State's Job Growth Almost All in N.Va.

By Elissa Silverman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 21, 2005

Virginia Beach and the Shenandoah Valley might be prime destinations for vacationers this time of year, but those on a job hunt would be wise to head north on Interstate 95: Northern Virginia accounted for 96.3 percent of the state's job growth since last spring, according to new numbers from the Virginia Employment Commission.

Northern Virginia added 49,100 of 51,000 new jobs statewide in the year that ended in May.

Plan Would Change Springfield's Mix

Ask Fairfax County residents to free-associate with the word "Springfield," and a fairly predictable list would probably emerge: Mixing Bowl, mall and Metrorail station.

One thing people don't connect with the greater Springfield area is offices. According to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Springfield corridor contains less than 5 percent of the county's office space.

KSI Services Inc. has an idea that would nudge that number slowly upward. The prominent real estate developer wants to add approximately 40,000 square feet of office space to the area. The construction of new office buildings would be part of a larger proposed residential and commercial development right near I-95, modeled after pedestrian-friendly mixed-use developments in Bethesda and Pentagon City.

The ambitious project needs zoning approval from Fairfax County. KSI made its grand plans for Springfield public a couple of months ago, and the company has been previewing its artistic renderings and specifications to community groups since then to build support.

Kentucky Derby, Part 2

Giacamo won the first leg of the Triple Crown in May. Now the race for Kentucky's $170 million Medicaid management contract has finally been decided: The winner is Electronic Data Systems Corp., which has its state and local government solutions division in Herndon.

Unisys Corp., which previously held the contract, protested the award but did not prevail.

The health care management sector continues to expand, and firms with big operations in Fairfax County dominate the market. The Kentucky contract spans five years and nine months, with options for two one-year extensions.

EDS recently announced Medicaid contracts with Oregon and Massachusetts, which both decided to hand over the management of their systems to a private-sector contractor. "This is our fifth win of the year," said EDS spokesman Bill Ritz. "These are three new states that have turned to us for Medicaid."

Movers and Shakers

· Peter DiGiammarino has been named chairman and chief executive of Compusearch Software Systems, which was acquired by Carlyle Venture Partners for an undisclosed sum last week.

DiGiammarino's bona fides in the tech field are no secret, however. He's been a big player at American Management Systems, Hyperion and Aquilent, among other ventures.

· Lara L. Fritts has taken over as executive director of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corp., which encourages commercial development along the Richmond Highway corridor. Fritts has previous economic development experience working with Rockville Economic Development Inc., formerly known as the Greater Rockville Partnership, and has ties to the region's tech community as well.

Have news about business in Fairfax County? Send an e-mail tosilvermane@washpost.comor call 703-383-5103.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company