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Building is focus of Chamber event

February 17, 2003

Construction and related jobs account for an estimated 18 percent of Washington County's work force, according to two leaders of local construction organizations.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly "Eggs and Issues" breakfast last week at The Plaza Hotel in Hagerstown.

A panel discussion included John Barr, chairman of the board of the Cumberland Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, and Debi Turpin, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Washington County.

Statistics, trends, issues and concerns were addressed. More than 75 business and community leaders attended.

Several current issues were discussed, including challenges facing commercial and industrial construction in the county.

Barr attributed a slowdown in the building industry to the economy and to seasonal displacement. However, many companies are sending employees to construction jobs far outside the county, he said.

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Home builders are seeing good activity, Turpin said.

"The build-out of many of the development projects will continue well into the future," she said.

Turpin also addressed the county's building moratorium on residential development outside of the Urban Growth Area and future challenges the organization faces.

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