State’s Rank Rises on Forbes ‘Best States for Business’ List

Maryland is inching closer to the top of Forbes “Best State for Business List” ranking in at number 26 over all. That is up from number 30 last year.

From Bethesda Magazine:

Maryland rose four spots to come in at number 26 on the business publication’s annual “Best States for Business” list this year. Forbes ranks states based on six factors—business costs, labor supply, economic climate, regulatory environment, growth prospects and quality of life. Maryland ranked seventh overall in labor supply, but was outside the top 25 in four other categories and 16th in growth prospects.

The article notes that North Carolina came in first and that West Virginia came in at last.

Read Bethesda Magazine for more information.


Know a Community-Enriching Business? Nominate Them for the MEDA Awards!

The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) is taking submissions for projects that have enriched communities.

Nominations must be submitted by December 8 and meet this criteria:

  • Must be completed
  • Must have a major phase completed in the last 3 years
  • Nominations must be submitted by a MEDA member, but all submissions are encouraged

To Nominate you must:

Other things to consider:

Nominate Here.

Good Luck!

Maryland Apprenticeship Program On the Rise

State Looks to Expand Apprenticeships and Job-Training Programs

In an effort to expand apprenticeships in Maryland, Frederick County Public Schools and Washington County Public Schools are serving as pilot programs for Apprenticeship Maryland, a program designed to train young people and help employers hire skilled workers.

According to the Herald-Mail:

“The schools have been administering the program since mid-2016. They have seen firsthand that apprenticeships work, and they know the good they do for our state’s youth,” Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz said in a news release. “FCPS wants a larger role in that work, and we are happy to facilitate that.”

Under Apprenticeship Maryland, juniors and seniors are hired as apprentices by eligible employers. They work at least 450 hours. They earn a high school diploma and a state skill certificate.

Tweaks to the program have already allowed for more help to the schools and employers. Secretary Schulz notes that while the pilots are still being evaluated, it is already evident that flexibility will be key should the program be expanded statewide.

Read the full article for more information.

Senator Cardin Holds Round Table with Maryland Business Leaders

Senator Ben Cardin discussed critical issues — taxes, healthcare, infrastructure — being debated in Congress that have are impacting Maryland’s business and residents at a round table held at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce on Friday, November 17.

Senator Cardin discusses taxes, healthcare, infrastructure, transportation priorities and more at business round table.

Senator Cardin discusses taxes, healthcare, infrastructure, transportation priorities and more at business round table.The Senator emphasized his commitment to addressing key priorities for Maryland including:

  • FBI – working on finding a path forward for moving the FBI to Prince George’s County.
  • Protecting Federal and Military Installations in Maryland – ensuring they receive the resources and support they need. There was not a round of BRAC this year but one may be coming in another year or so.
  • CSX/Howard Street Tunnel – addressing the issues with the tunnel is essential to its long-term viability and talks continue with CSX financial officers and CEOs.

Q&A with the round table participants centered a lot on their frustrations with the state of the national health care laws and rising premiums, but also involved lengthy discussions on taxes, cyber security, and small business procurement issues.


Conduit Street Podcast, Episode #5 – The Power of Partnership

MACo’s Winter Conference will focus on intergovernmental cooperation and ways that counties can partner with entities in the public and private sector to achieve the best results for Maryland’s residents. Sessions will highlight collaboration across county lines and service areas to address priorities like the opioid epidemic, Next Gen 9-1-1, and the environment, along with other important topics like mutual aid agreements and cooperative purchasing.

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss the MACo Winter Conference and its focus on reviewing timely issues that will be relevant during the upcoming Maryland General Assembly Session.

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

Listen here:

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Carroll Commissioners Talk Future of Broadband, Economic Development

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners recently discussed how expanding broadband service can spur economic growth throughout the County. During the last budget session, the Board of County Commissioners allocated $1 million for the expansion of the fiber network in Carroll County.

According to the Carroll County Times,

The option commissioners discussed the most on Thursday was running fiber to business parks in the county to help boost economic development. The committee laid out a handful of business parks including the Eldersburg Business Center, Liberty Exchange, Twin Arch Industrial Park and the Warfield Complex, as possible places to bring fiber network to.

A lot of places already have internet through Comcast and Verizon in place, although Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, pointed out, that doesn’t always mean there’s fast internet. Some places only have DSL, he said.

“Why are we making it sound like we don’t have a need for this,” he said.

“The reason we allocated this money was to drive economic development,” he added.

Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, was in agreement, and also said he thought the county should be pushing harder, and possibly mandating, that any new business park being built has to lay conduit to make sure fiber can be used. Conduit is the piping underground that creates the path and allows fiber strands to be laid.

“If we put it in, people will come to use it,” he said. “You don’t know what you can do with it until you have it. If they’re not using it now, they don’t know.”

In today’s world, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. Broadband is as vital a resource as running water and electricity to Maryland’s communities and is absolutely critical to the future of our economy, education, and safety.

Learn how counties can benefit from expanding access to high-speed broadband at the MACo Winter Conference session, Broadband Throughout the Land, at this year’s MACo Winter Conference, The Power of Partnerships, on Wednesday, December 6 from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Make Your Special Event Successful at #MACoCon

Go for the gold! Learn how to navigate the many local and state regulatory requirements so that you can bring a popular (and profitable) special event to your county at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference.

