Posted on 02/26/20 by Alex Taylor
One of the linchpins of Arlington Economic Development’s strategy for business attraction is maximizing our partnership with the development and broker communities. Last week, AED hosted the Broker Breakfast, the first in a series of events focused on content and discussions that we believe are most important to our mission to attract, retain and grow our company base.
The first, and probably most important part of the discussion is making the community aware of the updated Business Investment strategy and how AED staff is marketing and branding Arlington to office users big and small. At last week’s event, we focused on a couple of those themes.
The number one is workforce, the currency that every tenant in the market is working to leverage. Arlington is centrally located in the 2nd largest tech talent pool in the United States. The smartest and hardest working tech employees reside here. The future workforce will also live here. The Commonwealth’s $1.1 billion investment in the Tech Talent Pipeline is set to create nearly 31,000 tech degrees in the next two decades between the Virginia Tech in Alexandria and George Mason universities in Arlington.
But despite that large tech talent pool, the concept of brain drain is also an important element of the workforce theme. D.C. area universities lose more tech graduates every year than anywhere else in the United States (second only to Boston). While this sounds like a negative statistic on the surface, as private sector technology jobs start becoming more prevalent in the market, the universities will already be providing the talent to fill those jobs. Instead of heading west to San Francisco or Seattle, our university graduates can take jobs with Amazon, Oracle, Google, Facebook, and hundreds of other tech companies that are rapidly expanding across the metro area.
The second most important talking point revolves around transportation infrastructure, the built environment, and overall quality of life. Arlington is the model for urban-suburban development, a product of smart planning during the 1960s and 1970s as Metro began expanding into the suburbs. There are many factors that lead to a high quality of life, but the ones at the top of the list typically involve easy walkability, quality transit, access to amenities, high quality of health, and a strong public education system. Arlington features all of these in abundance, along with over 40 million square feet of high-quality office product located in the urban cores, allowing for the full live-work-play environment that so many strive cities strive to achieve. Our next two events later this spring will focus on the built environment, and the developments, amenities and infrastructure that will emerge across the County over the next decade.
If you missed out on AED’s first Broker Breakfast event, reach out to Alex Taylor. He and the BIG team will gladly provide customized presentations for you and your companies.Topic: BIG Update, Economic Update