The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Acquisition Academy (VAAA) trains employees who manage over $24B to ensure it efficiently and effectively provides goods and services to our Nation's Veterans through its five professional schools: Acquisition Internship, Contracting Professional, Facilities Management, Program Management, and Supply Chain Management School. The VAAA employs 120 people in Frederick.
EngageUSA processes donations for non profit organizations. Their data-driven solutions help museums, social welfare and veterans organizations, and seniors-advocacy organizations to raise money more efficiently allowing them to have more net funds for their programs. They really opened a new data center and plan to add 30-50 new positions.
Dynamic Rugs, the only company of its kind in Maryland, distributes to various independent home furnishing retailers, chain stores and internet vendors. In 2005, the company moved from Montgomery County to an 85,000 square foot distribution center in Frederick to allow them to expand and better organize their inventory.
1. What do you foresee for your business and/or the economy in 2018?
VAAA: The VA Acquisition Academy forecasts continued growth in the Acquisition Internship School as it expands the Warriors to Workforce Program™ by hiring and training Veterans to accommodate the anticipated attrition rate within the VA acquisition workforce. VAAA anticipates overall growth as it continues to train and develop members of the acquisition workforce from other Government agencies. VAAA has trained more than 1,600 students from 28 other Government agencies.
EUSA: EngageUSA has recently opened a new data center on East Street. We plan to expand our presence in Frederick this year and add 30 to 50 new positions.
DR: If the economy stays the same, we are hoping to expand because we are maxed out of our current space. We are looking to grow in space and in employment size.
2. What would surprise people about your business?
VAAA: We administer the Warriors to Workforce Program™, an innovative program that hires and prepares returning wounded Veterans with little to no post-high school education for a career in Federal acquisition. After successful completion of the program, participants advance to the two-year Acquisition Intern Program (AIP) which equips them with the skills and experiences they need to become full-time contract specialists. To date, 82 Veterans have been placed in full-time contracting positions, including 10 students from three other Government agencies (OGA), with four active cohorts – 30 participants in W2W and 22 participants in AIP, including eight OGA participants.
EUSA: Many of your donations to national and international non profit organizations are processed right here in Frederick. We partner locally with Woodsboro Bank and nationally with Bank of America, M&T Bank, and Wells Fargo to quickly and inexpensively get both money and data where it is needed.
DR: We are the only company in this industry in Maryland. We distribute rugs all over the U.S., Canada and Latin America to big box stores but no one knows about us because we don’t deal directly to the public and we are tucked away in Frederick County.
3. Why did you choose Frederick County as a business location?
VAAA: Frederick was chosen for a variety of reasons. It’s located approximately 50 miles outside of major metropolitan areas Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., it is serviced by three major airports, the area hosts a lower per diem rate for Federal travel, facility leasing costs are lower than you would find in major metropolitan areas, and it has the infrastructure to support its students.
EUSA: Frederick is our home. As we expand, we will probably end up with satellite locations in Pennsylvania or Virginia. But we are committed to Frederick.
DR: We were in Montgomery County at the time and just couldn’t find a reasonable space to meet our business needs so Frederick County was a good choice for us.
4. What’s keeping your business in Frederick County?
VAAA: The same features that brought the VA Acquisition Academy to Frederick County are the features that will keep it here.
EUSA: EngageUSA values quality of life for our employees. There aren’t many places with a better quality of life than Frederick. We have an amazing downtown with a huge variety of restaurants and things to do. Hiking and biking trails are 10 minutes away and both Washington and Baltimore are less than an hour.
5. What awards or accolades do you want to brag about?
VAAA: We are proud to support the Department charged with providing care and support to our Nation’s Veterans. In 2017, VAAA received three industry awards including: the LearningElite Award from Chief Learning Officer magazine, the Distinguished Service Award from the Training Officers Consortium for Return on Investment for the Program Management School’s Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer Representatives (FAC-COR) training, and the Learning!100 award from ELearning! magazine. In addition, VAAA received three Secretary’s I CARE Honor Awards for programs demonstrating VA’s I CARE values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence.
EUSA: Both our Chairman, Dennis Hoffman, and our President, Kathleen Clem are past presidents of the Baltimore Entrepreneurs Organization. We are three time honorees on the Inc. 5000.
About Frederick’s Top 50
Frederick’s Top 50 for 2018 marks an inaugural list of businesses who have the largest potential to contribute to Frederick County’s vibrant economy. The metrics-driven list was created by OED with assistance from Hood College, using research from InfoUSA, tax records, CoStar and internal data collection. Data was analyzed using a weighted scoring system in the following areas: Number of Employees in Frederick County, Annual Property Taxes Paid, Square Footage Occupied in Frederick County, Location Sales Volume and Year Established.