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Capital Business
Posted at 06:53 PM ET, 09/26/2011

Young workers to Tysons Corner employers: No thanks


A 2009 rendering of how the Tysons Corner Metro stop might look. (Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post)
This week the Post’s Sunday Business section published an in-depth story I wrote about the efforts to transform Tysons Corner into an honest-to-goodness city over the next 50 years.

The story discusses the history of how Tysons became such an economic powerhouse, but also how its traffic problems are threatening that growth. In addition to the issues covered in the story there’s another threat to Tyson’s future as a city, and that is that many young employees — particularly those who choose not to own cars — aren’t particularly interested in working there.

One great example comes from Erin Fuller, who is group president of Coulter Cos., a Tysons-based consulting firm serving non-profit organizations. Fuller told me that even with the sagging job market she has a tough time hiring employees in their 20s and has considered moving Coulter out of Tysons, to Falls Church or Arlington.

“We’ve had younger people who just say it just takes too long [to get there]. How am I going to do this from where I live? And to a certain extent I understand it…of course you’re going to pick the one that is the easiest, all other things being even,” she said.

Fuller said she goes so far as to mask the difficulty of getting to the Coulter office for job applicants. “I would never schedule an interview with someone at rush hour here, because I wouldn’t want them to endure the experience of getting to here at rush hour,” she said. “So we schedule interviews between like 11 and 3, or 10 and 3.”

I’ve heard similar examples about the difficulty of retaining sales associates, administrative staff and secretaries in Tysons. If things are bad now, what happens when the job market picks up?

Gallery: Reimagining Tysons Corner

By  |  06:53 PM ET, 09/26/2011

 
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