Prince George’s has the foundation to grow its economy and its job base. We have skilled residents, the University of Maryland, NASA, and other federal and state agencies, and numerous small businesses. However, unlike most neighboring counties that have gained back the jobs lost during the recession, we still lag behind. We’re moving in the right direction by working to attract large employers, such as the FBI, and to strengthen small businesses by giving them access to local contracts, but we can do so much more.
Some of the best ideas, as well as the collaboration to make these ideas a reality, come when we all work together. Now is the time to be bold, innovative, and entrepreneurial.
Here are some of my economic development and jobs priorities:
1. Deliver commercial, office, residential development at Metro Stations in Prince George’s County (transit-oriented development) with a specific focus in District 3 at the College Park and New Carrollton Metro Stations as well as key corridors in the County such as Route 1, Kenilworth Avenue, and Route 450.
2. Leverage existing assets in the County (such as the University of Maryland, NASA-Goddard, and Joint Base Andrews) to create additional job opportunities. For example, the County needs to retain more of the businesses that are incubated at University of Maryland or at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
3. Promote entrepreneurship at all levels. For example, the County should establish a commercial kitchen incubator to support those interested in the food industry or in operating their own restaurant. Incubators focused on high-tech and design or green businesses could also be supported.
4. Ensure that the Purple Line moves forward and that the County and the communities around the new stations realize the economic and community development benefits.
5. Continue to streamline the permit process to deliver small and large projects into the marketplace quickly.
6. Expand apprenticeship programs to connect our youth to jobs and create a pipeline of skilled workers.
7. Help homeowners reinvest in their properties delivers jobs and helps our neighborhoods. We need to strengthen and expand existing programs to help seniors and residents with limited means maintain and weatherize their homes.
8. Assist small businesses in gaining the skills they need to compete and grow their business through greater training and mentoring and by linking them to financial resources.
9. Grow training programs at Prince George's Community College to connect people to job opportunities.
10. Establish the County as a great place to live and do business by showcasing what makes our neighborhoods great. We can create a website, modeled after Live Baltimore, where we can share information about our neighborhoods, the reasons we choose them (trails, transit, schools, history, etc), and future projects.
I have found these resources helpful, if you are a business or interested in launching a business: