Wednesday, November 26, 2014

October Frederick County Monthly Business Economic Indicators Released

The October edition of the Frederick County Monthly Business Economic Indicators is now available on our website. Here are a few highlights:

• The unemployment rate for Frederick County has reached the second lowest point in 2014 at 4.8%
• The residential housing market is positive in all categories compared to this time last year: 17.5% increase in the number of new housing units sold, average price is up 0.5% and more homes listed for sale at a 27.3% increase.
• This was the second busiest October in 5 years in the commercial and industrial market with 72 new commercial & industrial permits.

Recently, a copy was found of the August 1973 Brief Industrial Facts for Frederick County and we thought it would be interesting to post along with the October 2014 Monthly Business Economic Indicators. Interestingly, the unemployment rate is the same in both reports but not much else remains the same!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Small Business Counselor for Frederick

The Western Region Maryland Small Business Development Center, Frederick County Business Retention and Development Department, and Frostburg State University are pleased to welcome their new Small Business Counselor Brandon Mason. Brandon Mason is a successful entrepreneur with deep experience in start-ups, technology, government, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts and Math)-related job growth.  Brandon is passionate about the sustainable growth of downtown and rural communities as well as working with entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. He will also serve as the Regional Technology Liaison for Western Maryland as a result of his extensive knowledge of patent-based technologies.

“Our office is excited to partner with Brandon and the Small Business Development Center to help start-ups and small businesses in Frederick County continue to grow and succeed. His wealth of knowledge in technology and life sciences will lend well to the needs of our department and our targeted industries,” said Helen Propheter, Manager of the Frederick County Business Development and Retention Department.

Mr. Mason will continue to support the economic growth of Frederick County through workshops, networking events, one-on-one counseling, and maximizing resources for clients. He will also assist with obtaining SBA loans for clients to finance their business, helping with patents and technology transfer, and attracting new businesses to Frederick County while helping existing businesses to be more successful. His primary focus will be on promoting job creation, business starts, sales growth, and capital infusion for small business to enhance the economic vitality of Frederick County and Western Maryland. Brandon holds a master's degree from The Catholic University of America and a bachelor's degree in Political Science focused on Public Policy from West Virginia University. To contact Brandon Mason at the Small Business Development Center, please email or call 301-600-1967.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Save the Date: #shopsmallFredCo for Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 29, 2014 is Small Business Saturday and the staff at Frederick County Business Development and Retention and our local economic development partners are saving the date to support our small businesses!

We're rallying Frederick County to Shop Small and tell us about it with a picture and the #shopsmallFredCo hashtag on social media. While you're out supporting local small businesses on Saturday, take a photo, post it to Twitter or Facebook using the local #shopsmallFredCo and the national #shopsmall hashtags to take part in a nationwide campaign to promote small business.

Here's our manager Helen Propheter at Thanksgiving Farms in Adamstown getting a head start and pledging to shop small on November 29! We'll be compiling a photo gallery of all of the photos we received on social media and our blog. The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development is also doing the same on their blog.

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Farm Breweries in Frederick County Becoming a Growing Trend

This year, Maryland’s first farm brewery under the Farm Brewery License which passed in the State in 2014, opened right here in Frederick County. Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm was the first under the new law and since then, several more have followed. The latest farm brewery to open in Frederick County is Red Shedman Farm Brewery at Linganore Winecellars who just celebrated with their grand opening last weekend.

What is a Farm Brewery? A Farm Brewery is similar to a vineyard or winery where a vineyard makes and sells it's wines from the grapes they grow on their vineyard, a farm brewery makes and sells beer from ingredients grown on the farm.  This year’s legislation now allows farm breweries to act as wholesalers and distribute to local bars and restaurants up to a maximum of 3,000 barrels per year.  Farm Breweries and Tasting Rooms are allowed in agricultural portions of the County as long as the farm is growing some of the stock on site and the product is brewed on site.  More farms are growing hops in Frederick County than any other county in Maryland according to the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture.

"The Farm Brewery Bill is really a win-win for the industry," said Vic Aellen of Linganore Wincellars. "It's a win for the distributors because it allows us to establish a market for them, and it's a win for us because it gives us an opportunity to go out and meet our clients."

In August, Thanksgiving Farms in Adamstown opened one of the countries first community-supported breweries, Mad Science Brewing Co. Like members of community-supported agriculture cooperatives known as CSAs, CSB participants are able to fill their own two-liter growlers 20 times in a five-month season.

The ’Buy Local’ and ‘Homegrown Here’ movement has expanded into Frederick County's alcoholic beverages!

AstraZeneca Announces Plans to Expand its Frederick, Maryland Biologics Manufacturing Center

Media Inquiries
Alisha Martin, +1 302 885 2677, (US)

$200+ Million Investment to Support Company’s Maturing Biologics Pipeline

Frederick, Md., November 21, 2014 — AstraZeneca today announced plans to expand its biologics manufacturing center in Frederick, Md.  The more than $200 million project will increase production capacity at the facility to support AstraZeneca’s maturing pipeline, and will help position the company to keep pace with a growing demand for the development and use of biologics, which currently represent nearly 50% of AstraZeneca’s overall pipeline.

