Gov. Glenn Youngkin made his first official appearance in Fairfax County as Virginia’s chief executive today (Monday).
The property security provider Alarm.com will expand its technology research and development division in Tysons with a $2.6 million investment, creating 180 new jobs, Youngkin announced at the company’s headquarters (8218 Greensboro Drive).
“This is exactly what all Virginians want to see happen, which is more opportunity,” the governor said. “…Governments don’t create jobs. Businesses create jobs.”
He later described the tech-focused positions that will be created as “the jobs that underpin the economy of our future.”
With mask rules loosening in Fairfax County and attendance mostly limited to business and government officials as well as press, the event presented minimal risk of a tense public encounter akin to what Youngkin experienced in Alexandria.
However, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay — one of the few people in the room wearing a mask, though he removed it when delivering remarks — pointedly emphasized the role that local government plays in creating an attractive environment for businesses like Alarm.com.
“Our pro-business environment in Fairfax is working,” he said. “…We want everyone to be here and be successful.”
McKay credited the county’s investments in a “world-class” public education system, transportation infrastructure and public safety with making it a critical economic driver for the Commonwealth.
Alarm.com President and CEO Steve Trundle echoed at least some of that sentiment, stating that the quality of the county’s schools “really makes a difference” when the company is recruiting new employees.
Founded as part of MicroStrategy in 2000, Alarm.com became its own company in 2009 and now occupies more than 195,000 square feet of office space just for its headquarters. The business also has a testing lab in Tysons and a fully automated smart home in Falls Church used to demonstrate its security system technology.
The company currently employs about 700 workers in Virginia and ranked 48th on Fortune Magazine’s list of the U.S.’s fastest growing companies in 2021.
“Alarm.com…chose to make this investment in Virginia due to Northern Virginia’s strong workforce, including its high concentration of [science, technology, engineering, and math] workers, numerous higher education institutions, and desirable quality of life,” Alarm.com Vice President of Human Resources Victoria Schillinger said in press releases from the governor’s office and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
The FCEDA says it worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to secure Alarm.com’s expansion and will support the company’s job creation efforts through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which offers consulting services and funding to businesses for employee recruitment and training.
In addition to stressing the importance of local government in economic development, McKay argued that Fairfax County’s efforts to support and celebrate its diversity have been crucial to the area’s business and workforce successes.
His comments came amid a state budget debate in the Virginia General Assembly and the Youngkin administration’s elimination of education-related equity initiatives.
“We focus on equity and building an inclusive community, and that’s not always what happens in Virginia,” McKay told FFXnow. “If anyone thinks that is good for business, just look at what we’ve done here and what we’ve built here. What we’re doing here is good for business.”
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