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Howard says advertising, education are key to development

October 16, 1997


Staff Writer

The new director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission says the county should advertise in trade magazines and ensure a quality education system to attract new business.

John C. Howard told the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday the county needs to create "a big-league image" to compete with the thousands of other counties looking to land the 100 or so major development projects that occur nationwide each year.

"You've got to create an image that says, `You're a star,'" he said.

Howard also said that without a quality education, attracting high-wage, high-tech jobs will be difficult. He also said the county must work to make sure that those jobs are available when students graduate from college to prevent the county's top students from moving elsewhere.


"We're in control of preparing that labor force. We must be reaching the youth. We can, we will and we must," Howard said.

Howard also said the area still has room to grow despite an unemployment rate hovering near 4 percent. Howard said many people are underemployed and said there are plenty of potential workers in neighboring counties willing to work should Washington County's pool of available skilled workers dwindle.

Commissioner R. Lee Downey said many people commute to Frederick, Md., and the Baltimore-Washington area for higher paying jobs. Those commuters probably would stay in the county if those jobs were available here, he said.

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