“Biologics are an important part of AstraZeneca’s overall capabilities, in addition to our strengths in small molecules and protein engineering,” said Andrew D. Skibo, regional vice president of biologics supply for AstraZeneca. “Our global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, has a robust pipeline of more than 120 biologics, including more than 30 in clinical development.  The expansion of our Frederick facility will support the progression of drug candidates across our core therapeutic areas, ultimately aiding us in our efforts to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients through scientific leadership and innovative new treatments.”

AstraZeneca’s Frederick biologics manufacturing center is an FDA licensed, large-scale cell culture production facility, with hundreds of thousands of square feet of administrative, production, warehouse, laboratory and utility space.  The expansion project, which is anticipated to begin in December and expected to be complete in mid-2017, will add approximately 40,000 additional square feet of manufacturing, laboratory and administrative space.  The expansion is also expected to bring a total of 300 new jobs to the site. 

“We’re very pleased by AstraZeneca’s demonstrable commitment to our local workforce and to our growing biotech community,” said Frederick City Mayor Randy McClement. “This expansion will help bring even more high-caliber life science jobs and career opportunities to Frederick and the surrounding region.” 

AstraZeneca’s Frederick manufacturing center is the largest biologics manufacturing facility within the company’s global network and portfolio of assets, and a worldwide industry leader in cell culture manufacturing.  The site currently produces a pediatric medication, as well as other investigational biologic products. 

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Welocalize Receives Deloitte 2014 Technology Fast 500 Award for the 13th Time

Frederick, Maryland – November 17, 2014 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, has been recognized by Deloitte for the thirteenth time as one of the fastest growing North American companies in the prestigious 2014 Technology Fast 500™ annual ranking.

Welocalize has received the respected award for the percentage of fiscal year revenue growth from 2009 to 2013 among other companies in the technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and clean technology sectors. The ranking distinguishes companies of all sizes, both public and private who are driven by technological innovation and entrepreneurship, demonstrated through their rapid growth.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized again in the 2014 Technology Fast 500,” said Smith Yewell, co-founder and CEO at Welocalize.  “Since our inception in 1997, this is the thirteenth time that we have received this honorable award from Deloitte and we view this as a reflection of our hardworking team who strive every day to exceed our client’s expectations in quality, teamwork, innovation and customer service.”

The awards were announced this past week, with Welocalize ranking #500 on the list. For more information about the Technology Fast 500™ including the complete list and qualifying criteria visit:

About Welocalize – Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative translation and localization solutions helping global brands to grow and reach audiences around the world in more than 125 languages. Our solutions include global localization management, translation, supply chain management, people sourcing, language services and automation tools including MT, testing and staffing solutions and enterprise translation management technologies. With over 600 employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, UK, Germany, Ireland, Japan and China.


Maryland and Frederick County are Leading the Way in a STEM workforce

Maryland is leading the nation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Frederick County Public School's advancements in STEM training are preparing a workforce of the future.
Dr. Daraius Irani, Executive Director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute, spoke about the importance of STEM training and jobs during the annual Economic Outlook Conference at Towson University yesterday.  He stated that Maryland ranks first in the nation in STEM job concentration, 42 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in Maryland from 2012-2013 were in STEM fields, and 47 percent of job openings in the State require STEM skills.

Dr. Irani attributed the State’s achievements in STEM to an increase in quality educational programs. ”There has been a real purposeful effort by State schools to introduce students to STEM. That makes a difference,” he said. There are seven STEM Standards of Practice set by the state: 1) Learn and Apply Rigorous Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Content, 2) Integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Content, 3) Interpret and Communicate STEM Information, 4) Engage in Inquiry, 5) Engage in Logical Reasoning, 6) Collaborate as a STEM Team, and 7) Apply Technology Strategically.
The Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) vision is that students will graduate STEM proficient and be prepared for post-secondary study and the 21st Century workforce. As a result, the STEM office of FCPS has programs designed for the elementary, middle and high school levels. During the school day, students engage in the seven STEM Practices as part of their ongoing classroom instruction. 

Outside of FCPS, the C.Burr Artz Library is home to the STEM Lab to meet the needs of area students and to support the goals of local and statewide education initiatives and the library hosts a series of monthly STEM educational classes for all ages.

FCPS reported that 99% of nearly 900 employers surveyed in 2014 indicated that FCPS students met or exceeded job requirements at their place of business, indicating that FCPS are preparing a strong workforce of the future.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tech at Work: Smile Frederick Orthodontics Featured in Washington Post's Capital Business

3-D Printers Take Bite Out of Making Teeth Molds
by Mohana Ravindranath, Washington Post
Capital Business
November 17-November 23, 2014: Volume 5, Issue 32

Instead of gagging on the clay-like material orthodontists often use to make impressions of their teeth, patients at Smile Frederick Orthodontics bite down on a camera that scans and photographs the inside of their mouths.

