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Worker development a high priority

February 15, 1998|By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Worker development a high priority

Developing existing businesses and new programs to prepare workers top the 1998 priorities for the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

EDC Director John C. Howard said 80 percent of new jobs come from existing businesses.

Suzanne Hayes, vice chairman of the commission, said developing worker skills was a key to economic health, especially in a low-unemployment environment.

The other EDC priorities are to implement a new marketing plan, establish a public relations program and implement strategic partnerships with businesses and governments.

Howard said newspaper and broadcast advertising, a brochure, an Internet presence and personal visits by staff and commission members would be used to market the services that already exist for county businesses.

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The commission wants to form a coalition of education and training institutions that will offer customized training to new and existing businesses.

The commission also wants to use state grants for training and catalog unemployed and underemployed county residents.

Howard said the key measuring stick for success of the EDC is raising the per-capita income in Washington County.

The EDC also wants to streamline the permitting and approval processes for development projects.

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