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Reston Hospital Center is recruiting staff for a new emergency room in Tysons (courtesy Reston Hospital Center)

The emergency room that Reston Hospital Center is building in Tysons isn’t expected to open for another three months, but efforts to staff the new facility are already underway.

HCA Healthcare Inc., the Nashville-based company that owns Reston Hospital, currently has 26 positions listed in its job database for the Tysons ER, a standalone facility that will be located at 8240 Leesburg Pike between Tysons Corner Center and the Route 123 interchange.

The project has encountered some construction challenges due to pandemic-related supply shortages, but it is currently on target for an April launch, according to HCA Healthcare spokesperson Suzanne Kelly.

With almost a quarter of U.S. hospitals reporting staffing shortages earlier this month amid surging Covid cases, HCA told Tysons Reporter’s sister site Reston Now that its most critical vacancies are the job openings for the Tysons emergency room, particularly when it comes to nurses and imaging professionals.

“Like healthcare organizations nationwide, Reston Hospital Center is working to address a tight labor market, which coincides with nursing workforce shortages compounded by the pandemic,” Kelly said in a statement. “As part of the HCA Virginia Health System, our facilities are working to retain our existing colleagues, attract new nurses, and encouraging and supporting those considering a career in nursing through education programs.”

Set to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the 14,000 square-foot Tysons emergency department will have 11 private treatment rooms, including a trauma room and 10 exam rooms, and provide the same services as at a hospital-based emergency room.

In addition to registered nurses, the facility is seeking a clinical coordinator, radiologic and ultrasound technologists, a director of emergency services, and maintenance workers.

To address immediate staffing needs, HCA is offering a $20,000 sign-on bonus to registered nurses with at least one year of experience, including for positions in the Tysons ER, according to its job postings.

The healthcare system said in a statement that it’s also recruiting nurses from other states and even internationally to work in Virginia, adjusting pay, and implementing “incentive and recognition programs,” among other “aggressive recruitment efforts”:

To support immediate staffing shortages, we’re offering sign on bonuses and employee referral bonuses.  Additionally, we are also recruiting nurses from other states and even other countries to come to Virginia to support our nurses and help ensure we are providing top quality care to our patients during this unprecedented time. We are attracting new nurses to work at our facilities through aggressive recruitment efforts including sign-on bonuses and referral bonuses in strategic areas and specialties. We also continue to partner with bricks-and-mortar colleges and universities, and online programs, to attract more people to choose careers in healthcare. This will build a future pipeline to fill long-term healthcare staffing needs.

As reported by Reston Now this morning, HCA is now requiring employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine after the Supreme Court allowed a federal mandate issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take effect last Thursday (Jan. 13).

While most D.C. area hospitals were already requiring their staff to get vaccinated, HCA put its requirement on hold in November after a federal judge blocked the CMS mandate.

Reston Hospital says it will comply with the mandate so it can keep serving Medicare and Medicaid patients.

“Any HCA Healthcare colleague who works in, or has work-related reasons to visit, these facilities or care settings is required to have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by January 27 and be fully vaccinated by February 28, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption,” Kelly said by email.

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Morning Notes

County Proposes Expanding Tax Relief Program — “Today, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a public hearing on Dec. 7 to consider expanding the real estate tax relief program for seniors and people with disabilities…The expanded program would allow people with higher incomes and net worth to qualify, add a new 75% tax relief bracket and offer an option to defer tax payments.” [Fairfax County Government]

Man Sentenced in Falls Church Woman’s Drug-Related Death — “A former medical student from Ontario, Canada, was sentenced on Tuesday to one year in prison for distributing MDA — a psychedelic drug similar to MDMA, or “molly” — that resulted in the fatal overdose of a 21-year-old Falls Church woman in 2019, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.” [Patch]

MCA Takes Position on Tree Presevation Proposal — “McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board members on Nov. 3 commended the Fairfax County Tree Commission for crafting proposals to preserve the county’s tree canopy, but did not agree with all of the group’s recommendations…MCA’s resolution expressed concerns about the proposals regarding property setbacks and taller buildings.” [Sun Gazette]

Lewinsville Park Eyed for Pickleball Facilities — The Fairfax County Park Authority will present options to improve the park’s six existing tennis courts and introduce pickleball with a virtual public meeting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1. The potential project aims to address growing demand for pickleball facilities in the greater McLean area. [FCPA]

Local Veterans’ Job Fair Is Big Draw — “One week before Veterans Day, representatives of 66 companies interviewed job-seekers at the first annual Veteran and Military Career Fair on Nov. 4, 2021…Geared toward assisting veterans, active-duty service members transitioning out of the military, and military spouses, the hybrid event was attended by 250 job-seekers at the museum, and 259 virtually attendees located around the world.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

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A satellite in orbit (via NASA/Unsplash)

A telecommunications company dedicated to filling gaps in NASA’s data-relaying satellite network will create dozens of new jobs in Fairfax County with newly announced plans to expand its headquarters in Tysons.