Let’s Get This Party Started…Wait. I Need a Permit For What?!


Special events – whether cultural festivals, sports competitions, or celebratory gatherings – can bring economic and quality of life benefits to counties and their residents. However, behind every event there is a host of safety, health, and environmental concerns that must be addressed before an event can be successfully held. While some safety requirements are strictly dictated by law or regulation, other requirements allow regulators some flexibility in working with event holders. Panelists will discuss the basic requirements for holding special events and provide examples of the “give and take” process that sometimes occurs between regulators and event holders to allow an event to occur while still ensuring proper protections are in place.


  • Robert Mitchell, Jr., Director, Department of Environmental Programs, Worcester County
  • Laura Wetherald, Bureau Chief of Recreation and Administrative Services, Howard County
  • Colleen Joseph, Chief of Marketing, Events and Facilities, Anne Arundel County

Date & Time: Thursday, December 7, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Economic Boon: Cecil Hosts 10,000 Visitors for Weekend Lacrosse Tourneys

Cecil County’s Calvert Regional Park was abuzz last weekend. With back-to-back lacrosse tournaments scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, the recreational facility, managed by Cecil County Parks and Recreation, welcomed more than 10,000 players and fans and over 100 teams to the area.

Most local officials know about the positive physical and mental health benefits parks and recreational facilities provide. But you may not be aware of how properly developed and advertised facilities can support jobs and bring in revenue.

According to a press release:

Prime Time Girls Lacrosse, featuring 82 teams from California, Florida, Ohio, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and the Delmarva region, utilized 11 of the 12 available fields at Calvert Park throughout the day on Saturday. Seven thousand athletes and spectators poured into the facility with the tournament bringing in an estimated $9,000 to the general fund.

Calvert Regional Park in Cecil County (Photo Courtesy: Cecil County)

Calvert Park hosted a 30-team tourney from Top of the Bay Lacrosse, based out of Churchville, Maryland, on Sunday. This event brought in 3,000 visitors from the area including teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland and contributed another $8,700.

“Although exhausting, it was very exciting to bring athletes and their families from all of these states together at Calvert Regional Park. The magnitude of large tournaments like these plays a huge part in putting Cecil County on the map,” explained Clyde Van Dyke, Director of Cecil County Parks and Recreation.

“With more than 10,000 people visiting this weekend, staying in our hotels, dining in our restaurants and shopping in our stores, plus the vendors that we had at the fields, it was just an all-around good weekend for parks and recreation, tourism and our local economy,” Van Dyke added.

Read the full press release for more information.

MACo’s Winter Conference will feature a session on special events and the multi-layered process that ensures an event not only runs well, but also satisfies safety, health, and environmental concerns. Let’s Get This Party Started…Wait. I Need a Permit For What?!” is scheduled for Thursday, December 7, from 2pm – 3 pm. See our registration brochure for more details about this and other sessions.

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Amazon Delivers 1,500 Jobs to Baltimore County

Amazon is delivering more than 1,500 full-time jobs to a new 855,000 square foot fulfillment center in Baltimore County. Associates working at the $225 million facility under construction at Tradepoint Atlantic in Sparrows Point will pick, pack and ship customer items such as electronics, books, housewares, and toys.

According to a press release:

“This is what job creation looks like: a world class company investing in the region, bringing 1,500 new jobs to Baltimore County. We are pleased to welcome Amazon to the growing list of companies with a Tradepoint Atlantic address,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Amazon joins Under Armour, FedEx Ground, Pasha Automotive, Access World, Harley Davidson and others as tenants of Tradepoint Atlantic, a 3,100 acre development in eastern Baltimore County that is one of the largest economic development projects on the East Coast.

“We’re excited to open a new, state-of-the-art fulfillment center in historic Sparrows Point and to continue innovating in a state committed to providing great opportunities for jobs and customer experience. Maryland has an incredible workforce, and we are happy to add to the more than 5,000 associates already serving customers in the state,” said Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s Vice President of North America Customer Fulfillment.

Read the full press release for more information.

‘Apprenticeship Maryland’ Stories of Success, Potential for Expansion

Secretary Kelly Schulz discussed the success of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation’s Apprenticeship Maryland program at an event in Hagerstown.

Apprenticeship Maryland is currently being piloted in public schools in Washington and Frederick counties as a means of exposing children to skilled trades. Schulz shared the possibility of expanding the program statewide and to new industries.

The Herald-Mail reports:

The two-year pilots will conclude with the end of this school year, and state officials will have to determine what to do going forward, she said.

Traditionally, apprenticeships have been linked to skilled trades, such as the courses offered through the Barr Construction Institute at the Associated Builders and Contractors Cumberland Valley Chapter in Hagerstown, she said.

“Why would we not pick up where we left off with the building trades and bring that to our other industries?” she asked.

The article continues with Schulz explaining that while schools have focused on preparing kids for college they have lacked on the career readiness piece that Apprenticeship Maryland seeks to improve. Tweaks to the program have already allowed for more help to the schools and employers. The Secretary notes that while the pilots are still being evaluated, it is already evident that flexibility will be key should the program be expanded statewide.