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From the Desk of
County Executive Jan Gardner

(9/2014) Itís that time of year again! It is hard to believe that the dog days of summer are quickly coming to an end and a new school year has begun. Over 40,000 students and their families are busy with new classes, back to school nights, and fall sports.

I am so proud of our talented students. A remarkable team of Frederick County students is among 35 finalists nationwide for the premier InvenTeams Lemelson-MIT program. These Computer-Aided Design students from the Frederick County Career & Tech Center are working on technological solutions to real world problems. Students on the team represent Catoctin, Oakdale, Middletown, and Frederick High Schools. Congratulations to advisor Mr. Phil Arnold and his team of students for their creativity, innovation, and success. They invented a better way to help rural Africa transport water. This invention will save women and children an incredible amount of time and allow more children to attend school. Meeting these super smart and inventive students provides great assurance that we have a bright future.

Ground had broken and construction begun on the new Frederick High School. Many Frederick County residents hold fond memories of their high school years at this school since at one time this school served a large portion of Frederick County. While the school was loved, it was in dire need of repair and renovation. This project is important for the community who advocated for over a decade! While the new school has been designed to incorporate many of the exterior features of the original school building, the inside will include all the modern technology and features of a 21st century school.

There are a lot of good things happening in agriculture! Agriculture is a vital part of Frederick Countyís economy and quality of life. I am excited to share that Frederick County received a $1.1 million Rural Legacy grant which the county will use to preserve additional acres of farmland. I am proud that Frederick County ranks among the top ten counties in the country for success in agricultural land preservation with over 50,000 acres permanently preserved. These programs are all voluntary and we appreciate the landowners who participate in our land preservation programs to ensure a legacy of agriculture for future generation.

But, thatís not the only good news. We know we need to keep agriculture economically viable. I am proud to deliver on my campaign promise of restoring the Agriculture Business Development Specialist position to our Office of Economic Development. After a very competitive selection process with many qualified candidates, and with input from the Ag Business Council, I am pleased to announce the selection of Katie Albaugh to this position. Among Katieís priorities will be working to revitalize our Homegrown campaign, promote agribusiness and agritourism in Frederick and help farmers with the planning and permitting process.

Frederick is also fortunate to have Elle Grossnickle, from Myersville, representing Frederick County as the Maryland Dairy Princess. She will share first-hand experiences about working on her family farm and help children understand where their food comes from. Donít forget to take some time to visit the Great Frederick Fair. We have the best fair in the State of Maryland!

I have been actively out and about promoting Frederick County and all we have to offer. There is a lot of action in economic development and I want everyone to know that I mean business when it comes to job creation. AstraZeneca is expanding and adding 300 new jobs, Ford Motor Company is opening an office off MD 85 and bringing 35 new jobs, Flying Dog Brewery is considering a new $50 million expansion, and we have several other existing and new businesses looking to grow in Frederick. A Frederick County Economic Development effort has changed its focus on growing jobs. I am out meeting with local businesses, both big and small, to hear whatís happening, how we can help, or how we can stay out of the way. Most recently I toured Canam Steel in Point of Rocks, with over 300 employees, making steel beams and structural components for bridges. They have work all over the country and business is booming. They are looking for welders and to assist we are working with the community college and workforce services to support training and workforce needs.

I am excited to share a fabulous new Frederick County promotional video that was developed in-house by county staff. Please watch and share it with your friends and family. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgyHQf8Kd_E&feature=youtu.be

There is truly something for everyone in Frederick County!

Postscript: Almost every month you will read one or more columns with negative assertions about Frederick County government and my administration. Rest-assured that little to none of this information is accurate or truthful. It is my intent to continue to share positive information and work hard for the betterment of our community. I will leave the nay saying to others. You can always contact me directly for information or answers to questions at jgardner@frederickcountymd.gov or at 301-600-3190.

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