- In partnership with eight other Northern Virginia jurisdictions, Fairfax County was awarded $737,500 in regional economic development grants.
- The money will help to train, attract and retain workers for network and cybersecurity; data and data warehousing and computer and software programming jobs, as well as create a high-tech fabrication lab.
- The grants help to push forward the county's strategic plan to grow and diversify the economy.
- The funds will go to partners already identified in the grant proposals, and the county will not be awarding money to other individuals or organizations to provide services.
In partnership with eight other Northern Virginia jurisdictions, Fairfax County and neighboring governments were collectively awarded $737,500 through a state economic development program to create high-paying jobs.
The money will be used to train, attract and retain computer programmers, data analysts and network and cyber security experts to Northern Virginia. The funding also will go towards creating a state-of-the-art engineering technology “Fabrication Laboratory” in Northern Virginia.
The grants will come from the Growth and Opportunity for Virginia, better known as GO Virginia. This program focuses on creating high-paying jobs by encouraging regional collaboration.
The funding was announced on Dec. 12, and it makes up a portion of the total $2.2 million in initial Go Virginia grants awarded this year.
“These projects will leverage public and private funding to grow and diversify each region’s economy,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “There are many innovative proposals from our regions that will assist in addressing the challenges my administration has worked to tackle in areas such as cybersecurity and workforce development. These projects will strengthen our workforce, support collaborative programs, and will bolster our successful efforts to build the new Virginia economy.”
Fairfax County collaborated with eight other jurisdictions to secure the $487,500 regional workforce development grant. The county submitted its joint project with the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park and counties of Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William counties.
The county was also a partner with the Northern Virginia Community College in its winning $250,000 grant proposal to create a high-tech lab to spur more engineering jobs. The college will develop the new “Fabrication Laboratory” in collaboration with Micron Technology, U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Sensors Directorate, and BAE Systems. The project also will help create the engineering jobs by leveraging established internship programs at Micron Technology and BAE Systems, as well as the existing SySTEMic curriculum at Northern Virginia Community College.
The workforce development project capitalizes on the high demand for data analytics, cyber security and computer programming jobs in Northern Virginia.
These kinds of jobs make significant industry clusters in Northern Virginia’s economy. For example, the region has largest number of computer security analysts in the nation.
Yet, there is still a significant demand for more workers. There were almost 9,500 total cyber positions being advertised in Northern Virginia in the second quarter 2017, according to research by the Northern Virginia Community College.
The Northern Virginia Technology Council has identified five kinds of jobs that are hard-to-fill: big data and analytics; cyber security and privacy; data center and cloud infrastructure; network systems and programming and software development. The Go Virginia grant will help to train, attract and keep these kinds of workers in the region.
Fairfax County strategic plan to grow and diversity the economy calls for expanding jobs in cybersecurity, data analytics, translational medicine, other emerging technologies.
Along with many other actions, the county sought the grant to help advance this plan and grow the local economy. Read the 2017 update to learn more about other actions the county is taking.
The county will not be awarding Go Virginia funds to individuals and organizations to provide programs and services who were not already included in the grant proposals.
For more information, contact Eta Davis, economic initiatives coordinator, in the county executive's office at 703-324-2531, TTY 711.