Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker joined officials from the county’s Economic Development Corporation and the Financial Services Corporation at a press conference this week to highlight and celebrate the success of the Economic Development Incentive Fund.
Baker was joined at the Thursday conference by several of the EDI Fund recipients who commended the fund as a primary catalyst for their business expansion and job creation in the county.
“The EDI Fund has been the ‘grease’ that has allowed Prince George’s County to become the economic engine of the State of Maryland and the National Capital Region,” Baker said. “Prior to my administration, Prince George’s County did not have this critical economic development tool and was an afterthought in the business community.”
Baker added that while the $50 million fund was established to “wow” the business community, it demonstrated that the county was willing to put its own skin in the game.
“Within six years, $36 million in fund awards have or will generate $1 billion in private investment that has created or retained over 12,000 new jobs,” Baker said. “I want to thank and congratulate the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, FSC First, and the Prince George’s County Council for their hard work to make the EDI Fund a critical part of our county’s successful efforts to attract $1 billion in investment over the past seven years, leading the state in job growth for five quarters in a row.”
The EDI Fund was proposed by the Baker Administration in 2011 on the heels of the recession in an effort to jump-start the county’s stagnant economy and to dispel its negative reputation among the business community.
The $50 million was set aside to be infused into projects around the county that promised to create a high volume of jobs.
“Baker saw possibilities that others were unable to see,” said Jim Coleman, president and CEO of the Prince George’s County EDC. “Some men see things as they are and ask, ‘why?’ Baker dreams of things that never were and asks, ‘why not?’ That is why the EDI Fund has been able to generate $1 billion in capital investments and create and retain a combined 12,000 jobs. Prince George’s County is the economic engine of the region because of the vision of County Executive Baker and the EDI Fund.”
To date, 44 projects have been submitted to and approved by the County Council. EDI Fund recipients include companies such as 2U, F&G Development, Berman Enterprises and Thompson Creek. Together, the projects have impacted more than 12,000 jobs — having retained 5,138 and created 7,009.
EDC and FSC First work collaboratively to review applications, disburse funds and monitor the progress of each potential EDI Fund recipient.