August 9, 2010
Months of planning, interviewing, recruiting and hiring are not over, and 800 analysts for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) are making the move to the new Intelligence Center in Albemarle County.
The Agency's ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility in northern Albemarle County is scheduled for Tuesday.
"You've got this influx of new high-paying jobs coming to the area, and at a time when we have a lot of economic malaise and uncertainty," said Mike Harvey, Director of the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development.
Officials say more than 100 employees are already in the area, and the rest will be phased in by 2011. Plenty of local agencies collaborated to convince employees to make the move to central Virginia.
"The [Thomas Jefferson] Partnership, along with the County, and a lot of other folks around the area, [including] the Chamber of Commerce and CAAR. We did an all-hands-on-deck effort to try and recruit those people here, because it's really critical to their mission that they get those folks on the ground an deployed by September 11," said Harvey.
Greg Slater, President of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, says the new agency will ultimately have a positive impact on the local real estate market.
"We don't know how many people that's actually going to cause to move to our area, but we know we have a higher than normal level of inventory. Anytime somebody is moving into this market and needs a house, either to rent or to buy, that's a positive for our local economy," said Slater.
Slater says real estate agents have seen a steady flow of DIA employees, and the number of available houses on the market is more than enough to handle any influx of people who decide to move to Albemarle County.
Many real estate and economic development experts say the new DIA compound provides a much-needed boost to the Charlottesville region, which has seen too large employers leave in recent years.
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