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Tech company to add jobs

June 10, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown-area computer consulting firm has been growing at such a fast clip that the company is switching from renting space to building a $2 million office and lab building, the company's president said Wednesday.

Since NETCONN Solutions opened seven years ago, its employment rolls have grown an average of 86 percent a year and continue to grow, President Judy York said.

The company has 117 employees and York expects to add approximately 100 more in the next two years.

Ninety percent of the company's employees are engineers, who earn an average of $60,000 to $75,000 a year, York said.

The company is receiving $65,000 in state and county grants, according to the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

The grant money is a benefit, although York said the company would have expanded without the financial assistance.

Forty-five to 50 of NETCONN's employees work in the Hagerstown area, York said.

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The company started renting office space on Pennsylvania Avenue about a month ago when it outgrew warehouse space at 140 Western Maryland Parkway, York said.

Workers from both those locations are expected to move into the 24,000-square-foot office building off Western Maryland Parkway that should be finished in March, York said.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday at 140 Western Maryland Parkway.

More than half of the company's employees work at government sites such as the Pentagon, York said. Seventeen employees work at Letterkenny Army Depot near Chambersburg, Pa.

The company's biggest customer is the government, specifically the Department of Defense, York said.

One project NETCONN is helping the Department of Defense and some other companies with - in the post-Sept. 11 environment - is building a disaster recovery system, York said.

This would allow computer information to automatically switch from the Pentagon to another site if a disaster occurred at the Pentagon, York said.

The company is getting a $35,000 state grant for training workers, according to an EDC press release. NETCONN is getting a $30,000 county grant for relocation and construction costs on the condition the company create 40 jobs in the Hagers-

town area in two years, EDC Marketing Specialist Cassandra Latimer said.

NETCONN is eligible for $90,000 in state job creation tax credits during the next two years. Local real estate tax credits and state income tax credits also are available through the Maryland Enterprise Zone Program, according to the EDC release.

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