Planning Secretary Craig Sees Economic Development Connection

Maryland Planning Secretary and former MACo President David Craig detailed his current focus for the department: job creation and economic development and the Maryland Department of Planning’s role in them.

In a recent letter, Secretary Craig shared the following:

My agency’s strategic plan embraces promoting a business friendly environment in the state. As one of our plan’s three strategic goals, “Planning will support state and local efforts to improve Maryland’s business climate and economic prosperity.” The Department of Planning wholly supports Governor Hogan’s initiatives to make it easier for small and large businesses to open, locate and stay in Maryland and to provide jobs and a high quality of life to its families.

Since its creation in October 2015, the Governor’s Commerce Sub-cabinet led by Commerce Secretary Mike Gill has been coordinating a multi-state-agency effort to better respond to business and economic development issues. The seven state agencies (Commerce, Planning, Minority Affairs, Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Transportation, Environment and Housing) are rethinking how we serve the business community to support economic development and job growth. The bottom line is Maryland will be business-friendly. New businesses forming or existing companies looking to re-locate want predictability when working with government. The Commerce Sub-cabinet has as its charge to accelerate the positive trends and make our state more responsive to business needs and more competitive in the global marketplace. Moving ahead, its work is catalyzed into two workgroups: one focusing on increasing collaboration between agencies on key projects identified by the sub-cabinet and the other on improving the level and quality of customer service delivered to stakeholders.

I feel that Planning – and planning – has a sizable role in expanding Maryland’s economic and workforce opportunities. Here are some of our major initiatives to stimulate economic vitality.

Reinvest Maryland is a set of strategies to assist local government focus and create synergy between investments, budgets, regulatory authority and resources to support investment in places where people already live. Reinvest Maryland promotes infill, redevelopment, revitalization and targeted economic development in Maryland’s existing cities, towns and communities. An online “Reinvest Maryland Toolbox” guides and directs local government to more than 100 federal and state programs support infill, redevelopment and community revitalization in Maryland.

placing jobsPlacing Jobs is a Maryland Department of Planning initiative and website that helps local governments to better incorporate economic development elements in their comprehensive plans. The primary goal is to encourage improved collaboration and coordination of comprehensive planning and economic development. We recognized that planning and economic development are linked but are not always coordinated with local development plans. In Placing Jobs we have created a web-based tool that local planning offices can use to prepare the economic development element of their comprehensive plans.

Planning administers the Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program which in its 17-year history is credited with rehabilitating about 4,400 historic buildings and creating some 25,000 jobs. The state’s investment of about $350 million has reached into all of Maryland’s 23 counties and the city of Baltimore. The Abell Foundation has estimated that about 73 jobs are created for each $1 million in tax credits and every dollar invested generates $8.53 in economic activity.

The Maryland Department of Planning is eager to work with our state agency colleagues on the Commerce Sub-cabinet and our local government partners to “Support Communities, Preserve Resources, Enrich Lives and Change Maryland for the Better.”