Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Applauds Amazon’s Decision to Locate Second Headquarters in Northern Virginia
President and CEO, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Last week, Amazon announced that it will locate a portion of its second headquarters – “HQ2” – in Northern Virginia, bringing tens of thousands of additional jobs to the region over the next decade. 238 North American cities and regions responded to Amazon’s HQ2 RFP, and our region, along with New York, was selected. This is something we should be extremely proud of as a region.
In January 2018, Amazon selected twenty finalist regions, including Northern Virginia. Among its requirements, Amazon noted its desire to locate HQ2 in a major metropolitan area with access to a talented workforce, a robust transportation network with an international airport, and a stable, business-friendly environment.
HQ2 represents the culmination of Northern Virginia’s unprecedented transformation over the course of a generation. That Amazon selected Northern Virginia over many other strong options reemphasizes what makes our region a premier business destination – world-class, highly-educated, diverse talent, robust infrastructure, and a positive business climate at the local, state, and regional level. We are excited to welcome Amazon’s extraordinary investment of resources, innovation, and talent to our region – these contributions will certainly serve as the catalyst for Northern Virginia’s next great chapter.
As we welcome Amazon’s new investment in our community, we, the business community must continue to advocate to address our regional challenges and opportunities. The ability for our region to grow or attract the next Amazon is dependent on our continued ability to recruit and retain talent, move people efficiently, build our entrepreneurial ecosystem, and enhance our quality of life. With your support and leadership, your Chamber will continue to be the place where the business leadership of the region will convene, engage with one another, and build the platform that will support our region’s long term prosperity.
As we already know, Northern Virginia’s business community is second to none. The Northern Virginia Chamber is proud to represent and serve those businesses that contribute to our thriving region. I am excited for what’s to come for our business community and for Northern Virginia.
Second Wave Learning
Old habits die hard.
If you’ve been a manager for more than 10 years, you may think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But some things don’t have to broken to be changed or improved, and Millennials are the change that is happening in the workplace.
Today’s younger Millennials aren’t looking for a manager — they’re looking for a coach, especially younger, Second-Wave Millennials. A manager manages performance, and a coach manages development. While a manager sets your goals, tracks your performance, gives you raises, promotes you, fires you (very functional things), what a coach does is motivate you. Coaches provide feedback. They fit you into a team. They improve your skills. They give you advice. It’s a one-on-one experience.
Even while coaching, the principles of good management still need to apply: clear expectations, a means of tracking progress, and rewards for achieving goals. But how a manager manages, especially for Millennials, should be more like a coach—developing his or her employee with close supervision and a watchful, caring eye.
Coaching is the new managing for Millennials.
Here’s why: Millennials grew up to believe they were special. I know… you are already rolling your eyes, but after 20-years of conditioning, they expect more individualized attention, and you can’t change that overnight. A distant authority figure doling out unexplained assignments and goals without explaining how to get to those goals is not the way to develop good employees today. On the other hand, someone who will work closely with them, mentoring and partnering, coaching them to better performance, will experience far greater levels of productivity.
One of the best ways to be a good coach is by providing them with goals that are clear, achievable and incremental. Millennials in the workplace are surprisingly goal-oriented—as much or more than their Boomer and Gen X counterparts. Of the three generations currently in the workforce, Millennials are decidedly the most focused “on the prize.”
In fact, a survey from LifeCourse Associates revealed 69 percent of Millennials say they like it when their supervisor provides them with hands-on guidance and direction to reach their goals. Just 40 percent of Boomers and Gen Xers said that.
In addition, be sure to provide frequent feedback on their progress. Since they were children, Millennials have been conditioned to get guidance and feedback constantly at school and in their extra-curriculars. As a coach, consider more frequent (daily, even) check-ins with your Millennial employees.
Coaching, not managing, may be what gets your organization to higher levels of productivity — led by some of your youngest team members. Managing may not be broken, but it’s time for an upgrade.
