Arlington’s Greatest Resource, our People
Leveraging our People to Make Arlington an R&D Capital
Arlington’s greatest resource has always been its people. They have been the driving force behind recent growth in Arlington, and are largely responsible for making it such a great place to live and work. Arlingtonians are among the most educated residents in the country, and our median household income is fifth highest in the country. Furthermore, Arlington’s economy is strategically positioned in an area with diversified assets and services. This bodes well for long-term economic development in Arlington. However, we must stay vigilant, take a dynamic approach to economic development, and continue to invest in our human capital to consolidate Arlington’s role as a research and development center in the region for years to come.
Despite reporting robust economic indicators, Arlington still faces significant challenges that must be addressed in order to secure our long-term economic future. These challenges include: a commercial vacancy rate of between 17%-20% over the past five years; an economy that is shifting away from office buildings to working from home; and exponential technological innovation that will revolutionize the 21st Century economy.
Arlington must be flexible and embrace the demands of the new economy. This will allow us to retain our best and brightest, as well as continue to attract the people and business that make Arlington a leader in technology and innovation. An important step will be adapting to facilitate an increase in working from home. While the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the transition to telework, it is ultimately a long-term shift that will transform Arlington’s economy. With this in mind, we must realize that location is an essential piece of Arlington’s economic value. Moreover, Arlington must embrace the emerging and growing industries that will be the drivers of economic growth in the future. This means attracting and investing in the green-tech economy and innovative sectors like gaming companies. Finally, we must continue building on our educated workforce, university consortium, and taking advantage of Arlington’s proximity to federal agencies such as the Department of Energy and the the Department of Defense.
Arlington Economic Development
Arlington Economic Development (AED) is an organization dedicated to ensuring that Arlington maintains and enhances its economic competitiveness and sustainability. AED works with business leaders to attract the most innovative companies and individuals to Arlington while valuing the diversity and character that are so important to our identity. AED’s success as a liaison between the County Board, community, and business leaders has been fundamental to recent growth in Arlington, and will be integral to our long-term economic development, building Arlington as the R&D and innovation capital in the region.