Orthodontist Jim Lee uploads those images to the Internat-based cloud storage site Dropbox, where John Bifareti, owner of Gaithersburg-based Bayridge Lab, downloads them. Bifareti uses a 3-D printer to rapidly produce models of a patient's teeth, and then tailors expanders, retainers, and other orthodonic appliances to their specifications.

This digital method, which Lee has been using for the past year, is faster and more accurate than the traditional one, he said.

Before 3-D printers, orthodontists had to mix a material called alginate, which patients had to keep in their mouth for about 3 minutes until it hardened. A patient might have to come in a few times to make these alginate impressions, which staff would physically package and ship to Bayridge Lab. And sometimes alginate models became distorted in the trip from the office to the lab, Lee said.

Now, Bifareti can access the images instantly, and can print a model the same day. Bayridge Lab prints about 15 models for Smile Frederick each week, Lee estimated.

There is an added cost, Lee said-- bit it's one he and his staff are willing to pay. Bayrdige Lab charges about $20 for a 3-D printed model, covering the cost of the plastic material, while alginate models are about $4. (Bifareti noted that the price for models sometimes varies depending on the amount of plastic he needs to print them--a patient with larger or taller teeth might cost more.)

"We do save a lot of cost, indirectly, by not needing more storage space," Lee said. Traditionally, orthodontic practices kept a special room to keep plaster models for patients, he said, but Smile Frederick Orthodontics--which opened in August 2013--has not needed one so far, he said.

And not all orthodontists are trained to use a digital mode--so it may not work for each practice, he said. Smile Frederick opened in August of last year, and most of its staff has worked with digital models before, he said.

"Doctors that have been trained and used to the [plaster] models prefer them because you can hold it up an orient it, and you can't digitally. It takes a little bit of technical knowledge and flexibility on the doctors' side to be able to get used to it."

Of Bifareti's customers, only a handful have transitioned to a fully digital process, he said.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Maryland to lead CyberSecurity and FCC Offers New CyberSecurity Degree Program

Last week wrapped up Maryland's 2014 CyberSecurity Conference which drew hundreds of professionals, students and public servants to the 2014 CyberMaryland Conference which spotlighted Maryland as the nation’s epicenter for cybersecurity.

“If we invest and if we connect and if we appreciate the tremendous opportunities out there in this new world, Maryland will lead the way,” said Governor Martin O’Malley during his keynote address during last week’s two-day conference.

More venture funds are deployed for cybersecurity companies in Maryland than in any other state. Maryland awards over $1,000,000 per year in start-up funding for cyber innovation businesses. More than 15 Cyber Incubators exist in Maryland offering start-up support for innovation. The cybersecurity and STEM workforce of today and the future is here in Maryland.

On October 3, Frederick Community College was awarded $731,000 for a new cybersecurity degree training grant to create a cybersecurity degree program in partnership with other Maryland community colleges.

With the grant, Frederick Community College will develop a cybersecurity degree program and enhance its offerings in Information Technology – with an emphasis on providing high-end training, internships and IT jobs to Marylanders including veterans and their families, low-skilled workers, and underrepresented groups. The program will lead to cyber-related careers including Computer Repair Technician, Computer Network Support Specialist, Computer User Support Specialist, and Information Security Analyst.

“This grant will enable FCC to provide our students with new, world-class credentials in cybersecurity,” said David Croghan, FCC’s Interim Vice President for Learning. “Our new program will allow students to earn industry credentials, and pursue a college degree that meets National Security Agency content standards. We are excited to participate in this initiative because it will accelerate the good work that is already underway at FCC.”

Students will receive specialized academic and career planning and job search support. Many employers in Frederick County have already committed to offering students internships. The four-year program is slated to begin in fall 2015.

For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Andy Yao, or 301.846.2410.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Frederick featured in Edible DC and The Washington Post

Frederick is getting coverage from the Washington, DC area lately!

"With more than 1,400 farms spread out over 200,000 acres, Frederick County, Maryland is at the heart of the D.C. area's thriving agricultural scene." - Edible DC.  The Fall edition of Edible DC was released on October 24 and it showcases Frederick County's agritourism with mentions of several Frederick County farms and spotlighting local lunch options along the way. There is also a feature on Frederick's "Buy Local" campaign and great information on Frederick organic farms - Fox Haven Farm, Nick's Organic Farm, and Whitmore Farm. Be sure to check it out!

On October 31, the Washington Post ran an article about the Downtown Frederick area with one person commenting, It’s the best of D.C. or Baltimore or New York without the hassle.” Frederick's unique blend of live, work and play is featured right along beside Old Town Alexandria, VA. Read the complete story here.

InvestMaryland Challenge to Grant $400K in Awards to Businesses

The InvestMaryland Challenge is a national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and Inc. Magazine. The Challenge will award $400,000 in grants and a host of business services to companies in the life sciences and high tech industries. Grants are provided by the Department's Maryland Venture Fund and BioMaryland Center. All categories are open to Maryland, U.S. And International companies.

Companies also have the opportunity to receive direct investments from venture capital firms and angel investors.

To learn more about InvestMaryland, please check out the website.