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Pangiam Chairman and CEO Kevin McAleenan with Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick (courtesy Pangiam)

(Updated at 3:55 p.m. on 9/23/2022) A consultant that provides facial recognition technology and other identity verification services to the travel and security industries has selected Tysons as the site of its new global headquarters.

Drawn by Fairfax County’s “dynamic” workforce, Pangiam will establish a base at Valo Park (7950 Jones Branch Drive) with a $3.1 million investment, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced this morning (Thursday).

The move will expand the business with 20,000 additional square feet of office space and 201 new jobs in the county over the next three years, according to press releases from the governor’s office and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA).

“We chose Virginia as our headquarters for a variety of reasons,” Pangiam Chief Investment Officer Tom Plofchan said. “First, it’s home. Our leadership team is either from Virginia or built their careers and families here, so it was only right to build and try to contribute to the local community when we started Pangiam.”

Plofchan also cited Northern Virginia’s proximity to the federal government and “world-class” talent pool as factors in Pangiam’s decision.

“Our collaboration with Virginia’s universities has helped our team, just a handful of people with a vision less than three years ago, compete with some of the largest companies in the world for talent,” he said.

Founded by customs and security professionals in 2019 and acquired by a private equity firm in 2020, Pangiam develops tools that use data analytics, biometrics and artificial intelligence to boost security and detect potential threats, with airports as a top focus.

The company’s clients include the Department of Homeland Security, the Air Force, Delta and United airlines and Washington National Airport, per the FCEDA.

Pangiam has been occupying “temporary space” in Virginia during the buildout of its new headquarters, a spokesperson said.

“With the support of our partners at Stream Realty, the attention to detail and execution provided by our GC team at DWatts, and the flexibility and innovative design vision Collective Architecture brought to the equation, the new facility gives us space to grow and the work environment to attract top local and national talent back to the office,” Pangiam told FFXnow by email.

Secured through a collaboration between the county and state economic development teams, the selection of Tysons cements Fairfax County’s “strong position as a place of choice for tech industry leaders,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said in a statement.

“With safety always at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Fairfax County is pleased to have Pangiam’s headquarters in Fairfax County, the heart of America’s national security infrastructure,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “As Pangiam works to secure our ports of entry using next-generation technology, we welcome their expansion to Tysons and the hundreds of new jobs they are bringing.”

The announcement comes just a day after Youngkin shared that another tech startup, Enabled Intelligence Inc., will expand its headquarters in West Falls Church.

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The startup plans to add 117 jobs to the county (via Google Maps)

An artificial intelligence startup is expanding its headquarters in West Falls Church by investing $1.4 million and creating 117 new jobs.

Enabled Intelligence, Inc., a company that provides secure data labeling services to enable artificial intelligence operations, will add more than 10,000 square feet of space to its current offices at 6400 Arlington Blvd, just outside Seven Corners, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced today (Wednesday).

Unclassified space is also planned.

“We are excited to expand our operations here in Virginia,” Enabled Intelligence Inc. CEO Peter Kant said. “Our Fairfax County home is close to our federal customers, and we are able to draw on the highly qualified Virginia workforce of high-tech neurodiverse professionals and military veterans.”

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with the state’s economic development partnership to secure the project for Virginia.

Here’s more from what state and county leaders had to say about the expansion:

“I am pleased to once again see a major technology innovator expanding its operations in Fairfax County,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “This growth in AI applications from a company that also capitalizes on the tremendous workforce diversity of our County is a perfect example of how next-generation companies headquartered here are leading the way.”

“We are honored to have Enabled Intelligence expand their presence here in Fairfax County,”Ā said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). “The opportunities they offer to our diverse populations is extraordinary, and their efforts shine as a bright example of the true spirit of inclusion, upon which we continue to build our thriving business community.”

“Accelerating the transition of start-ups is one of my administration’s goals, and the expansion of businesses such as Enabled Intelligence in Fairfax County is key to our economic development strategy,” saidĀ Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We are proud to support this homegrown Virginia business and remain committed to fostering a business climate and training a workforce that supports our corporate partners of all sizes.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Hilton is planning a major expansion of its headquarters in Tysons that will bring its workforce at the office to over 1,000 employees.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced this morning (Thursday) that the hospitality company will make “significant upgrades” to theĀ office it has operated at 7930 Jones Branch Drive since 2009.

“Hilton will re-imagine its space to create an even more vibrant place to convene and collaborate, fully integrating technology into the office experience to meet the needs of today’s workforce,” the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) said in a news release and announcement video.

Extending its leaseĀ for another 15 years, Hilton says it will continue to approximately 220,000 square feet at Park Place II, one of two adjacent office complexes owned by BF Saul Company by the intersection of Jones Branch Drive and Scotts Crossing Road.

While the amount of space is “roughly the same” as its current footprint, the company plans to enhance its office space and common areas, according to a Hilton spokesperson.

“We will be working closely with our Team Members over the coming months to determine what modifications we will make to create an even more vibrant place to convene and collaborate and to fully integrate technology into our office experience that accommodates today’s workforce,” the spokesperson said by email.

Over the next five years, Hilton plans to add 350 net new jobs at its headquarters, where approximately 800 workers are currently employed.

