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Economic Organization
'Economic gardening' to cultivate job growth
'Economic gardening' to cultivate job growth

Michael Spinosa overflows with enthusiasm about the team that helped his Columbia company figure out new strategies for growth — at no charge. That might not sound like economic development, if your conception of it is multimillion-dollar incentives to tempt big employers to move in. The assistance Spinosa got is a different approach with the same goal: more jobs. Connecting established local companies to expert help — pioneered as "economic gardening" in Littleton, Colo. — is catching on across the country. Maryland dipped its toe in the waters last year with a pilot. It's now officially launching its own program, Advance Maryland, as a grow-from-within...