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AMERICOM plans move to business park

October 19, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

AMERICOM Government Services, a satellite telecommunications company that opened in the Technical Innovation Center at Hagerstown Community College in 1999, expects to move into a 30,000-square-foot building in Hunt Ridge Business Park by July and more than double its work force by 2009, according to the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

"That's something that we're really excited about because it shows the evolution of a business that was out at the Technical Innovation Center," said Cassandra H. Latimer, marketing specialist for the EDC. "If you look at what we have, we've got two tremendous telecommunications businesses right here in Washington County."

In addition to AGS, Mountainside Teleport Corp., a subsidiary of the Washington, D.C.-based Intelstat Global Services Corp., opened at Friendship Technology Park in 2003 and employs about 28 workers, according to the EDC's 2005 business and industry directory.

AGS, a subsidiary of Princeton, N.J.-based SES AMERICOM, offers comprehensive, satellite-based communications solutions and does extensive work with government agencies, including NASA, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army. SES AMERICOM also operates AGS facilities in Princeton and McLean, Va.

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Merritt Properties Inc., will build the new facility on 7 acres on Insurance Way in the business park for AGS as part of a build-to-suit construction agreement. Latimer said the company is scheduled to go before the Washington County Planning Commission Nov. 7, and could break ground on the building in late November or early December.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development has agreed to provide three grants to AGS, including a reimbursement of up to $35,000 to train new workers, a $25,000 Partnership for Workforce Quality grant for assistance with training curriculum development and a $10,000 Maryland Economic Development Assistance Fund grant.

Washington County has offered a $40,000 conditional grant to AGS for construction and relocation costs, provided the company stays within Washington County for 10 years and meets its projections to increase its work force from 12 to 38 by 2009.

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