Md. unveils plan to boost industry

May 15, 1992|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

The state's economic development agency has unveiled a new strategy it hopes will be the first step toward reversing the decline of manufacturing in Maryland.

"I want to emphasize that this is just a beginning; it needs input from you," Mark L. Wasserman, secretary of the state's Department of Economic and Employment Development, told more than 200 people yesterday at the Annual Maryland Manufacturers Symposium. The symposium was sponsored by the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence Inc. in collaboration with DEED and the Maryland Manufacturers Association.

Authors of the strategy see a need to:

* Encourage and nurture new manufacturing ventures. To that end, DEED will consolidate its financing and counseling efforts.

* Accelerate the modernization of manufacturers. DEED plans to help teach companies how to improve their products.

* Support the improvement of the work force. DEED will promote increased vocational training and provide training programs for companies.

* Help manufacturers strengthen markets.

"We need you, the manufacturing community, to work with us and with the General Assembly to identify issues that present barriers to your growth and stability," Mr. Wasserman told the symposium, held at Martin's West.

In the past 30 years, the percentage of Marylanders with manufacturing jobs has dropped from 34.5 percent, which was close to the national average, to 11.5 percent, far below today's national average of 20 percent.

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