A subsidiary of the Australian aerospace and defense contractor Electro Optic Systems, SpaceLink currently employs 10 people in Virginia at the headquarters it established at 8260 Greensboro Drive in March. It also has offices in Silicon Valley, California.

With the expansion, the company will create 41 new jobs and gain more capacity to develop and deploy a satellite communications system intended to “provide secure and continuous communications between spacecraft on orbit and the ground,” according to a press release from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office.

Fairfax County’s proximity to D.C. and the region’s abundance of government agencies and contractors made it “a natural choice” for SpaceLink’s headquarters, CEO David Bettinger says.

“As an innovative space company, we also have the opportunity to draw from the rich pool of talented technology and business professionals who are drawn to the region for its opportunities and dynamic environment,” Bettinger said in a statement. “Northern Virginia is an important hub for the aerospace and defense industry, which makes it a great fit for SpaceLink’s corporate headquarters.”

According to Northam’s office, SpaceLink’s relay network will be developed in Fairfax County and is designed to fill in the gaps of the U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.

Here are more reactions from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, which collaborated with the Commonwealth to secure the project:

“We are proud to see SpaceLink growing here and we welcome the opportunity to work with the company further,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “Fairfax County and Northern Virginia have developed a robust aerospace and satellite cluster and SpaceLink is the perfect company to take advantage of our many assets in that industry sector and the workforce supporting it.”

“Fairfax County leads the Commonwealth in innovation and our businesses reflect that,” said Fairfax County BOS Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “The Board of Supervisors has invested significantly over the decades to build Fairfax County into a community that attracts great companies and a great workforce, and that work continues to pay off. We are looking forward to welcoming SpaceLink.”

The FCEDA worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to secure the project for Virginia and will support SpaceLink’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). State-funded VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies and demonstrates Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for residents.

“SpaceLink’s expansion in Fairfax County will strengthen the Commonwealth’s position as a leader in the aerospace industry,” Gov. Northam said. “Small businesses are critical to fueling economic growth, and we are proud to support this Virginia-founded company as its innovations make a name for itself in space exploration and defense.”

Photo via NASA/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Virginia Requires Vaccinations for All State Workers — About 122,000 state employees must show proof that they have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 1 or undergo weekly testing with proof of a negative result, Gov. Ralph Northam said yesterday (Thursday). Noting that 98% of COVID hospitalizations since January have been unvaccinated people, he encouraged local governments and businesses to adopt similar mandates. [Office of the Governor]

Woman Shot by Fairfax County Police Officer Charged — “Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis on Thursday released body-camera video of the July police shooting of a resident of a group home for the intellectually disabled…Police identified the woman who was shot as 30-year-old Jiyoung Lee of Springfield. Lee, who was later charged with assault on an officer, was taken to the hospital following the shooting and is still recovering.” [The Washington Post]

County Prosecutor Launches New Specialized Units — Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced on Tuesday (Aug. 4) that his office has established two new teams that will focus exclusively on domestic violence cases and crimes against children. The units will consist of 15 new prosecutors who will all be trained in working with victims of trauma. [WTOP]

Capital One Hall to Hold Job Fair — Scheduled to open on Oct. 2, Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) in Tysons will hold a job fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5-8 p.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 10) as the performance venue prepares for its inaugural season. Available positions include bartenders, cooks, banquet servers, dishwashers, security, audiovisual technicians, and more. [Capital One Hall/Twitter]

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A person holds a phone with the Instagram app opened (via Solen Feyissa/Unsplash)

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority gave nearly $29,000 to 10 social media influencers over the past year to highlight its jobs portal and virtual career fairs.

The campaign primarily involved Instagram users posting about events with hashtags and links to drive traffic. Economic development officials said the effort was intended to develop its brand as well as the region’s job market and engage target audiences, specifically with millennials in mind.

“We felt like we needed to do some experimentation,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said.

The campaign drew 536 clicks to the authority’s Work in Northern Virginia jobs board and generated 276 views in online registration page traffic for technology and entry-level career fairs.

While Instagram advertising can average around $1.25 per click, the FCEDA said influencer marketing helps reach a highly targeted audience through sources that users trust. The campaign required the influencers to note that their social media posts were sponsored content.

The social media influencer contracts cost a total of $28,800 with individual agreements ranging from $800 to $7,000 and mainly required users to make Instagram posts and stories, according to agreements obtained by Tysons Reporter. One agreement included an Instagram video, and some included blog post requirements.

The authority says third-party consultant New York City-based Development Counsellors International and each influencer negotiated rates.

