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Morning Notes

Blossoms are out at Lewinsville Park in McLean (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

West Potomac Soccer Coaches Fired After Hazing — “In a message to West Potomac High School soccer families, Principal Tanganyika Millard said that after an April 21 practice, a ‘parent reported a student was injured after being singled out to run through a ‘gauntlet/tunnel.” Head coach Ahmad Sasso and two other coaches were fired after the incident.” [WTOP]

Dead Firefighter Escorted to Funeral Home — “#FCFRD members gathered to salute Captain Kimberly Schoppa during her dignified transfer. Units from her last assignment, Fire Station 27, West Springfield, carried her to the funeral home. Thank you to Fairfax County Police Department for the escort.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Facebook]

FCPS Alum Goes to Space — NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, a graduate of Robinson Secondary School, is part of a four-person crew that was scheduled to blast off to the International Space Station this morning (Wednesday) for SpaceX’s next mission. Lindgren was one of 18 astronauts selected by NASA in 2020 for its Artemis Team, an initiative to get humans back to the moon. [Florida Today]

Alpacas Make Fairfax County Courthouse Appearance — “By the time the alpacas arrive outside the Fairfax County Courthouse, it’s not really that surprising…The scene outside the Depp-Heard trial, entering its third week on Monday, has transformed the Fairfax County court complex from a place where Northern Virginia residents contest parking tickets to the stage for one of the biggest celebrity court cases in recent memory.” [The Washington Post]

TJ Tops National School Rankings — “Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County was ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to a new national ranking by U.S. News and World Report. This year’s list of best high schools evaluated more than 17,800 schools nationwide, including 322 in Virginia.” [Patch]

Vienna Students Write Cards for Ukrainian Refugees — “Students at Freedom Hill Elementary School in Vienna wrote stacks of cards to Ukrainian refugees for their principal to deliver on his spring break trip to Germany. Principal Nicholas Zapadka…decided to travel to Cologne in early April to help Ukrainian refugees who had arrived at a Red Cross refugee camp in Germany.” [Patch]

Mantua Home with Squatter Sold — “The home went off the market on April 15 for $805,000. It was built in 1964 and was last sold in 1997 for $319,000. The owner’s name was withheld by request on the Fairfax County auditor’s site. The new buyer’s name also was not listed.” [WUSA9]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 55 and low of 41. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 7:59 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Approaching Capital One’s headquarters in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

At many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed worker frustrations and fueled labor conflicts, but that apparently isn’t the case at two of Tysons’ most prominent employers.

The hospitality giant Hilton and financial corporation Capital One both made the top 10 of Fortune’s 2022 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for” in the U.S., released on April 11.

The rankings were determined by a nationwide survey that garnered responses from over 870,000 workers and data from companies that collectively have more than 6.1 million employees, according to Fortune and the workplace culture data platform Great Place to Work, which have compiled the list annually for the past 25 years.

Hilton, which moved its global headquarters to 7930 Jones Branch Drive in 2009, was named the second-best company to work for in the country — its seventh consecutive year on the list and up from its #3 ranking the previous year.

“I’m so proud of our team members and everything they’ve done to share the light and warmth of hospitality with our guests, especially over the last two years,” Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “This recognition is a testament to what we’ve built together at Hilton.”

In its news release, the hotel company highlighted recent efforts to expand employee benefits, including parental leave, bereavement leave, adoption assistance, mental health resources, and continuing education.

The company also said it remains committed to improving the diversity of its workforce, aiming to achieve global gender parity and make 25% of its U.S. corporate leadership people of color by 2027.

After coming in at #9 in 2021, Capital One (1680 Capital One Drive) dropped a spot to #10 in the 2022 list, with 93% of employees calling it a “great place to work for.” Workers also reported that the company made them feel welcome when they joined and lets them take time off when necessary.

According to Fortune and Great Place to Work, the ability to create an environment where employees felt supported and valued — even with the uncertainty and challenges brought by the pandemic — separated the “Best Companies” from average ones, where just 52% of workers said they thought management sincerely cared about them.

“Most importantly, they took action,” Great Place to Work CEO Michael Bush said of the companies on this year’s list. “They focused less on broad policies and more on what each person needed — in real, tangible ways. This transformed mental health assistance, elder care support, childcare and isolation support resources.”

Other Fairfax County-based companies that made the list are the engineering company Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (#39, located near Lincolnia) and Navy Federal Credit Union (#76, Vienna).

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