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Issue 110
Friday, April 1, 2022
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

Every year in April the BOCS adopts the County Budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. As the second largest county in the Commonwealth, the over 450-page proposed budget is a big undertaking. Its full of essential information and numbers, but that can't really show the heart of our County.

That why I include my County Department tours and various calendar events in The Wheeler Report. They are a great way of sharing the many exciting things happening in Prince William County, and this issue is full of them. My week included a department making a real impact, a park getting a great amenity, a congested road being improved, an innovative business center opening, an appreciation event for those who have provided life changing help to others, a graduation of first responders, and valor honored.

Also in this issue you'll find important articles on COVID-19, the BOCS, County news, what's happening, and a special shoutout to a division of the Department of Public Works, which was showcased in the last issue. After my office heard from a concerned constituent, I saw first-hand the great work it does. Be sure to read about it in the County Kudos section below.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Department Talk and Tour
Led by Executive Director Christina Winn, the PWC Department of Economic Development (PWCDED) improves the County’s economic base by attracting new businesses, retaining existing businesses, and encouraging expansion. Its achievements were honored with four 2021 Excellence Awards by the International Economic Development Council (issue 87 County Kudos)
PWCDED's successfully completed projects in 2021 and 2020 will provide the County with a capital investment of $3.7 billion and create over 2,500 new jobs. The Department's many incentives have created a pro-business climate in PWC, and the Building Momentum initiative accelerated support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its complimentary consulting services help existing businesses while the robust Steps to Start Your Business resources help future business owners. You can hear directly from businesses some of the many reasons they decided to be in PWC in the video below.
A testament to the Department's efforts, PWC is now home to one of the fastest-growing biotechnology clusters in the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. At the epicenter is Innovation Park, Northern Virginia’s only university-centered research corporate park, which is anchored by the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus. The campus houses multiple facilities and institutions that foster the life Sciences including the Prince William Science Accelerator, the only public-private commercially available wet lab spaces in Northern Virginia, the Virginia Serious Game Institute, the only one of its kind on the East Coast, and the new Northern Virginia Bioscience Center (see Ribbon Cutting article below).

Want to stay in the knew about all the great economic development in PWC? Signup for the PWCDED Newsletter to receive news and insights into the County's businesses, workforce, and way of life, including important updates, new grant programs, opportunities, webinars, events, and economic indicators.
"Our Department of Economic Development, and the wonderful team they have put together, are instrumental in securing the future of the County. I am especially grateful for all they have accomplished over the last 2 years during the pandemic."
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors
Chair's Calendar
Catharpin Park Groundbreaking
Saturday, March 26, Chair Wheeler participated in the concession stand groundbreaking at Catharpin Recreational Park. The $1 million building is expected to be completed in October and will feature permanent restrooms, a concession area, and storage space.
Saturday, March 26, in an event hosted by Senator Mark Warner in celebration of Women's History Month, Chair Wheeler was recognized as one of the many Dynamic Women Leaders in PWC.
Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987. President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. The U.S. Congress followed suit the next year, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.
New Road Interchange Groundbreaking
Monday, March 28, Chair Wheeler participated in a groundbreaking for the new interchange at Route 234 and Brentsville Road. The $55 million, two-year project is being fully funded by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. This regionally significant project will include bridges, ramps and pedestrian facilities that will greatly improve the flow of traffic. Learn more about the project in the groundbreaking video below.
“The Route 234 corridor is a vital corridor in Prince William County and the Northern Virginia region, and this section of the corridor carries almost 40,000 vehicles daily. This project is also an integral part of a larger mobility plan in the western end of Prince William County along the Route 234 corridor.”
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors
Cutting-Edge Center Ribbon Cutting
Tuesday, March 29, Chair Wheeler participated in the Northern Virginia Bioscience Center Ribbon Cutting, which included a tour of the 30,000-square-foot wet lab facility located in PWC. During the event, PWC Department of Economic Development Deputy Direct Tom Flynn's was acknowledged for his dedication to Life Sciences in Prince William County.
In addition to housing research companies on the cutting-edge of science and technology, the center will support collaboration and cooperation in research between universities, companies, and government facilities. You can learn more about the Northern Virginia Bioscience Center in the video below.
Celebratory Dinner
Tuesday, March 29, Chair Wheeler participated in a Muslim Association of Virginia welcome and appreciation dinner hosted by the Afghan Refugee Committee at Dar Al Noor Islamic Community Center. In addition to welcoming these new members into our community, it honored the many people and organizations who have helped the Operation Allies Welcome Afghan refugees. Dar Al Noor has been a particularly vital part of providing invaluable support to this effort.
Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) was launched following President Biden's August 29, 2021, announcement that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would lead the federal government's efforts to support and resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked alongside the U.S. in Afghanistan for the past two decades. As of February 19, more than 76,000 OAW Afghan nationals have joined communities across the country.

