jeffrey Elkner and Sean Kinnard, both teachers at the Arlington Public Schools-run Arlington Career Center, described how giving youth practical skills motivates them.
“Students who would be turned off otherwise make real-world connections,” said Elkner, who teaches math and information technology at the career center. Located at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive, the school trains more than 1,100 students a day in programs including animal science, cosmetology and automotive technology.
Kinnard spoke about a teen from Afghanistan who was disengaged in ordinary high school classes but had a passion for cars. After participating in the school’s two-year auto tech program, the teen now works for a Mercedes dealer.
“The program got him the industry credentials he needed to get his job,” said Kinnard, who teaches English as a Second Language.
Kaine described a disconnect between job seekers’ skills and the positions available.
“There’s a mismatch right now between the unemployment rate and positions going unfilled, and what that means is we’re not training people in the right skills,” he said. “[Career and technical education] is probably the best thing you can do to realign that so the skills match up with the needs.”
The junior senator introduced on Wednesday the Middle School Technical Education Program Act, which would encourage middle school students to explore technical career options and provide access to apprenticeships.
Arlington Tied for Lowest Unemployment in Va. — Though it once held the title by itself, Arlington is now tied for the lowest jobless rate in Virginia. Arlington and the city of Falls Church both had a jobless rate of 3.2 percent in April. [InsideNova]
Police Release Photos of Burglary Suspect — The Arlington County Police Department has released surveillance photos of a suspect accused of stealing a laptop computer from an office in Ballston. [Arlington County]
CNBC Broadcasts from Crystal City — CNBC broadcast a live shot from Crystal City yesterday morning. The network’s real estate reporter, Diana Olick, profiled the new $50 million Crystal Tech Fund, its collaborative workspace and founder Paul Singh. [CNBC]
Arlington Was Home to the Original Twitter — Arlington residents had access to Twitter as early as the 1950s. Well, perhaps not all residents — mostly Henry Clay Elementary School students. Twitter was the name of the Clarendon-based school’s newspaper, copies of which are now available for review at Arlington Central Library. [Preservation Arlington]
Rockville Gets Its Own Remy — Local comedian-rapper Remy now has some regional competition for his Arlington Rap. An artist going by the name “Rockville Slim” has created a “Rockville Rap.” [Washington City Paper]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Metro Proposes Loop Line — Metro officials are considering a proposal for establishing a loop line between Arlington and the District. The line would include a new cross-Potomac River connection between Arlington and Georgetown in D.C., plus new stations near Rosslyn and the Pentagon in Arlington, and in Georgetown, Logan Circle and East Potomac Park in D.C. However, the plan also eliminates the direct Yellow Line connection between Arlington and downtown D.C. [Greater Greater Washington]
Unemployment Rises in Arlington — The unemployment rate in Arlington rose from 3.7 percent in August to 3.9 percent in October. However, Arlington’s unemployment rate remains the lowest in the Commonwealth of Virginia. [Sun Gazette]
Man Attacks Officer Across From Police Station — A 48-year-old homeless man is accused of assaulting a police officer across from Arlington County police headquarters in Courthouse. Police say the man was “shouting profanity” and “chasing after people” before the alleged scuffle with police. [Patch]
Prince Harry to Visit Arlington — Britain’s Prince Harry will be in the U.S. for six days in May, and Arlington is among his stops. His trip includes a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where he will pay respects to those killed in recent conflicts. Prince Harry will also stop at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit wounded warriors, and Capitol Hill to see an exhibition on clearing landmines. [Reuters, Washingtonian]
Tea Party Calls for Action Against “Soviet” Arlington — The streetcar town hall meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday) is drumming up a lot of attention, including a post in the Northern Virginia Tea Party Newsletter. It posted “A Letter from behind the lines in Soviet Arlington,” calling on streetcar opponents to attend the meeting to demonstrate against what it calls “the county board’s pet streetcar project.” [Blue Virginia]
Arlington Unemployment Sees January Increase — The county’s unemployment rate experienced a bump up from December to January, rising from 3.3 percent to 3.9 percent. Figures released last week show there were nearly 131,200 Arlington residents in the civilian workforce in January, with more than 5,300 looking for work. Such unemployment bumps are not unexpected following the holidays, and also occurred in the surrounding areas of Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Alexandria and Prince William County. Arlington still has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, with the exception of the town of Leesburg (3.7 percent) which is not included in the rankings. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore
Man Busted for Meth Lab Worked for USA Today — One of the men arrested in connection with a suspected meth lab in a Virginia Square apartment building used to be a journalist who was regularly published in USA Today. Leonard Fischer, 44, was formerly a technology reporter for Gannett News Service. [Jim Romenesko, Kenneth in the 212]
Arlington Unemployment Rate Declines — Arlington still has the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia. Arlington’s jobless rate dipped from 3.7 percent in June to 3.5 percent in July, according to newly-released data. The average in Virginia is 6 percent, and the national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. [Sun Gazette]
Outdoor Movie Lineup Announced — Crystal City’s lineup of outdoor movies for 2013 has been announced. The series — with the theme of “Blockbusters” — will kick of with E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial on June 3, 2013 and will wrap up with Jurassic Park on Aug. 26, 2013. The lineup was chosen via online vote by members of the public. [Crystal City]
Support for the Pike Streetcar — A Greater Greater Washington writer opines that “Columbia Pike’s proposed streetcar line will help revitalize one of Arlington county’s busiest corridor.” Ryan Arnold writes: “[The streetcar is] the latest chapter in the decades-long story of Arlington’s coordination of land-use and transit planning to develop successful communities.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Unemployment Rate Dips — Arlington County’s unemployment rate is now 3.1 percent, down from 3.5 percent a month prior. Arlington’s rate is the lowest in Virginia and compares to the state’s overall unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. [Sun Gazette]
Bond Rating Reaffirmed — Fitch Ratings has reaffirmed Arlington’s AAA bond rating, the highest rating possible. “Arlington recognizes the importance of the AAA rating, and our financial policies help ensure that it will be maintained,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement. “Having the highest possible rating allows us to continue making critical capital investments at the lowest possible cost to residents and businesses.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Around 11:30 a.m. the President arrived at the fire station via motorcade and took the stage to announce his new $1 billion initiative, which he highlighted during the State of the Union address last month. The program particularly targets veterans who have served since 9/11 — a group whose unemployment rate is currently hovering around 13 percent.
