Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said Monday the planned extension of Yale Drive through Mount Aetna Farms in Washington County will become a “golden mile” for future job opportunities in health care and biotechnology.
“This is a mile, but that mile will make the difference in how we can literally have kind of an intercollege connector between the Hagerstown Community College and Meritus Medical Center,” Mikulski said. “What does this mean? Jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Mikulski, D-Md., made the remarks during a visit to Hagerstown Community College as part of a statewide “job tour.”
The Appalachian Regional Commission — a federal-state partnership supporting economic development in Appalachia — has committed $600,000 in federal grant funding toward the $9.3 million Yale Drive extension project.
The planned extension will introduce road access to the Mount Aetna Farms property, where the land’s new owners envision a future technology park. The Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF, completed its 173-acre purchase last month.
Mikulski called the road project a “strategic public investment to create private-sector jobs.”
Health care delivery, health research and cyber security are some of the biggest areas of current economic growth, and HCC is preparing students for jobs in all three areas, she said.
Companies in those fields “come because of talent, and the talent is right here,” Mikulski said.
The technology park is expected to bring about 2,000 jobs to Washington County, according to a press release from Mikulski’s office.
Mikulski said her visit to Washington County also included a visit to the Volvo Powertrain plant on Pennsylvania Avenue.