Governor Larry Hogan Highlights Economic Development, Job Creation Initiatives in Western Maryland
Announces New Funding for Frostburg State University and Town of Frostburg, New Rural Broadband Initiative in Downtown Cumberland
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today highlighted the administration’s progress in boosting economic development and job creation in Western Maryland through numerous initiatives involving multiple state agencies, totaling over $1 billion in state investments. In addition, the governor announced $750,000 in new state investments in the Town of Frostburg and Frostburg State University. Governor Hogan was joined by State Senator George Edwards, Delegate Jason Buckel, Delegate Mike McKay, Delegate Wendell Beitzel, Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Ken Holt, Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, and State Highway Administrator Greg Slater, along with other state and local officials and community representatives, to make a series of announcements before touring downtown Cumberland.
“During our campaign, we promised that Western Maryland would no longer be ignored, forgotten, or neglected,” said Governor Hogan. “We said that we were going to pay more attention to your needs and concerns, because there should not be a disconnect between Mountain Maryland and Annapolis. We want everyone across Western Maryland to know that you have a voice in Annapolis, and an administration that is fighting on your behalf each and every day.”
Among the initiatives highlighted by the governor was the administration’s More Jobs for Marylanders Act. Passed during the 2017 legislative session and signed into law by Governor Hogan in April, this landmark legislation incentivizes companies to create new jobs in areas with high unemployment, including Western Maryland. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Commerce to actively promote the law throughout Western Maryland to encourage further economic development.
Governor Hogan also touted over $1 billion in state investments for Western Maryland, including $315 million in transportation infrastructure projects throughout the region, $12 million for the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund, and $2 million for Cumberland’s downtown revitalization efforts. In addition, Governor Hogan announced over a half-million dollars in multiple state investments in the Frostburg area, including $300,000 to establish a new Office of Economic Development at Frostburg State University, $350,000 to the Town of Frostburg to acquire additional sites for economic revitalization, and $100,000 for the design of a new Town Hall and Public Safety building.
“Governor Hogan is a great friend to Western Maryland, and he’s been out here more in two and a half years than any governor I can remember since Governor Schaefer,” said Senator Edwards. “He wants to help us out as much as he can, and he’s really putting forth that effort.”
Finally, Governor Hogan announced that the administration, in collaboration with Garrett and Allegany Counties and the Tri-County Council of Western Maryland, will launch a new project to bring high-speed broadband connectivity to eight business parks in Western Maryland and to downtown Cumberland to support critical redevelopment projects. The project enhances 66 new miles of lit fiber, creating a network of more than 3,600 miles of fiber. This new broadband initiative follows the governor’s June 2017 executive order establishing an Office of Rural Broadband in the Department of Information Technology and the recent completion of a successful pilot program in Garrett County.
“When I look at the potential for downtown Cumberland I see tech companies, I see more restaurants, I see more businesses, more opportunities, and I see a place where people want to bring their families to spend more time. What the governor has announced for us is going to be a big part of that,” said Delegate Buckel. “We’ve heard a lot of promises before, and this is one of the first governors and first leaders that I have ever seen who delivers on those promises.”