2024 MEDA Primer for Economic Development in Maryland Blog

The 2024 MEDA Primer for Economic Development in Maryland brought together influential figures in economic development to share insights and strategies for the state’s growth.  

This year’s Primer opened with warm welcomes from Richard Griffin, CEcD, MEDA President, and Jennifer Jones, CEO of the event’s sponsoring organization, the Howard County Economic Development Authority. Both highlighted the crucial link between local business success and state prosperity. Howard County Executive Calvin Ball underscored this sentiment, emphasizing, “Success in a county equates to success for the state,” setting the tone for the day’s discussions. 

 In the first session of the Primer, David Iannucci and Richard Griffin, CEcD, talked about economic development fundamentals. They emphasized affordable housing and childcare as a major concern for the state’s population. David and Richard also touched on inter-county support, mentioning the Maryland National Capital Region Economic Development Alliance’s (MNCREDA) crucial collaborative efforts as an example. To reinforce this point, David stated, “The day of putting your neighbor down is over, and we’re better for it.” They then examined the impact of teleworking on downtown traffic and vacant office spaces, noting the pandemic’s lasting effects on local economies. 

“Maryland’s Economy, Key Industries, and Strategic Advantages” panel with Roger Venezia, CEcD, Tamar Osterman, CEcD, and Laurie Babb, CEcD, then moved into a detailed look at the state’s economy. Roger highlighted population trends and statistics on Maryland’s household income, Tamar touched on Maryland’s strategic geography, and Laurie discussed key industries on the rise. 

The day concluded with IGNITE presentations that focused on economic development strategies from various perspectives, pinpointing the importance of strategic partnerships, support tools, collaborative opportunities, and education to address common challenges and stay ahead of trends. 

The final panel of state, county, and local officials then convened to discuss “How Does Maryland ‘Do’ Economic Development?” This panel honed in on Maryland’s strategies for economic development, emphasizing the need to build a robust talent pipeline and mitigate key challenges like infrastructure and transit. Panelists also talked about the importance of incentives for job creation and business expansion, along with fostering a supportive governmental environment. The session highlighted workforce programs with sector-based approaches, like the EARN Maryland Program, to ensure that workforce development aligns with business needs. 

On a summarizing note from Lara Fritts, CEcD, FM, MEDA’s Program Development Committee Co-Chair, “How we ‘do’ economic development is through partnerships.” Thus, moving forward after the 2024 MEDA Primer for Economic Development in Maryland, economic development organizations and leaders shall continue to foster collaborative environments that leverage the strengths of our diverse communities! 

To view all of the slides from the Primer sessions, click here.

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