Recap - The Reorganization of DBED Revealed with Deputy Secretary Ben Wu

Posted Date: 
September 10, 2015

Guest Speaker: Ben Wu, Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development
Topic: The Reorganization of DBED Revealed

September 10, 2015 Recap   

The vice-chair of the Economic Development Committee, Bruce Lee, welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speaker, Deputy Secretary Ben Wu, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Mr. Wu is a long time Montgomery County resident and has been at the forefront of efforts to promote technology led economic development. 

He began the presentation by saying there is no secret sauce for economic development. The goal is to create the structure, communicate the efforts and forge partnerships to be effective. 

On October 1, the latest iteration of the department will launch as the Maryland Department of Commerce.  This change came about from a recommendation in the Augustine Commission interim report that led to legislation signed by the governor enacting the change.  When Maryland does not live up to its potential, businesses suffer and ultimately the citizenry is negatively impacted.  This governor and his administration is paying a lot of attention to economic development.

The implementation of the legislation has been enhanced by executive changes that make sense to the operations.  There is a concerted effort to harmonize various initiatives, such as MEDCO and TEDCO and create a P3 Marketing effort to amplify the message that Maryland is open for business.

The department is further organized into business units with renewed attention to international efforts and the desire to work collaboratively with all stakeholders including counties, chambers and key institutional partners.

There is plenty about which to be optimistic. Job growth is strengthening and efforts to reign in the structural deficit are continuing.  Priorities of the administration include fiscal restraint, jobs and economic opportunities, tax relief and reforming government.

Questions from attendees focused on the relationship between the state and the county in attracting companies to which Mr. Wu stressed the full awareness and support by the state of Montgomery County as an economic driver for the state.  The Governor and the County Executive have a strong working relationship.  The new organization will add representatives on the ground in Montgomery County.

Mr. Wu also talked about a Commerce sub cabinet that is using an interagency approach to economic development that reinforces the notion that there is an economic development impact within the mission of all agencies.

The session concluded with a reminder of how critical the 2016 General Assembly legislative session will be to advance initiatives that will improve Maryland’s competitiveness as a place to do business.

To request a copy of the presentation, please contact Ilaya Hopkins.

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development website

For upcoming MCCC Member Exchange Meetings, click here.

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