Warren Wright is author of Second-Wave Millennials: Tapping the Potential of America’s Youth. It is due for release in November. This blog is taken from an excerpt of the book.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet so often its one of the first things compromised in our day to day life. How many times have we stayed up to the wee hours of the night finishing those emails instead of just closing the computer and getting 8 hours of sleep? Or forgoing exercise or yoga because we just ‘don’t have the time’. Mental health refers to the health of our brain, which also happens to be one of the most important and complex organs of our body.
What if we called it Brain Health? Would we make more of an effort to rest our brain, feed it positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts and prioritize activities such as meditation, yoga – even therapy – to try and have the best brain health possible?
Local non-profit organization, the Josh Anderson Foundation, is working hard to change the culture around mental health for teenagers through its student-led club program, our minds matter. Our Minds Matter clubs utilize a peer-to-peer method in which trained youth develop and lead activities that encourage social connection, reduce mental health stigma, and build coping skills among their fellow students. The goal is to create an environment in which those who struggle seek help and find a way forward. Currently the Our Minds Matter program is in fourteen high schools in Northern Virginia and is seeking to expand in order to reach more teens with critical skills and knowledge around their mental, or brain health.
Why it is important to have programs like these in our schools that help students prioritize their mental health? Because our teens need this support now more than ever. Suicide has grown to become the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15-19. What’s more is teenagers’ brains are not fully developed and therefore they are more likely to respond irrationally and impulsively to life’s challenges.
We can all agree that no young person’s life should be lost to suicide. You can help support the Josh Anderson Foundation’s mission at its upcoming fundraising event, the 5th Annual Joshua Ball, on Friday November 2nd. Virginia State Senator, Creigh Deeds will be sharing his remarkable story. Senator Deeds has been widely recognized for his work on mental health reform following his son's death by suicide in 2013 and most recently, Senator Deeds sponsored the new Virginia law that mandates mental health education in public schools.
To purchase tickets, sponsor the event or donate, please visit the following site:
Thank you for helping to prioritize Mental and Brain Health!
Help sensory-sensitive children enjoy trick-or-treat
Some children can enjoy Halloween whether they are dressed as a goblin or a princess, but Halloween may not come as easily for other children. Trick-or-treating can be an overwhelming experience for children with a sensitive sensory system as they experience new sights, sounds, and behaviors. These tips from Patient First can help all children enjoy their trick-or-treat hauls.
(Note: Editors and reporters may use the attached graphics.)
About Patient First
All Patient First Medical Centers are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the year, including holidays. Patient First provides non-appointment urgent care for routine injuries and illnesses, as well as primary care for patients who do not have a regular physician. Each Patient First center has on-site digital x-ray, on-site laboratory, and on-site prescription drugs. Patient First currently operates medical centers in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Media Contact: Brooke Waller
(703) 652-1572 (Office)
(571) 340-1594 (Mobile)
Second Wave Learning
For Millennial employees, mentoring isn’t seen as a perk or a bonus — it’s become something they expect and see as a necessity for their professional success. Coming from a lifetime of teaching, guidance and coaching from every adult in their lives, Second-wave Millennials enter the workplace expecting (and often needing) more of the same.
Mentoring has several benefits for Second-wave Millennials, many of whom never received coaching in soft skills like business communications and networking. Mentoring can provide these young professionals with an additional stream of the feedback and advice they crave from their employers. It can also help them learn more about their team, company and place in the work world. Millennials who receive mentoring are happier at work than their un-mentored peers.
Improved Loyalty and Retention
But mentoring isn’t just good for the Millennial employees — it’s also good for their employers, who will benefit from having more engaged and loyal employees. A study by Deloitte suggested that Millennials who have mentors are twice as likely to plan to stay with their current company for more than 5 years. The Association for Talent Development reported that companies with formal mentoring programs in place receive higher marks for employee engagement and retention.
While mentoring is often seen as informal-but-helpful chats over a cup of coffee or lunch, there are several models in practice. For Millennials, the more formal the mentoring structure, the more they’ll benefit.
There is an increase in not just mentorship but sponsorship of young employees. Unlike traditionally informal mentoring, sponsorships match a young employee with an influential higher-up who can be both their confidante and champion as the young professional progresses and grows at the company.
Where Do I Start?
