Charles County recently contracted with Garner Economics, who provided a comprehensive data-driven plan laying out positive, neutral, and negative factors that will impact the county’s economic future.
Charles County is considering its first economic development strategic plan. The plan, developed by Garner Economics, is the result of a data-driven study of public comment, an electronic survey of 510 people, and four focus groups with 51 people total.
The plan highlights the county’s need to maintain a strong workforce of “talented” workers in the county, Jay Garner, founder and head of Garner Economics said. The county has just under 48,000 people leaving the county for work on average per day. If they can keep those dollars in the county, he said, it could bring consistency to the county’ economic stability.
The report recommends the county focus on four areas: Federal contracting services, health services, entrepreneurial development, and research and development engineering. Garner noted that the county has 17 assets they should highlight, 14 challenges that need to be corrected, and 19 neutral factors that could go either way. Strengths include the county’s proximity to Washington, DC, the availability of technicians, eco-tourism, office space, the low cost of labor.
County Commissioners’ President Peter Murphy (D) said the county will take a look at the recommendations and consider implementing some of them in the county’s comprehensive plan.