Task Force Quantico provided temporary housing and support services for approximately 5,000 relocated Afghans at Marine Corps Base Quantico. The mission concluded December 22, 2021, with the departure of its last relocated Afghans.
Graduation Ceremony
Wednesday, March 30, Chair Wheeler participated in the PWC Department of Fire and Rescue graduation ceremony for Recruit Class 2021-2. The 29 graduates successfully completed 32 weeks of rigorous academic and physical training at the Department’s Public Safety Training Center in Nokesville. The more than 1500 hours of training consisted of 11 weeks of Emergency Medical Training, 13 weeks of Fire Training, and 8 weeks of Specialized Training.
Valor Awards
March 31, Chair Wheeler attended the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Valor Awards ceremony at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The ceremony recognizes career and volunteer police, fire, and rescue workers for their courageous, often lifesaving actions. Recipients are nominated by their respective chiefs and selected by a committee of not only their peers, but also members of the business community. The Chamber's commemorative booklet of the winners and their acts of valor will be shared in a future issue when it is published.
COVID-19 News
Fourth Booster Authorization
Tuesday, March 29, the FDA announced its authorization of a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) or the Moderna COVID-19 (Moderna) vaccines for older people and certain immunocompromised individuals. It had previously authorized a second booster dose for certain immunocompromised individuals. This action will now make a second booster dose available to additional populations at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
At least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of ANY authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine, a second booster dose may be administered of the:
  • Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to individuals 50 years of age and older.
  • Moderna vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise. These are people who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are living with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.
  • Pfizer vaccine to individuals 12 years of age and older with the same certain kinds of immunocompromise.
Change in the Workplace
Last week the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board adopted the final revocation of Virginia Standard 16VAC25-220, the Commonwealth's COVID-19 workplace safety standards (issue 22 State News). Put in place due to the absence of federal guidelines, these first-in-the nation standards protected Virginia workers by mandating appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications.
Following the revocation, DOLI is implementing new guidance for mitigating the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace. The document, Guidance for Employers to Mitigate the Risk of COVID-19 to Workers, was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations (see Did You Know below) on March 28 and is open for public comment until 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 27.
The new guidance encourages employers to continue taking certain steps to protect employees from the virus to include:
  • Facilitate employees' getting vaccinated and boosted.
  • Encourage any workers with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home from work and seek advice on testing and treatment from their physician.
  • Require all workers infected with COVID-19 virus to stay home.
  • Provide workers with face coverings or surgical masks, as appropriate.
  • Encourage good sanitary work habits such as frequent hand washing.
  • Educate workers on COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in languages they understand.
  • Operate and maintain ventilation systems in accordance with manufacturers' specifications to achieve optimal performance.
  • Record and report COVID-19 infections and deaths.
The Virginia Register of Regulations is an official state publication issued every other week. New and amended sections of regulations, both as proposed and as finally adopted, are required by law to be published in the Register. It also contains other information about state government, including petitions for rulemaking, emergency regulations, executive orders issued by the Governor, and notices of public hearings on regulations.
The Code of Virginia states a certified guidance document is subject to a 30-day public comment period after publication in the Virginia Register and prior to the guidance document's effective date. During the public comment period, comments may be made through the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website or sent to the agency contact. Currently, there are 49 regulatory and guidance documents open for public comment in the Town Hall.
How to Get Vaccinated:

How to get tested:
Next Meetings
Tuesday, April 5
2:00 pm Regular Meeting

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, April 4. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
The final Proposed FY2023 County Budget Public Hearing will be Tuesday, April 12, at 7:30 pm. Remote registration will be open from Thursday, April 7, until 5:00 pm Monday, April 11.
County News
Help for Jobseekers and Employers
The award-winning ELEVATE program has returned to offer jobseekers free training and certifications from a network of education partners. In addition, the program will offer a job portal for employers as well as low-cost solutions to train current employees to meet competitive market standards.
The BOCS appropriated funds to the program from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide training programs, support services, and career assistance so residents can get and keep today’s in-demand jobs. A skilled workforce ensures companies can attract the talent they need and that their employees earn the wages they deserve.
Housing Webinar
Monday, April 25, at 6:00 pm, the PWC Human Rights Commission is hosting a free webinar, FAIR HOUSING, the Prince William County Way. A Panel of PWC Resource Specialists will provide information regarding First Time Home Buyer Programs, Transitional Housing, Emergency Housing Assistance Programs, Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation Programs, Continuum of Care Services, Homeless & Housing Services in the Community, Discriminatory Housing Practices, and more. Register to attend here.
How to Reach Park Rangers
Starting Friday, April 1, call (703) 792-8889 to reach PWC Park Rangers to report a PWC Park or Recreation facility maintenance issue or emergency. Operation and maintenance issues includes event set-up, trash pick-up, road closures, park security, injured wildlife, facility or restroom maintenance, electrical or carpentry issues, as well as area closures. Park Ranger Staff are available to answer questions, enforce rules and ensure visitor safety, including rendering first aid.
County Happenings
Saturday, April 2, through Sunday, September 25, on weekends from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, PWC Fairgrounds Expo & Event Center is hosting The Marketplace at the FairGrounds. Happening most weekends, the indoor event is free and will highlight a variety of local vendors. If you are interested in being a vendor, booth spaces are $29 per day, and you can apply online here.
A 'Sweet' Annual Event
Tuesday, April 12, through Sunday, April 17, is Peep Week in Occoquan. Stroll through the historic district and vote for your favorite PEEPS® dioramas and enter to win a PEEPS® basket of goodies. Enter the contest by submitting your family-friendly PEEPS® diorama by April 11 to win in one of four categories: Individual; Family/Team; Youth (ages 12-16); and Kids (12 and under). Winners will receive $50 in gift certificates to use around Occoquan!
Say 'Easter Bunny'
Through Saturday, April 16, the Easter Bunny will be at Manassas Mall in Manassas and Potomac Mills in Woodbridge. Come out and have your photo taken! Days and hours vary by location, so please check the schedule for each using the hyperlinks above before going.
Tony Winner Concert
Saturday, April 30, at 8:00 pm, Leslie Odom, Jr. will provide a thrilling concert for the conclusion of the two-day Hylton Center's 12th Anniversary Gala! Winner of the Tony Award for his performance as Aaron Burr in the hit musical Hamilton, Leslie's multifaceted career spans theater, television, film, and Grammy Award-winning music. Tickets start at $65. You can get a preview of his talent in the video below.
County Kudos
Getting the Job Done
Monday, Chair Wheeler's office received a concern from a constituent about a road greatly in need of a clean-up. The concern was shared with the PWC Department of Public Works Neighborhood Services Division. Just two days later, the division advised its "litter crew" and VDOT had removed 40 bags of trash, 20 tires, and other large miscellaneous trash!
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents.