Business News from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority – June 28

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Talk of Tysons

Virginia Ranked No. 1 in Nation for Customized Workforce Training

Virginia is ranked No. 1 in the nation for Customized Workforce Training in the 20th annual Business Facilities Rankings Report, the second year in a row that the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program has earned the No. 1 recognition. Business Facilities is a national publication that has been a leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years. The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program has helped to secure more than 13,000 jobs across Virginia since the program commenced operations.

“The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program enhances Virginia’s competitiveness to win major projects and is often the deciding factor on investment in Virginia,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Virginia is building workforce talent for the future through education, attracting talent across the country through measures like universal licensing legislation, and customizing skills to the needs of companies. Virginians are joining the workforce in record numbers and it’s critically important to ensure our workforce development matches the needs of today while building a workforce for the future.”

“Virginia’s talent advantage is powered by best-in-class programs like the Virginia Talent Accelerator,” added Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “This recognition reinforces that Virginia is a reliable, sustainable business partner, and sends the message that we are the clear choice for new investment.”

The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program is a workforce initiative created by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Governor’s administration and the Virginia General Assembly. The program accelerates new facility startups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

“The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program is a primary reason why so many companies choose to invest in Virginia instead of any other state,” said VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi. “Virginia’s customized approach is unique to each company’s needs. We determine priorities in close collaboration with company leaders and then deliver truly customized recruitment and training services to ensure their operation is successful from the startup phase to full operation. I’m proud that, once again, Business Facilities has recognized that Virginia has the best customized workforce training program in the country and salute Mike Grundmann and the entire Talent Accelerator team for their dedication and impact in earning this distinction for the second year in a row.”

Click here for more information on the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program.

Firefly Aerospace Adds Launch Capability on Wallops Island, Virginia

Firefly Aerospace, a space transportation company based in Cedar Park, Texas, announced it is adding an Alpha launch capability at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia. In support of Firefly’s responsive space missions, Pad-0A will be configured to launch Alpha as early as 2025 in addition to Antares 330 and the Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV) Firefly is co-developing with Falls Church-area based Northrop Grumman.

“Firefly is committed to establishing a regular on-demand launch service and serving our customers’ growing responsive space needs, and that requires operating a diverse set of launch sites,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “Virginia Spaceport Authority further sets us up for success by enabling a streamlined approach to launching both Alpha and MLV from one location at MARS with minimal congestion from the broader launch market.”

“As growth at Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport accelerates, we are delighted to welcome Firefly Aerospace to Virginia,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The Commonwealth plays a critical role in supporting national security as the need to maintain our nation’s leadership in space becomes increasingly evident. I look forward to Firefly’s success in Virginia as we work together to bolster our nation’s aerospace industry.” SpaceNews has more.

FCEDA Participates in ‘Strategies for Successful Korean-American Entrepreneurship’ Forum

The American-Korean Business Friendship Forum held an event in Fairfax, Virginia on  June 22 that was featured in Korean media on HIUSKorea.com focused on “Strategies for Successful Korean-American Entrepreneurship.”

Tech company experts, government officials, and experts in the legal and real estate fields discussed strategies and specific ways for Korean small and medium-sized businesses to successfully enter the U.S. market. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Vice President of Business Investment David Kelley discussed various benefits that are available to international companies when they expand into the United States.

More than 60 Korean companies currently have locations in Fairfax County. FCEDA has maintained an office in South Korea since 2004 which serves as a go-to resource for companies interested in expanding into the U.S. market. Click here to find out more.

Electric vehicle investment

Germany-based Volkswagen Group, which bases its North American operations in Herndon, plans to invest up to $5 billion in California-based electric vehicle startup Rivian, starting with an initial investment of $1 billion, CNBC reported. The additional $4 billion is expected by 2026 that includes plans for an expected joint venture to create electrical architecture and software technology, according to a release by the automakers. Volkswagen is expected to use Rivian’s electrical architecture and software stack for vehicles beginning the second half of the decade.

Advancing pediatric causes

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which bases its east coast headquarters in Herndon, donated $1 Million each to three Children’s hospitals, including Children’s National in D.C., according to Yahoo Finance. This donation is part of a $10 million commitment from Amazon to “empower” nonprofits to use the AWS cloud to advance pediatric causes. Amazon said the funds will aid in providing access to crucial research and will support the growing number of hospitals who are utilizing artificial intelligence and cloud computing. The AWS Imagine: Children’s Health Innovation Award will fund the use of AWS cloud-enabled technologies to advance projects regarding pediatric research, children well-being and the caregiver workforce. The two other hospitals receiving donations are Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/Children’s Brain Tumor Network in Philadelphia, Pa. Technical.ly has more.

VALET to the world

Tysons-based 22nd Technologies is among 11 companies across the Commonwealth that graduated from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. In addition, Reston-based CargoSense, Chantilly-based MAC Aerospace Corporation, and Tysons-based PRIVO are among the 14 companies that have joined the next two-year program. VALET, which boasts 402 graduated companies, assists Virginia exporters that have firmly established domestic operations with a focus on international exports as a growth strategy. “International trade is a critical part of the Commonwealth’s economy, and the VALET program provides invaluable resources to guide Virginia businesses seeking growth into the global marketplace,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We congratulate these organizations that are taking the next steps toward international expansion, advancing Virginia’s economic growth throughout the Commonwealth.” ABC13 News has more.

Exceptional commitment to growth and innovation

Tysons-based 22nd Century Technologies CEO Anil Sharma and Tysons-based Credence Management Solutions Sid Chowdhary were among the 11 Ernst & Young (EY US) winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year Mid-Atlantic Award. The regional winners were chosen by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners, CEOs and other business leaders. Candidates were evaluated based on their success in creating long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to their purpose and the demonstration of growth and substantial impact, among other key indicators. “The 2024 Entrepreneur of the Year Mid-Atlantic Award winners show exceptional commitment to growth and innovation as well as diversity and inclusion within their business cultures and in their broader communities,” said Anthony Calderazzi, EOY Mid-Atlantic Program Co-Director.

