Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) completed its Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report and presented it to the Dorchester County Council, and the public, on October 21, 2014. The presentation highlighted achievements and initiatives throughout the fiscal year.
Keasha Haythe, director of DCED, presented the annual report and shared a new marketing video. Accessible on YouTube, the video features Dorchester County businesses speaking about their successes and the business resources the county offers.
Highlights from the annual report included the Economic Development Office working with businesses to secure $235,000 from the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center Revolving Loan Fund. Twenty-three business visits and tours of the county were conducted. Eighty-five jobs were created through expansions, and more than 800 jobs remained through retention efforts. Over 200 companies were contacted for attraction and expansion.
Goals and priorities for DCED include business development, expansion, and retention initiatives. DCED plans to diversify the county by attracting industry sectors that are not currently in Dorchester County. Another priority includes partnering with educators to develop programs that prepare students to be viable contributors to the workforce and enhance programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The Dorchester Regional Technology Park remains a business development priority. The Technology Park is a full utility park that includes water, sewer, and fiber connections for tenants. Strategically located directly across from the Cambridge-Dorchester Regional Airport, the park features 4- to 5-acre shovel-ready lots. The Technology Park has been marketed to several industry sectors through hundreds of emails and the mailing of strategic informational packets to more than ten serious prospects. Industry sectors include, but are not limited to, aviation, pharmaceutical, food, biotechnology, and aerospace/defense. Cassidy Turley was approved by the Dorchester County Council as the commercial real estate broker for the Technology Park. As the project’s exclusive broker, Cassidy Turley is currently marketing the build-to-suit sites.
Construction of Innovation Crossroads, the Eastern Shore’s first, full-service business incubator, will begin soon. The technology incubator will strengthen Dorchester County’s economy by creating the infrastructure, environment, and network to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start or expand their businesses. Innovation Crossroads is the planned anchor tenant of the newly-constructed Dorchester Regional Technology Park. Willow Construction was selected as the construction firm, with Crosby and Associates serving as the architectural firm. The project is due to be completed in 2015.
To learn more about the Dorchester County Economic Development Office, please visit www.ChooseDorchester.org, subscribe to the Currents newsletter, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.