Like so many communities around the country, last week Charles County threw its hat in the ring, and the EDD submitted our proposal for our county to become the home of HQ2, Amazon’s second corporate headquarters in North America. On the heels of our Amazon submission, this week is Maryland Economic Development Week, which celebrates the profession of economic development and its potential impact on a community.
Amazon’s search for HQ2’s home has certainly made economic development a part of the mainstream conversation, but here in Charles County, economic development is not only a conversation starter but a critical part of our County’s current and future success.
Collaboration = Key to Economic Development
Economic Development is about increasing prosperity in a community by creating an environment where businesses want to invest, do business, and create jobs. While the EDD team is charged with leading that effort, real success relies on collaboration. Take the Velocity Center, for example.
Through partnerships and collaboration, the Velocity Center in Indian Head is closer than ever to becoming a reality for the Charles County community. The College of Southern Maryland recently announced it will lease the former Ely’s Warehouse location on Indian Head Highway for the Velocity Center, a one-of-a kind facility that will include an education center, research site, and innovation space. Renovations on the space are anticipated to begin this fall, with launch projected for summer 2018.
Once complete, the Center will include a co-working space, training facilities, conference rooms, and other amenities, creating a unique ecosystem for innovation and collaboration between the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technical Division (NSWC IHEODTD) and the community, including the area’s students. Most importantly, the Center is poised to serve as a catalyst for redevelopment within the Town of Indian Head. Collaboration has been the key to this project, and partners have included the Navy, the Town of Indian Head, the Chamber of Commerce’s Military Alliance Council (MAC), Charles County Economic Development, the Maryland Department of Commerce, The College of Southern Maryland, and others.
More to Come: EDD Director’s Views Blog Series
In addition to collaboration, communication is also a key priority. What happens in economic development affects all of us, and we strive to keep the business community and residents in the know on economic development issues and trends. We have started an “EDD Director’s Views” blog series, where I’ll regularly share updates and topics related to economic development. This is the first blog of the series.
In the meantime, we always like to hear from the community and our businesses. Please reach us at info@MeetCharlesCounty.com if you have questions or concerns.
Director, Charles County Economic Development Department