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RELEASE: County Executive, Business Leaders Discuss Efforts To Drive Economic Success

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2020

Contact: Andrew Santillo, (518) 853-8334

County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort (head of table) gathered local business leaders and other stakeholders for a collaborative discussion about ways to enhance the county’s pro-jobs, pro-growth policies.

FONDA — In an effort to continue the County’s economic success, Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort hosted the inaugural meeting of the County’s new Business Advisory Committee, bringing together key leaders from a variety of industries. The collaborative discussion is intended to foster increased engagement between local stakeholders and county government to advance pro-jobs, pro-economic growth initiatives.

The first Business Advisory Committee meeting included executives from a broad range of industries, including major employers like Hill & Markes and Keymark Corporation, tech companies like Engines of Creation, and local entrepreneurs, along with staff from the Montgomery County Business Development Center (MCBDC).

“We’ve made great progress growing jobs and creating opportunities. When I started my first term, everyone talked about the need for jobs. Now everyone talks to me about the need for employees. Launching this Business Advisory Committee is about hearing from our employers about the challenges they’re facing and putting in place initiatives that really meet their needs,” said Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort. “Ensuring our employers have an open dialogue with county government helps everyone succeed.”

Major discussion topics for business leaders were improving workforce development initiatives and expanding the labor pool for both skilled and unskilled talent. Another priority discussed, which could assist the employee retention efforts, was creating accessible childcare options and establishing access to public transportation.

“Montgomery County is thriving thanks to a strong base of employers that touch a variety of activities, from distribution and manufacturing to web design and more. But our employers are only as strong as their employees, and we want to ensure the county is addressing factors that, for some employees, may be barriers to entry into the workforce. With the feedback from the Business Advisory Committee, we’ll be exploring what resources can be accessed to create beneficial public-private partnerships,” said MCBDC CEO Ken Rose, whose office hosted the gathering and will be advancing on discussion points from the first meeting.

“I’m very pleased with County Executive Ossenfort’s proactive approach to supporting new and long-standing Montgomery County based companies. The focus on engaging all types of companies in the area with a variety of workforce development options is timely and critical for business success in the region. I know we as a company will actively engage to help the county be successful with this initiative,” said Jason Packer, CEO of Hill & Markes, Inc.

“The Business Advisory Committee is an opportunity to work with a dynamic group of business members and county leaders to help shape the future of the region. Together our ideas can positively impact the growth of business in Montgomery County and improve the quality of life for all residents,” said Dan La Bate, President of Engines of Creation.

The Business Advisory Committee is working to establish subgroups who will actively explore time sensitive topics such as state resources and other partnerships prior to their next quarterly meeting.

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