Montgomery County Council

News Release

April 12, 1999


A 21st Century County needs a 21st Century Workforce...
Councilmembers Silverman, Andrews, and Berlage Propose
Economic Development Budget Initiative

Montgomery County Councilmembers Steven Silverman, Phil Andrews, and Derick Berlage, who make up the Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee, today proposed a package of economic development measures designed to bolster a comprehensive economic development strategy for the Montgomery County of the 21st century. The three Councilmembers propose a series of measures to be included in the county operating budget for the next fiscal year:

  1. $500,000 for a one-stop career center for Montgomery County, to be developed by the Montgomery County Workforce Development Corporation. The Center, also funded with federal funds, will help employers seeking employees and county residents seeking jobs—including adults now employed who want to prepare for a next career or job advancement, youth soon to enter the job market who may want a summer job or internship, or unemployed or underemployed adults needing training and/or placement help.
  2. $75,000 for the Montgomery Work/Life Alliance, a coalition of county businesses, organizations, and county government agencies, formed to promote family friendly business practices and to recognize companies and organizations that are "Great Places to Work." The Work/Life Alliance conveys the message that companies who help their employees balance work and family life through such practices as flexible working arrangements, health and wellness efforts, and dependent care assistance will also help their company’s bottom line by attracting and keeping high quality employees.
  3. $500,000 for a Montgomery Business Alliance, a public/private marketing initiative to attract and retain companies and promote Montgomery County. The Greater Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, its business partners, and the county Department of Economic Development will be asked to jointly develop a marketing plan for use of the funds, as well as a plan for seeking private sector contributions to the marketing effort.
  4. Support for repeal of the County’s cell phone tax ($2.8 million tax reduction). The Councilmembers noted the county’s strong revenue picture, the high technology and other business community members’ concerns about the tax, and the public safety benefits of cell phones, especially for women.

"Montgomery County is a good place to do business and a good place to work," said Councilmember Silverman, "but we can do better. The 21st century is coming up fast in our rear view mirror -- and we’d better be ready for it or the best part of the future might pass us by.

"The measures we are proposing address several critical issues—workforce development, work/life issues, involvement of our business community in marketing Montgomery County, and elimination of a tax on a technology used by increasing numbers of our residents and businesses."

Additional background information on each of the proposals is available upon request.

Patrick Lacefield, (301) 217-7939,

Peggy Fitzgerald-Bare, (301) 217-7976,