Global media frenzy

While we posted about it two weeks ago, here’s an update on a story that is garnering massive media attention worldwide. Fairfax-based George Mason University is home to the $19.5 million recently approved Landolt NASA Space Mission that will put an artificial “star” in orbit around the earth. This artificial star will allow scientists to calibrate telescopes and more accurately measure the brightness of stars ranging from those nearby to the distant explosions of supernova in far-off galaxies. By establishing absolute flux calibration, the mission will begin to address several open challenges in astrophysics including the speed and acceleration of the universe expansion. Read more in Mason NewsPopular MechanicsLive ScienceVoice of AmericaYahoo News CanadaMashable IndiaDaily Jang, IndiaIsrael HayomGlobal Village Space, Pakistan,– and others. Check back on future FCEDA newsletters for updates on the NASA/Mason collaboration.

Polar express

Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman has delivered two satellites for Space Norway‘s Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM) to Vandenberg Space Force Base, where they are scheduled for launch as soon as mid-July aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, reported ExecutiveBiz. Northrop said that ASBM-1 and ASBM-2 will be deployed to highly elliptical polar orbits to deliver commercial broadband and protected military satellite communications to the Arctic region. The spacecraft will carry communication payloads from Viasat, the Norwegian military and the U.S. military, such as the Space Systems Command’s Enhanced Polar System-Recapitalization (EPS-R). The EPS-R will be the first U.S. military payload that will operate on a commercial space vehicle operated by an international partner. SpaceNews has more.

Sea animals in space

Tysons-based Intelsat signed a contract with Washington-based Starfish Space for a Starfish Otter servicing vehicle to provide life extension services to an Intelsat geostationary satellite, beginning in 2026. This agreement reinforces Intelsat’s commitment to utilizing satellite servicing technologies to maximize the value its satellites can provide to customers and will mark Starfish’s first mission to provide services to a commercial satellite operator with Otter. “For six decades, Intelsat has shown commitment to innovation and leveraging new technologies from throughout the industry,” said Jean-Luc Froeliger, Intelsat’s Senior Vice President of Space Systems. “By engaging with emerging ventures, we create unique value for Intelsat while fostering a dynamic and competitive environment that drives advancement in space systems. Starfish is the perfect example of this kind of progress, and we look forward to utilizing the services provided by their Otter satellite to maximize the value the world’s largest geostationary satellite fleet can deliver for our customers.” SpaceNews has more.

Ed-tech innovation

Reston-based Ellucian, a higher education technology solutions provider, and Canada-based Interuniversity Services Inc. (ISI), a not-for-profit consortium representing 19 universities and colleges throughout Atlantic Canada, announced a new 5-year partnership that will deliver enhanced value to member institutions and support their transformation to Software as a Service (SaaS). Together, ISI and Ellucian will drive technology innovation and invest in the success of the Atlantic Canadian post-secondary landscape. “Ellucian is thrilled to embark on a long-term partnership with ISI, centered on our shared commitment to prioritize student success in Atlantic Canada, accelerate technology transformation across the sector, and introduce new value through the Ellucian SaaS Platform,” said Jeff Dinski, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Ellucian.

Fintech funding

Tysons-based fintech Verituity has raised $18.8 million to expand the customer base for its software, which helps verify financial transactions, reported DCINNO. Sandbox Industries of Chicago and San Mateo, California-based Forgepoint Capital led the round. Verituity was started in 2020 by a management consulting firm then known as The Mita Group Inc. that rebranded to Verituity after incubating and launching its verified digital payout software.

Seed funding round

Tysons-based FairNow, a provider of AI governance software, secured $3.5 million in a seed funding round. The investment will help FairNow accelerate its mission of equipping enterprises with a governance platform that manages AI-related business and regulatory risks. “While the potential of AI technology is exciting, the number one factor holding back adoption is business and regulatory risk,” said Guru Sethupathy, CEO of FairNow. “Our platform helps customers understand and mitigate their AI risk, ensuring compliance with rapidly evolving regulations in a centralized and simplified way.”

New leadership

Tysons and Bedford, Massachusetts-based MITRE has hired a new chief executive in Mark Peters, a 25-year science veteran and former Battelle executive who will join the operator of six federally-funded research-and-development centers on Sept. 3, reported Washington Technology. Peters will succeed the retiring Jason Providakes, who has led MITRE as CEO for the past seven years and altogether spent 37 years at the nonprofit organization.

Happy Birthday! 

Tysons-headquartered Booz Allen Hamilton President and CEO Horacio Rozanski rang the opening bell at the NYSE Tuesday to celebrate Booz Allen Hamilton’s 110th anniversary. “In my 30+ years at Booz Allen, there have been many “wow” moments – and yesterday was one of them because it was not just about recognizing our legacy but also envisioning the vast possibilities of our future,” Rozanski posted on LinkedIn. “From our founding in 1914 to our position today at the center of the U.S. government’s technology transformation, Booz Allen has anticipated and led change for ourselves and for our clients. At #110yearsyoung, Booz Allen is as vibrant as ever, and our cutting-edge technical capabilities and purpose-driven workforce are helping to write the history of the next century. I am so proud to represent the people of Booz Allen. We are empowering people to change the world.”


About the Fairfax County
Economic Development Authority

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) promotes Fairfax County, Virginia, as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County.

Want to know more about the services of the FCEDA, or how economic development helps Fairfax County? Visit the FCEDA website or e-mail  info@fceda.org.