Annapolis, MD – Governor Wes Moore has taken a significant step towards promoting Maryland’s economic future by signing an executive order to establish the Maryland Economic Council. The council will be the central hub for analyzing and recommending economic policies to drive growth, diversify the workforce, and unite the state’s assets and burgeoning industries under the Moore-Miller Administration.

Governor Moore emphasized the need for a cohesive economic strategy: “For too long, Maryland has underutilized its assets because it lacked a cohesive economic strategy. This council will change that.” He added, “The Maryland Economic Council will help build the robust economic strategy our state needs and our state deserves. For the next decade to be Maryland’s decade, we must invest in the infrastructure, technology, and workforce to grow the industries that will dominate the next half-century of the world economy.”

Credit: Office of the Governor of Maryland

The council’s key strategies will align with the Moore-Miller administration’s goals, which include driving investments in AI technology, creating jobs to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035, advancing quantum computing, and leveraging Maryland’s cybersecurity assets to bolster the growing cybersecurity workforce.

The primary function of the Maryland Economic Council will be to provide economic policy advice and recommendations to Governor Moore. The council will focus on several areas, including:

  1. Tracking and analyzing economic factors: The council will identify and monitor key economic factors impacting the macroeconomic environment, such as interest rates, banking system risks, global supply chain disruptions, gross domestic product, unemployment rates, and inflation.
  2. Assessing policy impacts: It will analyze the projected effects of state policy issues, such as tax policy and specific investment proposals, on the state’s economic competitiveness and strengthen key economic metrics.
  3. Evaluating economic development policies: The council will review the state’s current policies and activities, identify additional techniques to foster greater economic and business development and support commerce.
  4. Coordinating economic instrumentalities: The council will examine existing economic policy instrumentalities, boards, and commissions within the state and develop a plan to coordinate their mandates, fostering collaboration to achieve desired goals.
  5. Promoting equity: The council will review current economic policies through an equitable lens to ensure fairness and work towards eliminating the racial wealth gap.

To lead the Maryland Economic Council, Governor Moore has appointed Will Castleberry, a Maryland native and experienced executive. Castleberry previously held prominent positions at Netflix, Facebook, and AOL, bringing decades of valuable experience to the role. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business.

Castleberry expressed his optimism about Maryland’s economic potential, stating, “Maryland has all the elements to be one of the world’s great economic centers.” He added, “Under Governor Moore’s leadership, this economic council will bring those elements together to chart a bright economic future for all Marylanders.”

Credit: Office of the Governor of Maryland

The council will consist of designated heads of executive departments and agencies, including Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller, Maryland Department of Budget & Management Secretary Helene T. Grady, and Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin A. Anderson. The council will comprise no fewer than five and no more than fifteen members with expertise in analyzing economic data, interpreting economic trends, and evaluating government programs and activities.

The Maryland Economic Council will provide an annual report to Governor Moore, outlining the current economic conditions impacting the macroeconomic environment. The report will assess the macroeconomic environment’s effect on Maryland’s economy and propose action plans consistent with the council’s duties. The first annual report is expected to be submitted by January 1, 2024, with subsequent reports due by October 1 each year.

The executive order signing took place at Fearless Tech, a Baltimore-based company that has played a pivotal role in Maryland’s economic landscape. Fearless Tech, founded by Delali Dzirasa in 2009 in his basement in Laurel, Maryland, has grown to become the largest software developer and the largest black-owned business in the region. The company’s focus on empowering people, changing lives, and supporting educational and workforce development initiatives aligns with the goals of the Moore-Miller administration.

Governor Moore expressed his pride in having Fearless Tech alongside the state’s economic endeavors, stating, “The Moore-Miller administration is proud to have Fearless Tech alongside in this endeavor to bolster Maryland’s economy.” The company’s success story serves as an inspiration for other businesses and entrepreneurs in the region.

The establishment of the Maryland Economic Council marks a significant milestone in Maryland’s pursuit of economic growth and prosperity. By bringing together a diverse group of experts and leaders, the council will provide valuable insights and recommendations to shape the state’s economic policies. With a focus on fostering growth, embracing new technologies, and advancing equity, the council aims to position Maryland as a leading economic center for years to come.

Governor Moore’s executive order signals his administration’s commitment to transforming Maryland’s economic landscape. By investing in infrastructure, technology, and the workforce, and by leveraging the state’s assets, the administration aims to create an environment conducive to the growth of industries that will shape the global economy in the coming decades.

As the Maryland Economic Council begins its work, all eyes will be on the strategies and recommendations it develops. The council’s analysis of economic factors, assessment of policy impacts, and evaluation of current economic development policies will provide valuable guidance for policymakers and stakeholders. By promoting collaboration and coordination among existing economic instrumentalities, the council aims to maximize the state’s economic potential and drive sustainable growth.

The appointment of Will Castleberry, a seasoned executive with a wealth of experience in the technology sector, as the chair of the Maryland Economic Council is a testament to Governor Moore’s commitment to assembling a highly capable team. Castleberry’s track record of leadership at Netflix, Facebook, and AOL positions him well to guide the council’s efforts in charting Maryland’s economic future.

The annual reports prepared by the Maryland Economic Council will serve as critical tools for monitoring and evaluating the state’s economic progress. By assessing the impact of the macroeconomic environment on Maryland’s economy and proposing actionable recommendations, the council will play a vital role in guiding economic policies and fostering a more equitable economy.

The executive order signing at Fearless Tech symbolizes the state’s recognition of the company’s significant contributions to Maryland’s economic growth. Fearless Tech’s success story exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that the Moore-Miller administration aims to foster throughout the state.

With the establishment of the Maryland Economic Council, Maryland is poised to embark on a new era of economic development and prosperity. By leveraging its assets, investing in cutting-edge technologies, and fostering a diverse and skilled workforce, the state aims to position itself at the forefront of the global economy. Through the council’s strategic recommendations and the leadership of Governor Moore, Maryland is setting a course for sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the years to come.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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