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Strategic Plan Puts Harford County on 'Road Map' to Tech-based ED

December 13, 2002

A strategy to make Maryland's Harford County a competitive jurisdiction for attracting and expanding technology ventures has been unveiled by the Northeastern Maryland Technology Council (NMTC). Offering an analysis of the county's technology resources and assets, the Harford County Strategic Plan is expected to serve as a "road map" to help guide policy efforts for the next 5-15 years.

The plan is a culmination of a year-long effort of coordination with public and private sectors and the Harford County Economic Development Advisory Board's Technology Subcommittee. More than 80 interviews were held with area educators, business leaders and organizations, and the findings of these interviews were compared with industry data in Harford County. The effort resulted in eight categories under which 83 specific actions were named for positioning the county as a center for technology growth and development.

Harford County and its eight target-industry sectors can contribute significantly to the county's economy, the report suggests. Development of these industries – advanced and engineered materials; advanced manufacturing technologies; automotive design and testing; information technology; materials testing; technical services; biotechnology scale-up; and environmental services – could mean "substantial economic gains in terms of economic output and job creation."

The key for Harford County, the plan states, will be modeling other examples of Central Maryland jurisdictions with developing technology sectors and implementing the actions set forth in the strategic plan. Harford County already is home to numerous established technology firms and as the above objectives are accomplished, positive economic returns may be seen over a short period of time, including rapid growth in the county's employment base, diversification of the industry base, and growth of complementary industry sectors.

NMTC serves to create a collaborative environment among business, education and government for promoting technology in Harford and Cecil Counties. The Harford County Strategic Plan is available under "Technology" at: http://www.co.ha.md.us/economic_development/