MDE Hosting Public Engagement Meetings on Draft Climate Change Plan

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is hosting a series of public engagement meetings and webinars to provide residents with the opportunity to learn about and provide input on its draft climate change plan. The draft plan outlines what the State and local governments will need to do to reduce in-state greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from their 2006 levels by 2030 and prepare for further reductions in the future. Counties or other interested…

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Talbot County Accepting Nominations for Community Impact Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for Talbot County's Community Impact Awards. Organized by the Economic Development Commission, in partnership with the Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Community Impact Awards recognize outstanding businesses, organizations, and individuals that have made a significant impact in Talbot County. From Talbot County's Economic Development and Tourism website: “This is an event we look forward to every year,” says Talbot County Council President Corey Pack, “Our Talbot…

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Economic Opportunity Could Help Opioid Recovery Efforts in Rural Areas

Appalachia has been hard hit by the opioid crisis and local officials are taking deep looks at all the obstacles and opportunities in the path of abating the crisis. One issue they are keying in on -- jobs and economic opportunity. Route Fifty reports on a recent summit of Applachian officials: “If you’ve got a society of addiction, how do you change that addiction?” Greg Puckett, a commissioner for Mercer County, West Virginia, said at…

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Rural Maryland Council Funds $6 Million in Grants

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) recently hosted their day-long Summit, titled Rural Maryland Rising: Investing in Resiliency, Collaboration, and Innovation. The focus of this year's Summit was creating sustainable change. Leaders from across the state presented examples of their communities solutions to complex issues in agriculture, aquaculture and forestry, healthcare, community and economic development. The summit included breakout sessions, a preview of the 2020 General Assembly Session and a luncheon panel with Maryland cabinet secretaries…

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Maryland Adds 9,800 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Remains at 3.6%

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week released November's state jobs and unemployment data. According to the preliminary survey data, Maryland added 9,800 jobs last month. Maryland's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent. Unemployment rates in November were lower in seven states, higher in five states, and stable in 38 states and the District of Columbia, according to the data. Seven states had jobless rate decreases from a year…

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Worcester Consolidates Departments, Aims to Streamline Operations

In an effort to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and overall operations, the Worcester County Commissioners this week voted to consolidate three standalone departments (Recreation and Parks, Tourism, and Economic Development) into a single department -- the Worcester County Department of Recreation, Parks, Tourism, and Economic Development (RPTED). “These are very important departments to our tax base, and this unification is exactly what is needed to move the County forward,” Commission President Joe Mitrecic said. “Like other…

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Skilled Labor Shortage in MD Costing Millions

Shortages of skilled laborers in Maryland are causing some construction projects to cost millions of dollars more than original estimates. Maryland Center for Construction Education & Innovation President Bob Ayudkovic believes that these shortages can be traced back to 2008 and the Great Recession. There is a high demand for skilled laborers but not high supply, leading to heightened wages, adjustment to project scopes, and trade package rebidding. Many large contractors supplying mechanical, electrical and…

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Cecil Leads Mideast in Economic Growth for Medium-Sized Counties

Cecil County led the Mideast (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania) in economic growth for medium-sized counties (populations of 100,000 to 500,000) with GDP growth of 11.4 percent in 2018. The data, released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), features every county's gross domestic product – the value of goods and services produced within the county – and how much the inflation-adjusted GDP grew or decreased from…

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Smart Growth Subcabinet Answers County Questions at #MACoCon

Counties received updates on a wide array of key policy issues at the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference during the "A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet" panel on December 4. The Smart Growth Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. During the panel, its members provided updates on land use, environmental, housing, economic development, and transportation issues chosen by county elected officials and staff.   Issues covered by the Subcabinet included:…

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Improving Census Participation Means More $$$ at #MACoCon

Attendees to the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference learned about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and how to achieve higher participation rates among undercounted communities during the "2020 Census: The Foundation of Our Future" panel. The paenl was held on December 4. Maryland Secretary of Planning Robert McCord explained the importance of the census to state and local funding and how census data is used. McCord highlighted how the Maryland Department of…

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