The Charles County Economic Development Department was honored to receive two awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for Excellence and Leadership in Economic Development on October 5 at IEDC’s Annual Conference. One was a silver award for the CSM Velocity Center and the Revitalization of the Town of Indian Head in the real estate and reuse category. The second was a bronze award for our 2020 Annual Report. The work behind these awards was not a solo effort, and we thank our partners who helped with these projects.
About the CSM Velocity Center award, Taylor Yewell, EDD’s Chief of Development noted, “The Economic Development Department submitted the award application to IEDC, but this honor goes to every member of the community who has participated in this effort. Charles County Government, the College of Southern Maryland, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division, the Military Alliance Council, the Town of Indian Head, and the State of Maryland have been – and continue to be – partners in the ongoing effort to revitalize commercial activity outside the base in the Town.”
CSM Velocity Center and the Revitalization of the Town of Indian Head
In 2015, the Charles County Economic Development Department undertook an organized effort to address challenges in the Town of Indian Head to attract development and achieve broad economic revitalization. Indian Head, home of the Naval Support Facility Indian Head, has been in need of revitalization, reinvestment, and redevelopment for a generation. The cornerstone of this project was to organize a deliberate effort to facilitate a redevelopment project as a catalyst for revitalization.
The Velocity Center concept was an outgrowth of an initiative proposed by the US Navy at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC IHD) in collaboration with the EDD and other stakeholders. This project’s chief function was to provide off-base space for NSWC IHD and bring commercial activity back into the Town.
Its presence was leverage for broader efforts to create, expand, and attract new businesses and enhance the depleted tax base. So far, the project has indirectly delivered 60 FTE jobs to Indian Head and $6 million dollars in enhanced commercial tax base to the town and county. It’s also helped to reactivate another nearby blighted and underutilized property that has been vacant for over ten years.
2020 Annual Report
Every year, the EDD produces an Annual Report highlighting the year’s economic development successes and providing a snapshot of the local economy. The publication includes brief descriptions of the department’s priorities and progress on those priorities as related to our five-year strategic plan, a look at new and expanding projects, relevant economic data, and noteworthy business activity.
The EDD’s Annual Report demonstrates our commitment to accountability and transparency. The content of the report presents our priorities, initiatives, and resulting accomplishments for the year and shows how County funding is used to advance economic development in the community. It also shows how we’ve implemented our strategic plan and reports on the outcomes of those efforts.
The Annual Report is normally distributed at our Annual Fall Meeting, but our 2020 event was switched to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we worked with our marketing consultant, Platinum PR, to create both a print and online, interactive publication. The EDD focused on the local effect of the COVID crisis, reflecting the theme of the 2020 Fall Meeting. While the Annual Report told the story of the department’s activities to help businesses affected by the crisis, the main focus was the businesses and business activity that demonstrated innovation, resilience, and strength of community during the crisis. View the 2020 Annual Report.
We’re honored to have been recognized for our work on behalf of the Charles County business community. “These awards from the country’s leading economic development organization demonstrate that the Economic Development Department staff continue to deliver excellent service to stakeholders, including citizens and businesses,” said Deputy County Administrator and Acting Director of Economic Development Department Deborah Hall.