Loudoun contractor’s business is booming
Loudoun County-based FCi Federal got a nice present for its 25th birthday last year — a $416 million, five-year contract with the Department of Homeland Security. Not bad for a business that a local woman started in her brother’s basement.
At first, Sharon D. Virts served as a consultant to federal government contractors. A decade ago, however, she studied the marketplace and retooled the company to pursue contracts in a promising growth sector, immigration.
Under its contract with Homeland Security, FCi provides most of the staffing for the department’s National Benefits Center (NBC) in Missouri. NBC oversees the processing of the immigration applications that, when successful, lead to citizenship.
FCi employees do not adjudicate applications, says Scott F. Miller, the company’s CEO, but they do just about everything else. “If you are going to become a citizen, the center handles it,” he says.
Because of its successful bid on the contract, FCi was able to add 1,320 full-time positions, bringing its roster nationwide to about 5,000.
In addition to its immigration services, FCi works with the State Department to ensure the integrity of its diplomatic mail around the world. It has done work for Treasury and Defense, too. Miller expects it will take its experience and expertise in benefits analysis and fraud detection to other areas of government, such as law enforcement and health care.
The NBC contract was just the latest coup for FCi. Since 2012, Miller says, its business has increased by 50 percent, leading it to add 40,000 square feet of space at its Ashburn headquarters in October to accommodate its 70 core employees.
Virts and Miller, who recently married, donated $2 million to Inova Health System last year to expand its Lansdowne campus. The Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center is expected to open later this year.
Last year, Virts launched the Sharon D. Virts Foundation, which will focus on preserving the culture and history of the county while encouraging economic opportunity. Its first award was $10,000 to the Land Trust of Virginia.
“We are going to stay in Loudoun,” Virts said at the ceremony marking the expansion of the Ashburn headquarters. “I was born and raised here. I went to school here … Loudoun County is a great place to be, and we don’t ever want to be anyplace else.”