The urgent need to improve Maryland's economic competitiveness has been a consistent theme from the economic watchdog group I chair, Change Maryland. It will be on the agenda this week when we bring together a panel of recognized business leaders, economists, policy experts and government officials.
They will lead an honest and candid assessment of what actions the state must take to improve conditions for private sector job growth.
Maryland is lagging behind other states in the region in economic performance, and this forum is the first of what will be many bi-partisan, tangible steps towards a much-needed course correction.
With the poor business perception and a clear track record of tax and fee increases, Maryland is seen as damaged goods by employers of all sizes.
Companies including Boeing, Caterpillar and KIA have recently created tens of thousands of jobs in business-friendly southeastern states. Maryland does not even make the short list of such major facility expansions.
Meanwhile, Virginia continues to best Maryland in virtually every measure of economic performance. Governors in nearby North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania have realized the need to improve economic competitiveness and are actively pursuing fiscal, tax and regulatory reform to attract employers.
Maryland will emerge as the mid-Atlantic dust bowl state when it comes to attracting private sector business and jobs if we do nothing. Our over-reliance on the public sector employment base and federal government installations has been to the detriment of the private sector business community and has cost us jobs and revenue.
Change Maryland is committed to pro-business, private sector job growth and bringing fiscal responsibility and common sense to Annapolis. It is the largest and fastest growing non-partisan, grass roots citizen organization in the state with nearly 30,000 members from every county. There has been tremendous interest in the February 21 event in Annapolis with 400 people who will be in attendance.
It will be held at the Westin Hotel, February 21 at 8:00 A.M. Although this event is expected to sell out, it will be the first of many steps we need to take to grow Maryland's economy and employment base.
Connect with Change Maryland - help us attract jobs and employers to our state.