Delmarva Economic Forum sees counties tout economic growth, but concerns over new workers and development
SALISBURY, Md- Rebounding labor numbers, economic growth, and the challenges facing new development were the messages of the Delmarva Economic Forum Friday in Salisbury.
In Wicomico County business parks can’t come online fast enough to keep up with businesses who want to fill them.
“The good news is the places 50 thousand square feet plus are full, the bad news is it’s full it’s easier to sell something off the shelf and than to point to a 24-month development cycle,” said Wicomico County Economic Development Director David Ryan.
Ryan says developments for business ventures in downtown Salisbury and a new purchase of the former Campbell’s soup are boosting the development of the area but he says the challenge is also to have the workforce to fill new businesses.
He says as employment numbers are up, there now needs to be a new crop of workers with technical training.
“Schools are workforce development, the more we do to provide training and certification the more we can do with workforce development the better we are setting ourselves up,” he said.
In Worcester County Officials are touting the passing of agritourism bills helping more farms, wineries, and breweries expand their businesses.
They say new marketing efforts for Ocean city, and new data tracking of where tourists are going are helping them make the Tourist Destination recession-proof.
“Through this year and through any recession in 2023 we really feel that tourism is pandemic proof and it is different than 08 or 09 people have income, nationally there are 1.7 dollars in savings that Americans are looking to spend on experiences and that makes us well situated, the existing businesses that are here have grown over the past year,” said Worcester County Economic Development Director Melanie Pursel.
In Dorchester County, officials say that pending grants to revamp Cambridge’s waterfront have them feeling confident with the hopes of drawing in crowds year-round.
“The waterfront development is going to be awesome the new director is pushing the project forward and now you can see the hospital is coming down,” said Dorchester County Economic Director Susan Banks.
The forum heard from multiple civil engineer panelists, who presented the challenges of developing further in rural Delmarva without a unified water and sewer plan, saying that the current patchwork solution in Wicomico County needs to be addressed to help support the environment and new development.