Mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers learn about re­sources, pro­grams for ac­ti­vat­ing pros­per­ity

Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment holds open house fo­cus­ing on sup­port­ing job seek­ers, en­hanc­ing busi­ness devel­op­ment

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES jclinkscales@somd­news.com

More than 50 mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials and county lead­ers came to­gether to en­gage in an in­ter­ac­tive dis­cus­sion about key eco­nomic de­velop- ment ini­tia­tives and pro­grams avail­able to sup­port job seek­ers and en­hance busi­ness devel­op­ment dur­ing the Prince Ge­orge’s County Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion’s (EDC) first Mu­nic­i­pal Open House and Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day on March 30 at its head­quar­ters in Largo.

EDC Pres­i­dent and CEO

Jim Cole­man said the fo­rum is about ac­ti­vat­ing and cel­e­brat­ing pros­per­ity in the county by bring­ing to­gether may­ors, town man­agers, coun­cil mem­bers and eco­nomic devel­op­ment lead­ers and shar­ing the re­sources that the EDC has to of­fer.

“We are ac­ti­vat­ing pros­per­ity in ev­ery vil­lage and ev­ery ham­let,” Cole­man said in an in­ter­view. “We wanted to get their feed­back, as their part­ners, on how we can help them get their res­i­dents back to work and help their small busi­nesses to grow and at­tract more busi­nesses to the county. I’m glad to have them as part of my EDC posse.”

Mu­nic­i­pal and county lead­ers learned about var­i­ous pro­grams of­fered through the EDC’s Work­force Devel­op­ment Di­vi­sion in­clud­ing the One-Stop Ca­reer-Cen­ter which pro­vides job place­ments and train­ing skills for res­i­dents; the Hire Prince Ge­orge’s ini­tia­tive which pro­vides fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to em­ploy­ers hir­ing res­i­dents; and the Youth Ca­reerCon­nect Pro­gram, a pres­ti­gious $7 mil­lion grant that U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama pre­sented last year which fo­cuses on stu­dents in the fields of health, bio-sci­ence and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, ac­cord­ing to an EDC press re­lease.

By lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions tak­ing an ac­tive role in im­ple­ment­ing the re­sources the EDC has for busi­ness at­trac­tion and ex­pan­sion, small busi­ness devel­op­ment and work­force train­ing and place­ment in their com­mu­ni­ties, the EDC an­tic­i­pates that home val­ues as well as me­dian house­hold in­comes will in­crease through the cre­ation of well-pay­ing jobs for res­i­dents. Cole­man said these types of fo­rums are a vi­tal part of the EDC’s Ac­ti­vate Pros­per­ity ini­tia­tive which seeks to raise the aware­ness of the busi­ness and work­force devel­op­ment re­sources.

“This is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for Prince Ge­orge’s County’s 27 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to learn about the many pro­grams that are avail­able at the [EDC],” said David Ian­nucci, as­sis­tant deputy chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer of eco­nomic devel­op­ment for the county ex­ec­u­tive’s of­fice. “It’s a chance for them to un­der­stand how Prince Ge­orge’s County val­ues its mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. We’ve seen won­der­ful growth in the county for the last five years.”

In terms of growth, Ian­nucci said schools are im­prov­ing dra­mat­i­cally, pub­lic safety num­bers are spec­tac­u­lar and the county is in­creas­ing its job num­bers ex­po­nen­tially. In ad­di­tion, there are com­mer­cial devel­op­ment projects go­ing on from north to south in­clud­ing the $1.3 bil­lion MGM Na­tional Har­bor, the re­gional med­i­cal cen­ter and the new FBI head­quar­ters. That’s why the county needs the EDC’s help in pro­vid­ing res­i­dents with job as­sis­tance and the skills they need to be­come el­i­gi­ble for those new jobs, he said.

“We’re see­ing growth in the key in­dus­try sec­tors we want to see — 5,500 jobs year over year [plus] another 11,000 or 12,000 jobs held by our cit­i­zens,” Ian­nucci said. “Hold­ing on to Prince Ge­orge’s County’s ex­ist­ing busi­nesses is a ma­jor pri­or­ity. All of these things are work­ing and we want the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to be a part of it.”

The fo­rum also in­cluded a pre­sen­ta­tion on the im­por­tance of build­ing up an arts com­mu­nity within each lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tion. Prince Ge­orge’s Arts and Hu­man­i­ties Coun­cil Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Rhonda Dal­las said arts and eco­nomic devel­op­ment “can go hand-in-hand” and that hav­ing a cul­tural plan for a com­mu­nity needs to start at the mu­nic­i­pal level.

“Pub­lic art can be trans­for­ma­tive as with a gate­way com­mu­nity, or it can en­gage the small busi­ness com­mu­nity by mes­sag­ing and brand­ing,” Dal­las said. “We have part­nered with the [EDC] on sev­eral projects in the past and are look­ing for­ward to part­ner­ing with all of you in the near fu­ture.”

Mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers con­cluded the fo­rum with a dis­cus­sion on how they can in­di­vid­u­ally en­gage the ser­vices of the EDC. Town of Bladens­burg Coun­cil­man Wal­ter Fick­lin (D) was one of the peo­ple who re­quested to have the EDC come to his ju­ris­dic­tion and speak di­rectly to the con­stituents.

“I wanted to come out and con­tinue to sup­port them as well as to ask them to sup­port us in re­gards to eco­nomic devel­op­ment,” Fick­lin said. “It was also good to see other mu­nic­i­pal­ity lead­ers come out and voice their opin­ions in re­gards to us work­ing to­gether and … to be more in­clu­sive when it comes to mak­ing de­ci­sions.”

Ian­nucci said Cole­man and his team did an out­stand­ing job in com­mu­ni­cat­ing its re­sources and pro­grams to the mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers whose re­spon­si­bil­i­ties not only en­tail defin­ing their town’s pol­icy and goals, but im­prov­ing pro­grams and de­cid­ing fi­nan­cial mat­ters as well.

Through part­ner­ships and other op­por­tu­ni­ties with the EDC, the county’s mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties can “col­lec­tively and col­lab­o­ra­tively achieve” the goals their lead­ers as­pire to, he said.

“The mes­sage I would take back to [County Ex­ec­u­tive Rush­ern Baker] is that there are a lot of part­ners out there. The mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, the elected of­fi­cials, the ap­pointed of­fi­cials from the towns and the cities of Prince Ge­orge’s County are ea­ger to ab­sorb all of the pro­grams that are of­fered by the [EDC],” Ian­nucci said. “But it is a two-way street [as] there are 27 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and one county gov­ern­ment. We can’t be as ag­gres­sive as they would like us to be on a daily ba­sis in reach­ing out. It’s sim­ply not pos­si­ble. … Reach out to us to help us help you.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THE PRINCE GE­ORGE’S COUNTY ECO­NOMIC DEVEL­OP­MENT COR­PO­RA­TION

Town of Bladens­burg Coun­cil­man Wal­ter Fick­lin par­tic­i­pates in an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on key eco­nomic devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives and pro­grams dur­ing the Prince Ge­orge’s County Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion’s first Mu­nic­i­pal Open House and Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day on March 30 at the EDC head­quar­ters in Largo.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THE PRINCE GE­ORGE’S COUNTY ECO­NOMIC DEVEL­OP­MENT COR­PO­RA­TION

David Ian­nucci, as­sis­tant deputy chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer of eco­nomic devel­op­ment for the county ex­ec­u­tive’s of­fice, pre­pares to give a few re­marks at the Prince Ge­orge’s County Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion’s first Mu­nic­i­pal Open House and Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day on March 30 in Largo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.