Garrett County was one of eight counties in the country recently featured in the National Association of Counties‘ (NACo) publication: Strategies to Bolster Economic Resilience: County Leadership in Action.
From NACo’s publication:
Counties, regions and communities that can foresee, adapt to and leverage changing conditions to their advantage are best positioned to attract and grow new businesses, retain skilled workers and families and promote a high quality of life.
In the 1990s, Garrett County saw the loss of a major employer, Bausch and Lomb that employed over 800 Garrett County residents. When Bausch and Lomb closed one of its sunglass manufacturing facilities, the county used this as an “opportunity to develop a long-term economic development plan to diversify the economic base and bolster resilience to future economic stressors.” In the past 20 years, Garrett County’s economy has expanded past manufacturing, agriculture, forest products and mining to include tourism, commerce, construction, arts and culture and value-added agriculture.
Other counties featured in the publication are Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia; Brookings County, South Dakota; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; King County, Washington; Maui County, Hawaii; Prince George County, Virginia & Rutherford County, North Carolina. All of these counties endured similar challenges and all share a common outcome: “long-range plans for economic development help county leaders position their communities for ongoing economic growth and lasting resilience to changing economic conditions.”
Garrett County was also featured for assisting existing businesses and growing local entrepreneurs. Garrett County has “funded business training programs, developed business incubators and formed collaborative partnerships to support business development and entrepreneurship.”
Garrett County has also “prioritized building a highly educated, technologically advanced and innovative workforce through incentives and partnerships with local training institutions.”
To read about Garrett County’s innovative economic development strategies as well as other counties featured in the economic development publication, click here.