The extension of Hilton’s stay in Tysons was booked through a partnership between the FCEDA and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, according to the press release. It was also assisted by Youngkin’s approval of a $5 million Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant and a $1 million grant from the state Development Opportunity Fund.

Hilton will be eligible to receive a $1,000 income tax credit for each new, full-time job it creates with the expansion, and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support employee training activities.

“Northern Virginia has been Hilton’s home for more than a decade, and the region has played an instrumental role in helping us create the best, most inclusive home for our Team Members while also managing the demands of a global business,” Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said in a statement. “We appreciate the continued support of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Fairfax County and the Tysons Partnership in ensuring we continue to attract strong, diverse talent to our vibrant, growing region.”

The Park Place offices will see additional change in the coming years with an overhaul of the Tysons Park Place building at 7926 Jones Branch Drive that got the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ approval on June 28.

State and local officials expressed excitement at the Hilton news in prepared statements: Read More

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Tysons’ newest eatery won’t be found in the usual malls and mixed-use developments. Instead, it has set up base in a cluster of corporate office buildings where Jones Branch Drive curves parallel to the Dulles Toll Road.

Welcomed with a ribbon cutting and prayer, the latter courtesy of Fort Foote Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Joseph Lyles, Mrs. Jo’s Petite Eats celebrated its grand opening Tuesday (June 7) on the ground floor of PenFed Credit Union’s headquarters at 7940 Jones Branch Drive.

Owned and run by U.S. Army veteran Erinn Roth, the roughly 2,800-square-foot cafe will serve as a cafeteria for the building, which also houses the consulting firm LMI, but it’s open to the general public, including other workers and residents in Tysons.

While the cafe is tucked away, integrating retail, restaurants, and other amenities with offices will help turn Tysons into a place where people can “live, work, play, and now, eat,” says David Kelley, director of national business investment for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

“Tysons is becoming a place where people are actually living,” Kelley said. “So, if they can go some place and get something really good that’s walkable or close by, that helps the county out. That helps with the infrastructure of the county and for people wanting to be here.”

A native of Enterprise, Mississippi, Roth served in the Army for 24 years, including stints in Korea, Germany, and Afghanistan. She has been an avid baker for much of her life, but it wasn’t until after her mother died in 2015 that she committed to baking professionally.

Roth says she had been contemplating retiring from the military — which she eventually did in 2017 — and floated the idea of baking desserts as a way to stay busy.

“My mother was like, ‘Well, sweetie, whatever you decide to do, you’d be successful,’ and then, she passed, and…it just turned my world,” Roth told FFXnow.

Naming the business after her mother, Jo Bradford Hardaway, Roth launched Ms. Jo’s Petite Sweets out of Lorton’s Frontier Kitchen in 2016, offering cakes, cookies, and other desserts with Southern and French influences. Read More

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Fairfax County businesses added nearly 9,000 jobs over the course of 2021, even with the uncertain environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the county’s economic development authority says.

According to a press release, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with 146 businesses that added a total of 8,973 jobs to the Fairfax County economy.

The businesses came from a variety of sectors, from manufacturing and real estate to information technology and cybersecurity. They were also spread out throughout the county, including Chantilly, Reston, Fairfax, Tysons, and Herndon.

Of the 146 businesses that reported job growth, 14 were newcomers that the FCEDA had courted to come to Fairfax County. Many were attracted not just from other areas of the U.S., but from other countries.

The seafood company Starkist, which is owned by Korean-based Dongwon Group, is relocating its headquarters from Pittsburgh to Reston Town Center. Other examples include the Canadian-based Brookfield Residential Properties and Israeli aerospace and defense company D-Fend Solutions.

According to data provided by the authority, the sector that saw the most growth was information technology services, which accounted for 2,648 new jobs, or 29.5% of the new positions in the county.

Much of that growth came courtesy of Herndon-based Peraton, which added 1,200 positions in 2021. The contractor announced plans in December to move its corporate headquarters to Reston Town Center.

“We would be proud to announce almost 9,000 jobs in any new year,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins stated in the press release. “But very few communities can claim the kind of diversity that we have in our business community.”

FCEDA also touted that 25 of the American companies that came to the county are owned by women, minorities, or veterans.

Those businesses were found mainly in the information technology sector and include the Fairfax-based Kreative Technologies, which created 296 jobs, and Tysons-based Alpha Omega Integration, which created 154 jobs.

The nonprofit Community Foundation of Northern Virginia released a report in June 2021 showing that minority-owned businesses in Fairfax County have suffered more acutely than white-owned businesses during the pandemic.

The report stated that while the number of minority-owned businesses remained flat, revenue and staffing dramatically decreased, while unemployment insurance claims rose.

Fairfax County has worked to support local businesses during the pandemic by distributing federal relief funds through a series of grant programs, including the Fairfax RISE initiative that distributed more than $52 million in 2020 — 72% of which went to minority, women, or veteran-owned businesses.

The county awarded $16.8 million in grants last year with its PIVOT program, which focused on small businesses and the hospitality industry.

The FCEDA has been hosting virtual job fairs and other events to connect employers with workers as part of its Work in Northern Virginia initiative.

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