Less than a week after Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley crowed about robust job creation on his side of the Potomac River, Fairfax County economic development officials put up some big numbers of their own.
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority said Tuesday that 159 firms will have created more than 9,000 jobs in Virginia’s largest jurisdiction within about a year’s time. Some have already moved to Fairfax, while others are on the way within the next 12 months, said Alan A. Fogg, a spokesman for the economic development authority.
The numbers may also offer yet another data point in the long, cross-river rivalry between Maryland and Virginia over which state has the more business-friendly environment.
Most of Fairfax County’s new jobs are coming from companies and organizations that are based in the U.S., the authority said. But others hail from 39 firms anchored in such places as Sweden, China, India and Switzerland.
One of the biggest scores was luring Bechtel’s Global Operations headquarters and its 625 jobs from Maryland. Another was Aerotek’s adding of 967 jobs.
Others include ITT Exelis, an ITT Corp spinoff that put 70 jobs and a new corporate headquarters in Fairfax County; CACI International, a defense firm that added 202 jobs; Hilton Worldwide’s 100 jobs and AppAssure Software, which will generate 150 new positions.
From overseas, India-based Blue Ally announced plans to expand in Fairfax with 85 jobs; Securitas, which is Swedish, created 35; and China-based Huawwei Technologies created 23 jobs, the authority said. Seven minority-owned firms also created new positions.
In an interview, Gerald L. Gordon, president of the economic development economic authority, played down the interstate rivalry. He said both states are attractive to companies interested in the region, and there is only competition between Maryland and Virginia when they’re competing for the same prospect. But otherwise, he said, there’s no hard feelings if Maryland picks up new employers or creates new jobs.
“Good for them,” Gordon said. “There is competition for specific prospects, period.”
The authority is chartered by the commonwealth to promote Fairfax County as a business location and receives its funding from the county. The Board of Supervisors also appoints the authority’s governing body.