“[What we’re] really ultimately trying to do is build awareness of northern Virginia as this location that has thousands and thousands of jobs, and it’s a great place to live,” said Alan Fogg, the authority’s vice president of communications.

Economic development officials say the campaign delivered $205,000 in earned media value, reached more than 332,000 Instagram users, and generated nearly 25,000 likes, comments, and shares.

The FCEDA is not unique in using social media personalities to reach potential audiences. Other governmental bodies have turned to social media influencers for tourism marketing as well as running COVID-19 messaging.

Fairfax County funds the economic development authority with around $9 million each year currently, and social media advertising is just one way economic development leaders are trying to market the region to help improve the jobs pipeline.

“The message we deliver to all the recruiters and chief human resources officers from all the companies here in Fairfax County is: You sell your organization, your company, and why [to] come work there, and we’re going to help complement you with selling the region,” Mike Batt, the director of the authority’s talent initiative program, said.

The FCEDA used Development Counsellors International to identify and vet the influencers, set goals for the number of posts, and ensure posting requirements were met, Fogg said in a statement. FCEDA staff selected the influencers presented to them.

Batt said Development Counsellors International received a competitively awarded contract from the EDA. The consultant also developed the jobs hub, which the authority recently lauded.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority spearheaded the jobs posting site, but it’s connected to nine other economic development groups and localities in Northern Virginia.

“Economic development is not the business it was five years ago,” Hoskins said. “It really takes a lot of innovation.”

Photo via Solen Feyissa/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Vienna Metro station across I-66 (photo by John Lee/Twitter)

Vienna Contractor Settles Federal Lawsuit — IT company Sage Consulting Group, Inc. agreed to pay $4.8 million to settle allegations that the company and its owner Robert Pleghardt paid kickbacks to obtain subcontracts on set-aside contracts intended for small businesses owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged citizens. The settlement was announced yesterday (Tuesday) by Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia. [U.S. Attorney’s Office]

Capital One Plans Technologist Hiring Surge — “Amid cloud growth, banking giant Capital One plans to add 3,000 new roles for technologists by the end of 2021…Almost 75% of the hires will be in engineering roles, focusing on machine learning, software development and data work to advance the company’s natural language processing.  Capital One said ‘hundreds’ of positions will be open at the company’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia, with others will be at locations across the country.” [Technical.ly]

Language Barriers Challenge Those Seeking Unemployment Benefits — “Many non-English speakers who lost their jobs during the pandemic had to rely on their children, family or friends to help them file unemployment insurance claims with the [Virginia Employment Commission]. The state agency does not provide claimants with any language translation options other than English and Spanish on its website.” [Inside NoVA]

Wolf Trap Adds More Summer Concerts — Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts has added five more shows to its 50th anniversary season lineup, including singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, “Star Wars: A New Hope” in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, and a “Broadway in the Park” musical theater showcase featuring “Hamilton” star Renée Elise Goldsberry and Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell. [Patch]

Photo by John Lee/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Inova Will Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Workers — “Inova Health System is requiring all employees to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, making the Falls Church-based nonprofit the latest in the region to employ such a mandate. Inova, which counts 18,000 employees across the organization, notified staff last week of the requirement, which goes into effect Sept. 1.” [Washington Business Journal]

McLean Swimmer Qualifies for Summer Olympics in Tokyo — “After coming up short at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in 2012 and 2016, McLean native Andrew Seliskar has made the Olympic Team. The 24-year-old placed fourth in the 200-meter freestyle at Trials, earning a spot on the 4×200 meter freestyle relay team.” [WJLA-ABC7 News]

New Tysons Child Care Center Now Enrolling — After breaking ground on its new early childhood education center on Jones Branch Drive in March, Celebree School has opened enrollment for kids from infants through pre-kindergarten. The private school is also currently looking to hire teachers in preparation for its anticipated opening later this summer. [Celebree School]

Wolf Trap Announces More Summer Shows — “On Tuesday, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts announced the following new concerts: The Avett Brothers, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Michael Franti & Spearhead, A Tribute to Marvin Gaye featuring Raheem DeVaughn and Friends, and ABBA the Concert. The shows are part of the Filene Center’s 5oth anniversary season.” [Patch]

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The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is hosting its fifth virtual career fair on May 20.

More than 25 Northern Virginia companies will participate in the fair, which is focused on hiring entry-level workers. The FCEDA is broadcasting the event to more than 100 colleges and universities across the country, and anyone who registers can join for free.

The fair is part of a series that the FCEDA has been organizing during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made finding work more challenging due to the ongoing economic uncertainty and limited chances for face-to-face interactions. Hiring for college graduates at entry-level positions has dropped 45% since the beginning of the pandemic, the FCEDA says in a news release.

“We want to let anyone looking to start or restart their career – from recent college graduates and retired members of our military to parents reentering the workforce – that Northern Virginia is the place to do it,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said. “We couldn’t be prouder to partner with such a diverse group of companies to introduce fresh faces to an incredible place to live and work.”

