Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

County to Develop Economic Development Strategic Plan

On Thursday, Oct. 15, the Department of Economic Development announced it will develop a five-year Charles County Economic Development Strategic Plan, in partnership with Development Counsellors International (DCI) and Garner Economics LLC. The purpose of the plan is to provide the county with an action plan to improve business competitiveness, leverage the county’s assets to strengthen existing businesses, and identify new investment opportunities.

“Charles County has immense potential for economic prosperity and growth, but we need concrete action steps to ensure our efforts have continuity and maintain momentum,” said Darrell Brown, director for the Department of Economic Development. “The economic development strategic plan will prioritize where we place our future resources, and it will provide the roadmap necessary to stay on course.”

The plan is scheduled to be released in March 2016. The annual Economic Development fall meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3, titled, “Are We on the Same Page? Building Consensus” will focus on the strategic plan. President and Founder Jay Garner of Garner Economics LLC will be the keynote speaker. For additional information or to register for the meeting, visit

To begin the plan’s development, Garner Economics LLC will conduct an assessment of the county’s competitiveness to include demographic and economic analysis, labor market and cluster analysis, community assets and challenges assessment, and comparisons to two benchmark communities. Other research methods include focus groups with local businesses and government members and a countywide electronic survey to run from Oct. 16-30.

Garner Economics LLC will develop a competitive realities report with key findings from the research. This report will be used to develop the final Economic Development Strategic Plan. The plan will include recommended target industry sectors as well as execution guidelines and recommendations.

For additional information about the Department of Economic Development, visit

Annual 'Celebrate Charles: FallFest' Returns on October 24

The 4th annual Celebrate Charles: FallFest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Regency Furniture Stadium (11765 St. Linus Drive, Waldorf) from noon to 4 p.m. This family-friendly event continues to grow in popularity every year. Last year’s event drew 4,000 participants.

Visit the Celebrate Charles Marketplace, which showcases Southern Maryland’s talented artisans and crafters. Enjoy local live music performed by the Sara Gray Band and live entertainment by The Balloon Nerd. All animal lovers are encouraged to visit our Tri-County Animal Shelter staff, who will display shelter animals available for adoption.

New this year are cooking demonstrations by A Taste of Southern Maryland. Stop by to learn new cooking techniques and tips at the “Fabulously Fall Cooking Show.” Featured cooking ingredients will be provided by local farms and businesses.

Children can give their Halloween costumes a trial run on the Trick-Or-Treat Trail and can play all day in the Family Fun Zone, which will be full of inflatables, rides, and face painting. Admission is free, and the event will be held rain or shine. Food, drink, and market items will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit, or contact the Crain Memorial Welcome Center at 1-800-766-3386. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Charles County Animal Control to Hold Free Rabies Clinic Nov. 1

Maryland law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets are vaccinated for rabies. Protect your furry friends - bring your pet to a free rabies clinic Sunday, Nov. 1, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Nanjemoy Volunteer Fire Department (4260 Port Tobacco Road, Nanjemoy). Dog and cat licenses will be available for purchase. The fee for a pet license is $5 if your animal is altered and $25 if your animal is not altered. All dogs must be leashed and all cats and ferrets must be contained in a carrier.

The Charles County Animal Response Team volunteers, Charles County Animal Control, and the Charles County Department of Health are sponsoring the clinic. For more information about the free rabies clinic, contact the Charles County Department of Emergency Services at 301-609-3425 or e-mail Debbie Yost at Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Charles County Department of Economic Development Receives International Excellence Award

The Charles County Department of Economic Development is the recipient of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Excellence in Economic Development Bronze Award for its recently redesigned website, and branding.

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 6, during the 2015 IEDC Annual Conference, held Oct. 4-7, in Anchorage, Alaska.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Award, and are thrilled that the IEDC awards committee recognized as one of the best-in-class economic development websites,” said Darrell Brown, director of the Charles County Department of Economic Development. “For the Charles County community and our organization, to have the work that we have done be recognized among some of the world’s best economic development programs is a true honor.”

According to IEDC, recipients of IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards demonstrate to an experienced panel of judges that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession. They are recognized as the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

“From localized community projects, to large scale endeavors, economic development efforts have played a vital role in the global economy,” said JoAnn Crary, CEcD, chair of the International Economic Development Council and president of Saginaw Future, Inc. “As we address new and longstanding challenges, these efforts continue to take on even greater importance. The award serves as a salute to pacesetting organizations like Charles County’s Department of Economic Development for leading the charge."

Charles County Economic Development launched the new website in April 2015, along with a new logo and tagline – “Charles County: Close to the Capital, Far from Ordinary,” to help better market the county as an attractive location for business investment, as well as to increase community pride and recognition of the county’s assets among the local community. Designed for corporate executives, site selection consultants and local businesses, the new website provides decision makers with information about the county’s economic climate, incentives, and resources for doing business in Charles County. Featuring an attractive design with easy navigation, the website includes features tailored to the economic development audience, such as a geographic information system (GIS) planning tool, easily accessible economic data, company testimonials, and a business support section for businesses already operating in Charles County.

County Leaders Meet with Sen. Mikulski to Discuss Current Priorities

On Monday, Oct. 5 the Charles County Commissioners had the honor of meeting with U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski at Naval Support Facility, Indian Head. Mikulski began serving in the House of Representatives in 1977, and is the longest-serving woman in the history of the United States Congress.

The Commissioners shared with Mikulski their visions and goals for the county, and how they can continue working together to benefit Charles County residents. Discussion focused on the future of the naval base and its importance as a valuable county asset. Director of Economic Development Darrell A. Brown and Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin were in attendance.

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