Jim Shea Unveils Expansive, Holistic Economic Development Plan

Monday, April 30, 2018

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Jim Shea Unveils Expansive, Holistic Economic Development Plan

Shea’s newest plan integrates education, transportation, and Maryland’s natural strengths

BALTIMORE, MD (April 30, 2018) – Jim Shea released his statewide plan for economic development today, emphasizing the need to grow Maryland from within. The plan closely integrates elements from Shea’s robust education and transportation plans, underscoring his commitment to comprehensive solutions to Maryland’s most pressing issues.

The economic development plan features a framework of six points:

  • Capitalize on Maryland’s institutional strengths, including location, higher education institutions, public research facilities, port, and agriculture
  • Provide Maryland’s businesses with top-tier labor supply by improving public education
  • Invest in new infrastructure projects, creating good-paying jobs
  • Support small businesses by expanding access to capital
  • Foster Maryland’s agriculture while working to create a more environmentally friendly economy
  • Grow economy from the bottom-up and the middle-out by investing in Maryland’s people and increasing labor force participation

“Our economy is inextricably linked to our education and transportation systems. When our schools thrive, students enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete. When we have efficient transit options, Marylanders can get to their jobs quickly and reliably,” Shea said. “We need a comprehensive plan that gives Marylanders the raise and security they deserve.”

He continued, “Governor Hogan touts his supposedly strong record on the economy, but Maryland is lagging behind the nation in terms of job and wage growth. I’d compare my record of creating jobs to Hogan’s any day.”

A focal point of Shea’s plan will be to utilize and enhance Maryland’s existing resources, from the Port of Baltimore to agriculture in Western Maryland to the public research facilities in the Washington, DC suburbs. Shea pledges to build bridges between the various institutions in the state, as well as with businesses. One such area in which Shea sees a gap is in Maryland’s research and high-tech industries. Too frequently, research that occurs in Maryland generates jobs in other states. Shea’s plan will harness the products of those research institutions to create well-paying jobs in Maryland, many of which do not require college degrees.

“During my time on the board of the University System of Maryland, we supported the creation of 451 new start-ups and thousands of jobs. That’s the vision and experience I will bring to the Governor’s office,” Shea said.

Shea also criticizes Hogan in his plan for relying too heavily on “poaching” strategies to attract businesses from other states. Shea cites data showing that these strategies tend to create minimal jobs, at the expense of taxpayer dollars in costly financial incentives. He outlines six questions that he will answer before providing any financial incentives, including benefits to economically disadvantaged areas and the true costs to the state.

The final tenet of Shea’s plan is government accountability. He describes his plan to measure performance against quantifiable objectives, present the state’s economic data clearly and transparently, and host regular economic town halls across the state.

“Governor Hogan has not followed a comprehensive statewide plan over the past four years, and we have felt the negative effects of that in Maryland. Marylanders need a leader with the ability to plan and execute policies and then review the results, which is what I have done throughout my career. My economic development plan spans the entire state and will be an investment in Maryland’s future,” asserted Shea.

About Jim Shea

Jim Shea is the former Chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, the Empower Baltimore Management Corporation, and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. He is also the former Chair of Venable LLP, the largest law firm in the state of Maryland.

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