By RICHARD F. BELISLE
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Economic development officials in all three Eastern Panhandle counties tried last year to land a 100-employee, U.S. Department of Agriculture training and research center but lost out to Nebraska, according to Philip Maggio, president of the Morgan County Commissioners.
Morgan County's effort was the most unusual of the three counties.
Morgan's County's proposal promised to assign a county resident to work one-on-one with each new USDA employee to show them around the county and help them get settled. Local residents were also to help spouses of the USDA employees find work in the area, Maggio said. The proposal also promoted the quality of life in Morgan County, including its proximity to Washington, D.C.
"We took the friendly approach," Maggio said.
Maggio said he felt Morgan County had done a good job to draft a serious and unusual presentation.
The county assembled a special five-member team that included Maggio, County Administrator Bill Clark, Mary Lou Trump, president of the county's economic development commission, local resident Sally Marshall and Hagerstown contractor Paul Perini, who would have built the center to government specifications.