Over the past year, the Maryland Department of Commerce has continued to foster business growth throughout the state, by simplifying the process of starting a business, prioritizing customer service, and investing in our innovative companies.
During fiscal year 2019, the department provided financial assistance to 167 different economic development projects statewide, from Kite Pharma in Frederick to Smithfield Foods in Cecil County, bringing in a total capital expenditure of $630.5 million. More than 70 of these projects fell under the small, minority, and women-owned business category, according to the recently released annual report.
The Partnership for Workforce Quality (PWQ) – our workforce training program focused on the manufacturing and technology fields – showed significant growth. The program was projected to help nearly 1,700 employees receive training across the state—an increase of 62 percent from fiscal year 2018-2019.
All in all, the state’s assistance helped create more than 3,300 new jobs and retain more than 4,550 existing jobs over the year.
Other fiscal year highlights include several innovative opportunities supporting the state’s federal community, including the expansion of the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization (DefTech) Center, which helps fund tech transfer activities in defensive labs at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort George G. Meade, and Fort Detrick. Expanding the DefTech Center was made possible by a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
The yearly report – compiled by Maryland Commerce’s marketing and communications division – also recaps the state’s national and international impact, through targeted advertising campaigns, public relations outreach efforts, and attendance at foreign tradeshows around the world. The marketing unit works to promote the state as a great place to live and work, as well as locate and grow a business.