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Region Readies for First Telework Summit

By Potomac Local News October 14, 2012 8:00 am

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Delegate Richard Anderson (R-Prince William)

FIRST ON POTOMACLOCAL.COM

By URIAH KISER

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Business and political leaders will gather for the first time in Prince William County to discuss doing more work without workers needing to leave home.

Working remotely, or teleworking, is growing in popularity in Prince William – a place where more than 62 percent of residents travel outside the county to get to their jobs.

The number of people who telework has grown as new video conferencing technologies have developed and the number of communities with broadband internet service has grown. And in a region where the car is king, area leaders want to see more people get off clogged roads and work from home or telework centers.

“I commuted for eight years, from the Horner Road commuter lot in Woodbridge. I understand what all of this congestion is about and what we need to do to take cars off of the road,” said Delegate Richard Anderson (R-Prince William).

Anderson is a retired Air Force Colonel who carpooled to and from the Pentagon. Now he’s working with the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s Telework Taskforce to host the area’s first Telework Summit to bring together industry and government leaders at the Chamber’s headquarters in Manassas to get companies, organizations, and elected leaders in Northern Virginia talking about instituting more teleworking policies and opportunities  for their employees.

“I’ve found that when the Chamber is involved in an initiative, there always seems to be more an incentive to bring more folks to the table,” added Anderson.

Challenges remain, however, as some bosses prefer to see employees seated in offices in lieu of working from home or from a telework center. The summit also comes more than a year after the federal government cut $3 million in funding for telework centers around Washington, D.C., including a center in Woodbridge, which subsidized the annual cost per user, about $10,000 each.

Cisco Systems is expected to be represented at the summit, and so is the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University.

Republican delegates Barbara Comstock (Fairfax, Loudoun) and David Ramadan (Loudoun, Prince William) have also been invited.

The summit will be open to the public from 9 to 11: 30 a.m. Monday, November 19 at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Headquarters at 9720 Capital Court, Suite 203 in Manassas.