Blue-ribbon business Economic Advisory Panel proposes actions to stimulate competitiveness and grow the economy

Rockville, Maryland – The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) released the findings of a report from an expert economic advisory group tasked with developing a consensus strategy to grow the economy of Montgomery County, Maryland. The report, titled Connecting the Dots: Accelerating Economic Growth in Montgomery County, Maryland, offers an action plan of the immediate steps needed to transform Montgomery County’s economic climate to the next level nationally.

The 20-member panel was chaired by Norman Augustine, retired CEO of Lockheed Martin and Dr. DeRionne Pollard, nationally recognized education leader and past president of Montgomery College. Their task was to analyze years of economic development recommendations, find common themes and realign for actionable results. The expert panel proposed a set of priorities and actions based on the expertise of the panel that can successfully find public and private consensus.

In the report, the panel proposes 20 recommendations with 33 actions for implementation. The following ten recommendations listed below were identified in the report as having the highest priority:

  • Dramatically increase additional laboratory infrastructure with private developers to meet the surge in demand associated with recent growth in life sciences with additional laboratory space of two million square feet
  • Create a global pandemic prevention and biodefense center in the county to leverage existing local strengths and further advance the stature of international leadership
  • Establish an incubator or accelerator for hotel technology startups to expand and support the connected networks of the local national hospitality headquarters
  • Create a Quantum Ready Workforce, a Greater Washington Regional Quantum Innovation Cluster, and a Quantum Computing Studies Program at local educational and university institutions to establish a first lead in business development national quantum
  • Prepare an economic development plan for the Purple Line Corridor to strengthen direct links with the University of Maryland, College Park
  • Establish a $ 1 million public-private entrepreneurship innovation center to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and start-up training
  • Reform the Montgomery County Business Incubator Network to better support local incubators and greater entrepreneurship
  • Launch a million dollar Montgomery County marketing partnership initiative to redefine the county’s economic development
  • Benchmark of a culture of superior customer service and business responsiveness using private sector customer experience experts to measure support and identify specific areas needing attention
  • Create a Montgomery County Competitiveness Council comprised of members of the public to identify long-term economic competitiveness issues and monitor progress on their resolution

“I co-chaired this panel because I firmly believe that Montgomery County has what it takes to be a regional, national and global economic powerhouse,” said Norman Augustine, retired CEO of Lockheed Martin. “With its diverse population, thriving academic and research assets, innovation hubs, and state-of-the-art national and global companies, Montgomery County is ready to ‘reconnect the dots’ and revitalize its economy. . “

“In my role as President of Montgomery College for 11 years, I have been able to engage and get to know Montgomery County’s best asset: its people,” said Dr. DeRionne Pollard, former President of Montgomery College and current president of Nevada State College. . “The diversity of people and ideas, the highly educated population, the willingness for public-private collaborations and the enormous potential of Montgomery County are all incredible strengths. I envision seeing Montgomery County’s continued economic trajectory using this report as a model.

“The MCEDC is grateful to the Economic Advisory Group, especially our Co-Chairs, for their commitment to the future of Montgomery County, as well as their vision and expertise,” said MCEDC Chairman of the Board of Directors, Robert G. Brewer, Jr. “Connecting the dots is the next step in our competitiveness and growth for long-term economic success.

“We have immense respect for the views and ideas of the panel members,” said Benjamin H. Wu, President and CEO of MCEDC. “The MCEDC is fully committed to acting on the panel’s recommendations. This plan comes at a crucial time as we move towards post-pandemic recovery. Montgomery County needs an industry-led consensus plan of top priorities that all stakeholders must embrace and move forward collectively. “

Read the full report here. In conjunction with the Washington Business Journal, the MCEDC is hosting a webinar to review the panel’s findings and report, which you can join here.


The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is the official public-private economic development organization representing Montgomery County, Maryland. Created in 2016, the MCEDC is headed by a Board of Directors of business leaders. Its mission is to help businesses start, grow and locate in Montgomery County by helping them access top talent, business and business information and prime locations. For more information, visit our website. follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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