December 19, 2022 | By Michael Stiefvater
At the start of 2022, the state of the office market was in flux as companies and employees adjusted to an uncertain hybrid work environment that continues to challenge the outlook for office real estate. While strong headwinds remain, bright spots in the local economy have emerged as evidenced by the 24 companies that Arlington Economic Development (AED) has successfully helped expand or retain in 2022. Combined, these company successes totaled 237,000 square feet of new office space and 262,000 square feet of retained office space.
AED saw growth primarily in the aerospace and defense, government contracting and technology sectors. These industries are taking advantage of not only Arlington’s proximity to the nation’s capital, but also the region’s highly skilled workforce and burgeoning tech talent pipeline. With recent investments in higher education institutions including George Mason University and Virginia Tech, Arlington is well-positioned to continue attracting companies in addition to the notable successes from this past year:
AED’s commitment and investment in tech talent is perhaps no better demonstrated than with our ongoing Tech Talent Pilot Program in partnership with Exelaration. This program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, provides 10 Arlington residents with the opportunity to gain valuable software development experience and a pathway into a technology career. The program provides companies with additional local talent by offering Arlington residents experiential opportunities in the tech industry. The first cohort of the pilot is nearing completion with participants gaining experience with some of the area’s top companies, while the second cohort will start in late January. We believe investments in innovative programs like this will continue to allow Arlington to lead the way in providing a top-notch workforce for companies looking to expand or locate here
Other notable 2022 accomplishments include our efforts to engage existing Arlington companies during Business Appreciation Month in May. After a long hiatus of in-person interaction caused by the pandemic, AED visited 40 companies over a two-week period to thank them for investing in Arlington and to connect them with valuable resources that may support their growth. AED also sponsored the Accelerate Investment Conference, an event designed to ignite the Metro region’s innovation, startup, and investor ecosystems and showcases Virginia, Maryland, and DC as a prime destination for venture investment and job creation. As we begin in 2023, we’re seeing real potential for growth in the technology verticals of artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things and quantum computing. AED looks forward to building on the momentum of a successful 2022 as we head into the new year.