Virginia Counties Play Musical Chairs with Economic Development

In developing news, Fairfax County has persuaded the man who spearheaded the Amazon HQ2 win for Arlington County to accept the position as CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). Victor Hoskins has accepted the position, replacing the now-retired Gerry Gordon. The FCEDA is one of the largest EDOs in the United States with 6 satellite offices around the world. The two adjacent counties have long wrestled for dominance in a region whose growth has outpaced all estimates. Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland have now dominated the Top Ten Wealthiest Counties and Cities in Americafor the fourth year in a row with 6 out of the top ten slots between them. The Virginia counties of Loudon and Fairfax vie for the top spots with Howard, MD coming in third, Falls Church and Arlington tagging in at fourth and fifth and Fairfax City at number 10.

This shift in economic dominance was two decades in the making but looks to be on trend for the next decade at least. Bringing in Hoskins as CEO of Fairfax County EDA is a clear step in the right direction for a county that, like Arlington, hosts a major airport and active tech corridor.





Hoskins is not the only move to watch. Christina Winn is also leaving the Arlington EDA for another Northern VA post in Prince William county. What these moves mean for Arlington or the regions that have managed to snatch them up is anyone’s guess. What it means for Northern Virginia is more of the same success they’ve seen for the last decade and security for their top spots on the wealthiest lists..

Virginia has taken economic development seriously, pumping countless dollars into highly targeted direct investment campaigns. The state has utilized technology effectively to achieve their goals. They've created multiple key-word dense websites to help attract investment through organic search, have participated in site selection events, and built highly effective networks and funnels to achieve positive ends. 

Not every county or region is equal, however. Smaller counties must compete with larger counties for investment dollars. Part of the goal of StageXchange and its partners has been to find ways of equalizing the playing field so that the smaller EDOs have the same opportunity to attract investment as larger ones. Our participation in SITE Selector has helped us to achieve this goal. We allow EDOs to upload 3 or more opportunities for free to the platform where they can be viewed by decision makers in an unbiased environment. Site selectors use the platform to run a search of sites based off of up to 150 different criteria elements and in return are matched with the top 10 locations using AI. That means visibility for even the smallest towns and regions. This is offered for free to all EDOs. 

If you are curious about how we can help your EDO get seen contact us today at: 202.747.0414 or email


site selection, economic incentive, EDO, virginia

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