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Hagerstown-Washington County, MD Recognized by 2011 Awards of Excellence as Top Defense Location

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PELHAM, AL -- Expansion Solutions Magazine recently announced its Fifth Annual “Top Five” Awards of Excellence.  These awards recognize economic development organizations which have shown exceptional progress and potential in the area of development – by successfully recruiting, retaining and assisting growing businesses. These agencies were chosen because of the incredible support system offered to businesses as well as recent activity and potential growth that can be created in each area. Their strategic locations, pro-business climates, investments made in improving infrastructure and the availability of buildings and sites were among the top deciding factors in choosing these locations.

“We are excited about giving national recognition to these organizations as it further demonstrates their leadership role in business retention, expansion and relocation,” said Kimberly Merkel, Editor of Expansion Solutions Magazine. “Not only does it showcase each area for their success in recruiting and retaining businesses, it also is a source of pride for each award winner’s city, county, state and economic development organizations.”

Hagerstown-Washington County, MD Award Winner                                                                          The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC) in Maryland is a recipient of Expansion Solutions Magazine’s 2011 Awards of Excellence in the *** Defense*** industry category.  These awards recognize organizations’ exceptional progress and potential in the development of their areas - by successfully recruiting, retaining and growing businesses.  Other recognized organizations were from Jackson, MS, Fayetteville, NC, Little Rock, AR, Davenport, IA and Moline, IL.

“Being recognized with an Award of Excellence by a national magazine is a real honor for both our organization and our community,” said EDC Executive Director Timothy R. Troxell, CEcD. “This high-level recognition is a result of the strong support we continually receive from our public and private sector development partners – and we will continue to collaborate to help expand the defense industry, as it is a major economic development driver in Washington County.” 

Rationale for the Top Defense Industry Award                                                                     Washington County and Hagerstown are historical aviation centers.  Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR) has been a hub of the aviation business since before World War II, consequently there is an available workforce with a strong background in aircraft maintenance and modifications.

Hagerstown has an established defense presence and is an ideal place to conduct defense related work because it is outside of Washington, DC's highly-controlled air traffic area, but still within an hour's drive of the Pentagon. Existing infrastructure such as the extended airport runway, aviation workforce, telecommunications, and local shipping powerhouses nearby, help businesses easily succeed at HGR.  Sierra Nevada Corporation, AgustaWestland North America, Inc., and 25 other defense and aviation firms and their over 550 employees enjoy the benefits of working at HGR.

HGR Attributes
- HGR is a FAR Part 139 Certified 400-acre complex within a secured perimeter and has the second-longest public runway in the State of Maryland at 7,000 ft. 
- The airfield benefits from an air traffic control tower, state-of-the-art navigational aids, and unencumbered airspace allowing for flexible test flights.
- Washington County is located within 70 miles of Washington, DC at the strategic intersection of I-70 and I-81, but outside the metropolitan area’s controlled fly zone.
- HGR has available runway accessible development sites with Enterprise Zone Tax Credits and Foreign Trade Zone designation.
- Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) has a facility at HGR, offering an Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) diploma program, which helps prepare the defense and aviation-related workforce.

These include General Dynamics and Electromet in the fields of IT and general manufacturing, respectively.

For further information contact:
Kimberly Merkel, Editor
Expansion Solutions Magazine
PO Box 1385
Pelham, AL
800-663-8791 (ext. 106)
kim.merkel@gmail.com
 
About the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission
The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission is a County agency that provides assistance to new and expanding businesses throughout Hagerstown and Washington County, Maryland.  The EDC interacts with a vast network of public, private and nonprofit organizations to address the business needs of the community, as well as to attract new companies to the County.

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