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BusinessFort Meade (military base)Economic PolicyDefenseColleges and Universities

Location, quality of life and a pro-business environment are three of the reasons some 8,800 companies call Howard County home, creating more than 148,000 jobs. According to the Howard County Economic Development Authority, this county boasts almost 60 million square feet of office, industrial and flex space.

In Howard County, among the wealthiest in the nation with a median household income of $101,867, approximately one-third of the residents commute to Washington, about 20 miles south, while another one-third commute to Baltimore, just 10 miles north. Many local companies recruit workers from both metropolitan areas, which, combined, form the fourth-largest business market in the United States.  

The Port of Baltimore is 20 minutes away, and Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is even closer — less than 20 minutes from Ellicott City, the county seat.

BRAC

BRAC — or Base Realignment and Closure Commission — is an acronym for a U.S. Department of Defense commission, but locally you’ll hear it used to refer to planned growth at several state military bases, including nearby Fort George G. Meade.

In 2005, this federal commission decided to shift more than 7,500 Department of Defense jobs to Maryland military bases over a seven year period, including nearly 6,000 at Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County. Most of these workers will be in place by August 2011.

Additionally, the military plans to lease space to contractors on several installations, and officials expect additional National Security Agency positions will be added at Fort Meade because of its designation as a Cyber Command Center.

Howard County’s BRAC Task Force is projecting more than 22,000 new jobs will be added at Fort Meade over the next four years bringing the installation workforce to 63,000. It also predicts that Howard County will see an increase of 8,800 new jobholders by 2015.

The task force is charged with evaluating how this growth will impact all aspects of life in Howard County, from transportation to education.

You can find more information by visiting www.howardcountymd.gov and clicking on the “BRAC” link.

HOWARD COUNTY BUSINESS PROFILE

Population: 287,085

Jobs: 148,318

Private Businesses: 8,802

Howard County Economic Development Authority                                                              410-313-6500                                                                                                               www.hceda.org

Howard County Chamber of Commerce
410-730-4111                                                                                               www.howardchamber.com

BRAC Business Initiative                                                                                                  410-313-6376                                                                                                 bbi.howardcountymd.gov

BWI Business Partnership                                                                                                410-859-1000                                                                                                        www.bwipartner.org

Baltimore Metropolitan Council
410-732-0500                                                                                                               baltometro.org

Source: Howard County Economic Development Authority

10 LARGEST EMPLOYERS

Howard County Public School System
7,826 employees

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
4,400 employees

Howard County Government
2,430 employees

Verizon Wireless
2,028 employees

Lorien Health Systems
2,000 employees

Giant Food Inc.
1,950 employees

Howard County General Hospital
1,720 employees

Howard Community College
1,244 employees

Columbia Association
1,200 employees

Northrop Grumman
1,200 employees

Source: Howard County Economic Development Authority

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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