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EDC reports 1,000 jobs created in county last year

April 07, 2007

About 1,000 new jobs were created in Washington County last year and 45 projects were announced, the executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC) said Wednesday at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

Timothy Troxell also announced that last year saw $121 million in new capital investment in Washington County, and almost 830,000 square feet of new industrial or commercial construction, according to a press release.

In 2005, the EDC had announced 1,848 new jobs created, but said nearly 1,000 jobs were lost from layoffs. In 2005, new capital investment was about $80.7 million, and there was 700,000 new square feet of new construction, according to the release.

Troxell, who is the incoming president of the Maryland Economic Development Association, said nearly 4,000 companies are in Washington County, according to the release.

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Of those, 24 percent are in the fields of trade, transportation and utilities, 14 percent are in manufacturing, 14 percent are in education and health services and 10 percent in financial activities, according to the release.

Troxell said the average wage in the county is $16.15 per hour or $33,600 per year, according to the release.

Among the projects Troxell talked about were the 2006 expansions at the Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream facility, MEC Inc. and Sierra Nevada Corp, according to the release.

Also discussed was the new 1.8-million-square-foot Liberty Property Trust facility proposed on 145 acres, to be called Liberty at Hunter's Green, according to the release.

The EDC's priorities include attracting higher paying jobs, including high tech jobs. Plastics manufacturers, research and development companies, and wireless corporations are on the target industries list, according to the release.

"We have many strategic objectives, which include working cooperatively with other agencies and with public/private opportunities," Troxell said. "Facilitating work force development partnerships is also an ongoing priority."

The EDC attends several regional and national trade shows, does sales and marketing, and works closely with site selection consultants, Troxell said.

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