Baltimore, MD (May 15, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) today announced that it has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation to help develop an Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP). The plan, expected to be completed by November, will help expand Washington County’s economic base by guiding smart investments, attracting new businesses and creating jobs to ensure high-paying jobs for future generations.
“The State was pleased to work with our partners in Washington County to provide the funding to develop a strategic plan to create jobs and generate business in Western Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Christian S. Johansson. “Washington County has an outstanding climate for business, including a strategic location accessible to many markets and one of the most highly-skilled workforces in the country.”
Washington County Board of County Commissioners President Terry Baker said, “We thank our Federal and State partners for helping to fund this economic development roadmap for our future. The County is excited to see the strategic plan and how the action items will benefit the community.”
The EDSP will provide a detailed assessment of the County’s strengths and weaknesses, competitiveness with surrounding jurisdictions and an action plan to be implemented to enhance opportunities to increase the County’s ability to identify and attract new businesses and create higher paying jobs for its residents. The ultimate goal is to sustain and expand the economic base in order to provide for a high quality of life for all residents. The plan will present a key set of strategies, with action items, that build upon the current asset base of Washington County, its municipalities and the City of Hagerstown. By identifying how to overcome challenges, facilitate the growth and expand existing businesses and attract new businesses, the EDSP will result in increased employment and position Washington County and the City of Hagerstown to be great places to work, learn and live.
In addition to State funds, another $50,000 will come from a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), bringing the total project funding to $100,000. The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s mission is to attract new businesses, stimulate private investment and create jobs, encourage the expansion and retention of existing companies and provide businesses in Maryland with workforce training and financial assistance. The department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development, international trade and tourism. As a major economic generator, the department also supports the arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit www.ChooseMaryland.org.