Recently, Virginia was named by CNBC as the "Top State for Business" in 2019. This is the fourth time Virginia has earned this recognition. They scored the highest in the 10 business competitiveness categories that CNBC uses to rank all 50 states. The main reason for Virginia's win? Arlington's high-profile deal to house the $5 billion Amazon's second headquarters (Amazon HQ2).
Drawn to Virginia
So what does Virginia have that influenced and won the deal for Amazon HQ2 in Arlington?
Short answer: education and technology. The area is one of the highest educated in the region. Almost 75% of the workforce in Arlington has a bachelor's degree, and about 40% have higher degrees. In terms of education, Virginia's workforce ranks fourth in the country, with a higher concentration on science, technology, education, and math (STEM) workers. The city earned that ranking through its population's high test scores, smaller class sizes, and numerous higher education facilities.
In addition to being fourth highest in education, Virginia is ranked as the second-best tech workforce in the country. Its workforce leads in tech jobs like educational technology, clean technology, data technology, and cybersecurity. Virginia Tech Innovation's announcement to build a new campus focusing on tech advancements next to Amazon HQ2 pretty much sealed the deal. The $1 billion innovation campus's goal is to continue developing top tech talent that will lead the future of the STEM workforce.
Toward One Goal
How did this mega-deal come to fruition? Collaboration. Virginia's, the city of Arlington's, and Amazon's partnership for this deal isn't so typical where the state, local, and private sectors work together for a shared goal that will benefit each of them. Their efforts are being rewarded with significant economic development for everyone involved. The development covers a projection of 12,000 high-paying jobs in Arlington and the state's $195 million investment to renovate the area where HQ2 is being built.
Virginia's rankings just prove that it's a hotspot right now for a booming workforce economy. As previously stated, the area is a leader in the four top-growing technology-related jobs. As the need to support those roles grow, companies are going to need to fill up positions with qualified candidates. And with Amazon HQ2 moving in, one can anticipate the need to grow would be soon and will continue.
Are you looking for a STEM or tech-related job or wanting to advance your current STEM/tech career? If new opportunities in this hot market excite you, Virginia may be calling your name. ICS can partner with you to find the perfect-fitting job. Take the first step by clicking below to begin your search.