Either way, setting up a formal mentorship or sponsorship program is key to both attracting and retaining top Millennial employees. In some ways, the more formal this program is, the better the results will be. Here are tips on getting started:
Recruit mentors first. Mentors should be personable, approachable and friendly, but they should also be people who can set a great example for young employees, listen actively and provide feedback appropriately.
Determine the structure. Work with the mentors to determine the structure, length, frequency of meeting, approved meeting locations and other details. Having all the mentors on the same page about what is and isn’t required will help ensure mentees have a consistent experience.
Make matches. New employees, young professionals and anyone else interested should be matched with a mentor. Matches work best when they are between people who have similar interests and aspirations, and those people don’t necessarily need to be from the same department.
Get feedback. After a few months, be sure to get feedback from both mentees and mentors about how the program is working for all parties involved, and tweak as necessary.
Both mentors and mentees should benefit from this program with an increase in both job satisfaction and professional development — after all, young professionals can teach their more experienced colleagues a lot, too!
Second Wave Learning’s goal is to help businesses get new, young employees started off on the right foot and on their way to a successful career. Learn more about how Second Wave Learning can help you develop the workforce of the future at www.secondwavelearning.com.
Second Wave Learning
Starting a new job can feel like the first day of school at a brand-new school. From learning where the bathroom is to meeting people, it can feel overwhelming.
In an earlier blog, we discussed what companies could do before the employees’ first day. Today we are going to discuss ideas you can use on their first day of onboarding. Both are critical to reducing the chance of turnover. Brand-conscious Second-wave Millennials are quick to make decisions on your company, so making a great first impression is key.
“New hires who experience badly planned and executed initiations may conclude that the organization is poorly managed and decide that it was a mistake to take the job,” Arlene Hirsch wrote for SHRM. “As they make their way through the organization, those early experiences get magnified and calcified.”
The good news is that it is not that hard to do. So what do employees really want from their first day and how do you as an employer ensure they go home energized and excited?
Here are five things employers can provide (or provide early) to ensure the first day is amazing:
No paperwork. In the days before a new employee officially starts, send them their benefits and payroll paperwork (or provide them access to the paperwork portal). Giving them time to understand their benefits, ask questions, consult with family members and fill out paperwork before they arrive at work can be helpful in many ways: It gets the “boring” paperwork out of the way, lets them make informed and unrushed decisions, and lets the employee spend more time on the first day learning, engaging and meeting people.
Ready technology. In the days before the new employee starts, make sure all technology is set up and ready to go. For an employee, walking up to an empty desk and waiting around for IT to set up their laptop, phone and passwords is a waste their time on that critical first day. Many experts recommend that you give them access to their email early, and have key managers and team members send welcome messages before the new employee arrives. Computers and phones should be set up in advance, turned on and ready for them before the new employee arrives.
Lunch plans. Remove your new employee’s lunchtime stress about where to go and who to eat with by setting up lunch for them. Make a reservation for lunch at a local spot with key team members who can help the employee understand the organization and their role in it. (In fact, experts recommend you do this for the entire first week with different managers and team members to help the new employee feel comfortable and cared about.)
A Roadmap. Goals, plans, tasks, projects. These are all key things an employer can provide that will make a new employee feel comfortable and settle in quickly. Give new employees a sense of place by giving them information answering these questions: What is their role in the team and the larger organization? What are their goals for the first 90 days? How are tasks and projects assigned and prioritized? What support systems are in place to help them succeed? What onboarding programs are offered in their first six months to help them understand the company’s culture, systems, traditions and expectations?
A Sherpa. In addition to their team members and managers, new employees will benefit from having a mentor — often this should be a successful employee who has been with the company for a few years and is in a separate-but-related department. This mentor can be a coffee buddy, offer career and professional growth advice, stress relief and more.
Having these resources, plans and technology in place shows a new employee that their company cares about their long-term success and career development inside the company. They may go home exhausted — the first day may be overwhelming no matter what — but they’ll leave with a smile and will be more likely to stick around in the long run.
Second Wave Learning’s goal is to help businesses get new, young employees started off on
the right foot and on their way to a successful career. Learn more about how
Second Wave Learning can help you develop the workforce of the future at