Allan Kittleman is Building Howard County Into A True Destination Economy
Since Allan Kittleman took office in 2014, Howard County has added nearly 11,000 jobs, driving down the unemployment rate to 3.6% (as of summer 2018) – tied for the lowest unemployment rate in Maryland.
Allan Kittleman’s recipe for a thriving economy is two-pronged:
- create an environment where businesses can flourish and add jobs,
- keep taxes low so that families have more opportunities to shop, save and invest.
Since Allan took office in 2014, the county has added nearly 11,000 jobs, driving down the unemployment rate to 3.6% (as of summer 2018) – tied for the lowest unemployment rate in Maryland (Montgomery).
Under Allan’s watch, the number of businesses in Howard County has grown by nearly 6%.
Jobs in areas such as cybersecurity and professional services have been attracted to Howard County because of our highly educated and skilled workforce and our prime location in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.
Companies locate here to launch innovative, game-changing products. For instance, Allan led a trade mission to Europe in 2017 to convince BTS Bioenergy to invest $40 million to locate its North American headquarters and build two bio-digesters in the Route 1 corridor.
Also along Route 1, Kittleman has prioritized a combination of short-term projects and long-term strategies to support those who live and work along the corridor.
This means a revitalization that combines streetscaping, design and transportation improvements.
Long Reach Village Center
In Long Reach, it was Kittleman who lead the fight to change the aging village center into an impressive multi-use project that includes a food technology incubator, a vertical food garden, housing
The Kittleman Administration worked with the Long Reach Village Board, the Oakland Mills Village Board, the Columbia Association, and numerous local stakeholders to build consensus for the Master Plan that was announced in 2017.
A study shows that the revitalization effort, including construction activity, will:
- generate an estimated 730 full-time jobs, $39.9 million in labor income,
- $105.6 million in economic output and $4.2 million in state and local taxes over the span of construction activity.
When fully occupied the project on an annual basis will sustain 215 jobs, $11.3 million in labor income, $21.7 million in economic output and $1.3 million in state and local taxes per year.
The Long Reach Revitalization effort is a huge win for residents.
Tremendous growth is taking place in downtown Columbia as well. Soon, from the Crescent and Merriweather to the Mall and Little Patuxent Square, downtown Columbia will a walkable community where you can work, live, learn and play.
Columbia Gateway Innovation Campus
But the jewel of his economic development strategy is the 920-acre Columbia Gateway Innovation Campus. When complete, it will be a mixed-use development where leading-edge companies will grow and thrive — a
Under Kittleman, Howard County’s agricultural community is doing some amazing and innovative things too.
Allan created the agriculture sub-cabinet and appointed an agriculture liaison to work directly with members of the farming community.
Out in Glenwood, the first micro-malting facility in the county opened. He’s expanded the Roving Radish, the county’s program dedicated to promoting healthy farm to table eating habits.
Economic development also means keeping government fiscally responsible. When running for County Executive four years ago, Allan Kittleman promised to bring sensible budget management to Howard County.
Inheriting a $16 million deficit, Kittleman turned the budget around quickly, creating a surplus while providing tax credits for many and funding schools beyond the state-mandated Maintenance of Effort.
His administration is making wise investments, careful choices and protecting the county’s AAA bond ratings by ensuring tax dollars are spent in an efficient and productive manner.