The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) honored the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) with a 2013 Excellence in Economic Development Award for the FCEDA’s unique and extensive program that works with foreign companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the United States. The IEDC announced winners of its awards October 8 in Philadelphia during its annual conference.
The FCEDA won a Silver Award in the Responding to Globalization category for communities with populations greater than 500,000.
“The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority as being one of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” said IEDC Chair Paul Krutko. “This organization uses creative solutions and inventive ideas, and offers other regions a wonderful example to learn and benefit from. The award represents an acknowledgment and appreciation for Fairfax County EDA’s dedication to continuous growth as well as improving the industry overall.”
For 20 years the FCEDA has promoted Fairfax County as one of the best U.S. locations for foreign firms. In the mid-1990s the FCEDA established an international division solely focused on foreign direct investment, especially with companies in technology and professional services fields. In 1997 the FCEDA expanded the international program to include its first permanent office overseas. Today the FCEDA is unique among U.S. counties with overseas offices in five important global technology centers: Bangalore, London, Munich, Seoul and Tel Aviv. The FCEDA also has offices in Boston and Los Angeles.
This year more than 400 foreign-owned firms from more than 40 countries have operations in Fairfax County, up from 73 in 1998, reinforcing the county’s reputation as a diverse, vibrant and cosmopolitan place to work and live. Foreign-owned firms employ more than 25,000 in the county.
“We have attracted hundreds of foreign-owned companies that were interested in U.S. operations. The international marketing program has reaped extraordinary dividends for Fairfax County in terms of job creation, a more diversified economic base, increased tax revenue, and a more diverse and cosmopolitan community,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the FCEDA. “It is gratifying to be recognized by others in the economic development profession for our successful global outreach.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base.
The IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Time magazine called Fairfax County, “one of the great economic success stories of our time.” Business growth helps Fairfax County fund the nation’s top-rated school system and other public services that contribute to the quality of life of residents. Fairfax County offers businesses a state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, access to global markets through Washington Dulles International Airport and a well-educated workforce.