The February 3 article, “Officials Express Optimism, Concern for Region’s Economy,” might have left readers wondering about the strength and future of Fairfax County’s economy.
The story cited information from Stephen Fuller of George Mason University that job creation throughout the Washington region from 2014 to 2016 did not hit benchmarks in several important business sectors. The article also said Dr. Fuller’s colleague at Mason, Terry Clower, warned that the Washington area’s gross regional product could drop the next two years because of concerns about future White House budget and trade priorities.
No one has a crystal ball, but from my perspective the Fairfax County economy is poised for continued development. In 2016, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with 194 companies that added nearly 7,500 jobs to the county economy. Many of those companies are in the professional and technical industry sectors that Dr. Fuller rightly notes will generate the most prosperity for the community.
Just since the beginning of 2017 my office has announced several companies that are adding hundreds of jobs here. Some, like Favor TechConsulting or IOMAXIS, focus on work with federal customers. Others such as All Traffic Solutions and Global Guardian, focus on private-sector customers. This is the hallmark of an economy: companies working in a variety of sectors and for a variety of customers and finding the kind of skilled talent they need to thrive. This kind of economic diversity is what every community longs to attain.
This work is never done, of course. In addition to Fairfax County’s traditional business strengths, my office has targeted cybersecurity, data analytics and translational medicine as industry sectors with great growth potential here. The foundation is firmly in place to help Fairfax County achieve even greater economic stability and prosperity in the years ahead.
Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Fairfax County Economic Development Authority