The Maryland Tech Council (MTC) has expanded its involvement in Frederick with the establishment of a new office at 12 W. Church St., which will also be home to a workforce development coalition.
Marty Rosendale, chief executive officer of MTC, said that the council is constantly traveling across Maryland to meet with their members and has seen Frederick grow exponentially.
One day, Rosendale was eating lunch with a staff member at Brewer’s Alley and kept running into technology and life sciences executives as they walked by. It hadn’t occurred to him before that downtown Frederick might be a place where executives from these popular fields would bump into one another.
“We realized it’s an area we needed to spend more time in,” Rosendale said.
The Frederick office will serve as the central location for the eight MTC staff members, many of whom live in Frederick County or Washington County. The MTC puts on several events such as roundtable discussions and “coffee with a CEO,” some of which have been held in Frederick. They’ve put on about 52 events in the last 12 months.
The MTC also advocates for business issues at the legislative level.
Richard Griffin, the city of Frederick’s director of economic development, said that the I-270 tech corridor is “internationally known,” and that more growth is expected to come to Frederick.
MTC can help bridge Frederick to the rest of the I-270 tech corridor and give companies more opportunities for collaboration, Griffin said.
“Additionally, we look to them to help us convene industry partners across the region, because we know Frederick doesn’t live in isolation. We have to work with our region to support regional needs,” he said.
He also hopes that more of the events that MTC holds will be in Frederick instead of “down the road” now that there is an office downtown, which Griffin said is a prime location.
“We’re excited to have them located right downtown, very close to both the city and county economic development organizations in a building that has great history and we’re incredibly proud the fact that Frederick has a unique ability to blend history and technology,” Griffin said.
The Frederick office will also be home to a workforce coalition that will tackle issues about how to attract and retain talent, especially in the biotech and life sciences field. Griffin said that this will benefit Frederick’s highly educated workforce — about 41 percent of Frederick’s workforce has a bachelor’s degree, compared with 32 percent nationwide.
“Our goal is to be able to ensure that companies that are making an investment in Frederick, and creating jobs here are able to source the talent that they need and retain that talent, and so we do that in a variety of ways,” Griffin said.
The coalition will also work beyond Frederick, however, Rosendale said. The group will help identify issues in workforce development so that MTC can help solve them, or even advocate for legislation.
“This expansion by MTC will benefit our local businesses by allowing industry leaders to have face-to-face discussions with the council to propel initiatives forward,” said Helen Propheter, director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development. “We welcome the MTC team and look forward to an even stronger relationship in the years to come.”