The virtual career fairs is part of a talent initiative that the Fairfax County government is funding through the FCEDA to “attract, retain, retrain and grow the workforce that businesses need to succeed in Fairfax County — and to help those looking for jobs find them here, particularly during the pandemic.”

The four previous virtual career fairs in the initiative have attracted nearly 2,900 attendees, according to the FCEDA.

As part of the initiative, the FCEDA also launched a job search website that lists all job postings in the Northern Virginia area and sorts them by different sectors and job types. There are also opportunities to enhance or gain new skills for people who may be looking for a career change.

The Entry-Level Professionals Virtual Career Fair will be held on May 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. Prospective applicants can register to receive the link to the event. They do not need to reside in Northern Virginia.

Employers looking to promote their job openings can still register their companies by visiting the employer resource page.

More information on the virtual career fair, what companies will be attending, and how to register can be found on the FCEDA website.

Photo via Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

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The consulting company Guidehouse will bring more than 900 new jobs to Fairfax County later this year when it opens a new global headquarters in Tysons, Gov. Ralph Northam announced yesterday (Monday).

The new campus will be located at 1676 International Drive and house more than 1,550 employees when at full capacity.

“This move will allow us to best accommodate growth, serve our people and clients, and attract talent,” Guidehouse CEO Scott McIntyre said. “Virginia offers a highly skilled workforce and business-friendly climate, making it an ideal location for Guidehouse’s future.”

In terms of geography, the announcement represents a small move for Guidehouse, whose current headquarters is just down the road in Tysons Galleria. But the company says the new building will better accommodate the growth and increased demand for its services that it has experienced recently.

Guidehouse currently has more than 9,000 workers and over 50 offices around the world. It works with both the commercial and public sectors in industries ranging from financial services, health, and energy to defense and national security.

According to a company news release, Guidehouse will invest $12.7 million to establish its new headquarters and plans to create more than 1,000 new jobs in Virginia over the next three years.

“We are currently in design development of the space and targeting an early Fall occupancy date,” Guidehouse spokesperson Joy Jarrett said.

According to Northam’s office, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Virginia Economic Development partnership collaborated to help Tysons beat out D.C. and Maryland for Guidehouse’s global headquarters.

The company is now eligible for the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, a state-funded initiative that reimburses companies for the costs of training new full-time employees, and the state’s Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit.

“A headquarters in Tysons puts [Guidehouse] in the center of the largest business hub in the D.C. region and a talent pool that will be able to enjoy the growing number of amenities in the area,” FCEDA CEO and President Victor Hoskins said.

Guidehouse says it was drawn to Tysons for the area’s strong education and healthcare systems as well as Fairfax County’s “commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

The news comes on the heels of Northam’s April 30 announcement that the cybersecurity company Ridgeline International will expand its operations in Tysons with 162 new jobs and a research and development hub expected to launch in June.

Fairfax County currently hosts corporate headquarters for 11 Fortune 500 companies, and just in the past year, the county has secured major commitments from Microsoft, Google, and Volkswagen.

“This announcement by Guidehouse is another indication of the strength of Fairfax County as a headquarters location for companies that operate around the globe,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “It is a testament to the investment the county government has made into creating and sustaining a world-class business location that also draws the kind of professional workforce the company needs to grow and succeed.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Truck of Fish Crashes on Capital Beltway in Tysons — A tractor-trailer filled with 41,000 pounds of frozen fish crashed on the Beltway Outer Loop at Route 7 around 4 p.m. yesterday (Monday), closing three lanes for more than an hour so a towing company could recover the vehicle. Because the trailer was “breached (rendering the fish unsalvagable),” crews ultimately decided to wait until after rush hour to complete the recovery. [VDOT Northern Virginia/Twitter]

Fairfax County Seeks Health Workers to Help with Vaccination Effort — “Since most school public health nurses have returned to schools, the Health Department is hiring approximately 250 vaccinators…in coming weeks to help get the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of residents as quickly as possible. Vaccinators will be assigned to work at Health Department vaccination sites that operate six days a week, including the Fairfax County Government Center.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Virginia Bans Single-Use Styrofoam — Gov. Ralph Northam signed a law yesterday prohibiting the use of polystyrene foam cups and takeout containers. The ban takes effect in July 2023 for food chains with 20 or more locations and in July 2025 for all other food vendors, nonprofits, schools, and local governments. [Patch]

Tysons Digital Security Company Raises $100 MillionID.me officially announced yesterday that it has raised $100 million in new funding, as first reported by Washington Business Journal. The company is now valued at $1.5 billion and says it will use the funding “to build out its secure digital identity network by attracting top talent and expanding the number of businesses and government agencies it serves.” [ID.me]

Photo courtesy Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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