“Our veterans are some of the most highly trained, highly educated, highly skilled workers that we’ve got,” said the President. “These are Americans that every business should be competing to attract.”
Under the initiative, 20,000 veterans will be put to work over the next five years on a Veterans Job Corps conservation program, which will “restore our great outdoors by providing visitor programs, restoring habitat, protecting cultural resources, eradicating invasive species, and operating facilities,” according to the White House. The corps will also “repair and rehabilitate trails, roads, levees, recreation facilities and other assets.”
In addition to the Veterans Job Corps, the president announced that he will seek $5 billion in funding to boost local police and firefighter hiring. Preference for those jobs would be given to post-9/11 veterans.
“Let’s get more cops on the beat. Let’s gets more rangers in the parks. Let’s get more firefighters on call,” Obama said today. “And, in the process, we’re going to put more veterans back to work. It’s good for our communities, it’s good for our economy, and it’s good for our country.”
The president explained that in addition to contributing to the overall good of communities, there will be specific financial benefits for taking part in the initiative.
“Today, we’re announcing that communities who make it a priority to recruit veterans will be among the first in line when it comes to getting help from the federal government,” the president said.
Arlington may have the Virginia’s lowest unemployment rate, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t residents who are still looking for jobs.
Case in point: today’s Arlington Employment Center Fall Career Fair, which has already drawn more than 700 job seekers to the employment center’s new offices at 2100 Washington Boulevard.
The career fair, which runs through 2:00 p.m., is the largest such event the county-run employment center has ever held. The center, which has mostly focused on job events featuring one or two employers, brought in nearly two dozen employers for today’s event. Among the organizations represented were Geico, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Virginia Hospital Center, Gaylord Hotels and Trader Joe’s.
Arlington Employment Center managers are hoping to be able to organize more job fairs like this in the future.
“Our job is to get people back to work,” said employment center director Howard Feldstein, who called today’s event “a huge success.”
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)
Black Friday Is a Bust at Ballston Common Mall — While other suburban shopping malls were inundated with shoppers on Friday, traditionally one of the biggest days of the year for retailers in terms of foot traffic, Ballston Common Mall was about as crowded as it normally is on a Friday afternoon (not very). “The best thing here is Rock Bottom,” one shopper explained to Ballston Patch.
Farmers Market For Westover? — A community meeting will be held at the Westover library next month to discuss the possible formation of a farmers market this spring. More from the Sun Gazette.
Arlington Has Region’s Lowest Unemployment — Once again Arlington is leading the D.C. area jobs-wise. Arlington’s unemployment rate currently stands at a remarkably low 3.9 percent. Alexandria and Loudoun County share the title for second-lowest unemployment in the region, with 4.5 percent. More from WTOP.
Another Froyo Place Coming to Arlington — The R-B corridor will have an abundance of frozen yogurt options next year. A D.C.-based, self-serve yogurt shop called FroZenYo is planning to open stores in Rosslyn and Ballston in 2011. It’s also planning on opening a store in Crystal City. More from TBD.
Flickr pool photo by Team Rank
Arlington’s unemployment rate dipped 0.1 percent to 4.1 percent in August, easily maintaining the county’s distinction of having the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia.
By contrast, the unemployment rate statewide remained steady at 7.0 percent, Alexandria increased slightly from 4.9 to 5.0 percent, and Fairfax County decreased slightly from 5.0 to 4.9 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate dipped 0.2 percent to 9.5 percent.
The local data was released this morning by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Unemployment Steady in Va., Down in Arlington — Arlington has kept its crown as the locality with the lowest unemployment in Virginia. The unemployment rate in Arlington fell slightly in July, from 4.3 percent to 4.2 percent. Unemployment remained steady statewide, while rising in 8 out of 14 of the state’s metro areas.
Few Foreclosures For Sale in Arlington — Local Realtor Laura Rubinchuk reports that there are only 17 foreclosed homes for sale, out of the hundreds of homes on the market in Arlington. She compiled a list of the foreclosures here.
Half of Planned Park on Hold — A delay in the redevelopment of a small shopping area next to the new Penrose Square on Columbia Pike is forcing Arlington County to consider building only half of a planned 3/4 acre public park. Construction of the park is still a ways away, though. It’s not expected to start until mid-2011. Much, much more (1,000+ words worth) from TBD.