Whether you are a business owner seeking to further your own education or seeking access to highly qualified and educated human capital to recruit to your firm, opportunities abound through Fairfax City’s partnership with George Mason University.
George Mason University and Fairfax City
George Mason University is a cornerstone of the Fairfax community. Although it was originally founded in 1957 as a branch of the University of Virginia, George Mason earned its status as an independent institution in 1972 and quickly rose to prominence. Today, George Mason is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is nationally recognized for its programs in economics, law, creative writing, computer science, and business. George Mason faculty have won the Nobel Prize in Economics twice, and the university is ranked among the most elite research institutions (R1) in the country by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
Nestled in the heart of Fairfax on 677 acres of beautifully forested land, George Mason is a mere 15 minute stroll from Old Town and acts as an economic and cultural hub for the surrounding community. George Mason enrolls over 33,000 students, employs over 3,400 faculty and staff, and retains a payroll in excess of $300 million. As such, GMU provides substantial opportunities for businesses focused on serving the needs of students, faculty, and staff. Fairfax City has formed a partnership with GMU to expand the facilities and services to support the university and more fully integrate its students, faculty, and staff into the local community and economy. In addition to the businesses supported by George Mason’s student and faculty population, the university is also an invaluable economic resource both as a provider of education and as a source of talented human capital for recruitment efforts by local businesses.
George Mason University offers 81 undergraduate degrees, 88 master’s degrees, a law degree, and various informal educational resources for local residents, business owners, and entrepreneurs. The university enrolls over 33,000 students, 29% of which are seeking graduate or post-graduate degrees. The student to faculty ratio is excellent, given the university’s size, at 16:1, and average class size ranges from 25 to 35 students.
As a nationally renowned research institution, George Mason University hosts more than $100 million in sponsored research projects annually. University research focuses mostly on health, sustainability, and security. GMU regularly collaborates in partnership on these projects with many government agencies, NGO’s, and international organizations including NASA, the Smithsonian Institution, The Allen Institute, the International Monetary Fund, and the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA).
George Mason University employs a unique, Industry Focused Approach based on employer feedback in order to ensure all graduates are well-equipped to immediately contribute and bring value to their new firms. Employers interested in recruiting George Mason University students and graduates to their firm should register for Mason’s online database for jobs and internships.
Mason Enterprise Center
The Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) is the result of a strategic partnership between George Mason University and Fairfax City to offer resources of great value to local entrepreneurs and business owners.
The MEC offers a unique combination of programs, services, and resources for entrepreneurs of all experience levels – aspiring, start-up and established. Though they have capabilities in all facets of business, they are particularly focused in the areas of small business services, incubation and acceleration, government contracting, international business, entrepreneurship, technology ventures, and telework initiatives. The MEC offers expert consultations and training through a wide array of programs including conferences, workshops, and executive education programs for the region’s business leaders. Additionally, the MEC offers an incubator space for start-ups to help them with the burden of overhead cost during their critical early years.
Mason Enterprise Center Services
- The Mason Small Business Development Center
GMU-based provider of customized counseling and education that offers private consultations with certified business analysts and small-group trainings for in-depth presentations on critical management topics
- Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP)
A congressionally recognized and funded program at George Mason that allows small and women-owned businesses to access major federal contractors as a mentor and resource to build capabilities in four specific areas: General Business Management, Engineering, Technical Areas, and Training
- Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP)
Defense Logistics Agency and George Mason University cooperative program that provides assistance to increase contracting and sub-contracting activity among small businesses, major prime contractors, and federal, state and local government. Services include counseling on business and proposal development, small business programs, program management, market research, outreach and general procurement education
- International Business Development Program (IBDP)
Offers a selection of targeted programs to assist small-and-medium information-technology enterprises develop international business with a three stage program of consultation, international market planning, and business partnerships