Harford's county executive stresses need for more jobs Employment fair slated for closed firm's workers

February 07, 1996|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,SUN STAFF

Harford County's executive stressed the need to create jobs yesterday in her annual state-of-the-county address -- and noted the creation of two new positions that are intended to foster economic development.

About 1,400 new jobs and $211 million in business investment have boosted Harford's economy in the current fiscal year, County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann told the County Council last night.

But Harford can attract even more manufacturing and distribution jobs and research and development companies, she said.

"Job creation and expansion of our economic base have been one of the top priorities of this administration and will continue to be," she said, noting the loss of 500 jobs in the closing of bankrupt Merry-Go-Round's headquarters in Joppa.

"Even before the actual announcement of the closing, we had arranged a job fair for the 500 employees who will now be out of work," Mrs. Rehrmann said.

Several companies -- among them Saks Fifth Avenue, which is building a distribution center in Aberdeen -- are expected to participate in the job fair, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Richlin Ballroom, 1700 Van Bibber Road in Edgewood.

The new positions in the economic development office will be responsible for marketing the county to companies that might come to Harford and preparing financial incentive packages, including state and local loans and property tax credits.

The county already has begun trying to find a tenant or buyer for Merry-Go-Round's million-square-foot headquarters. The clothing company announced Friday that it would close.

Speaking before the meeting, Mrs. Rehrmann said Merry-Go-Round had produced $3.3 million in revenue for the county since it arrived in 1987. The county gave the firm $1.3 million in tax credits.

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