Harford County, Maryland is a premier American defense community on the Interstate 95 corridor with easy access to one-third of the U.S. population, and home to Aberdeen Proving Ground, a $6 billion Army installation with the nation’s highest concentration of Ph.D.’s. Harford County has the talent, location and resources to help your business grow.
Harford County’s regional workforce of 1.5 million is fueled by award-winning public schools and access to major research institutions including Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, College Park. A leader in technical training, Harford Community College is a designated cybersecurity Center of Academic Excellence, offering more than 80 other degrees and certificates, plus on-campus access to four-year degrees from Towson University. Harford County government assists by providing matching funds to businesses to accelerate technical training that expands or improves their production capabilities. The result is a highly skilled workforce numbering 137,000 in Harford County alone, 93% of whom are high school graduates and 34.5% with a bachelor’s degree. The U.S. Army installation Aberdeen Proving Ground is the county’s largest employer, fulfilling its mission to research and develop innovative systems for the nation’s defense by bringing together the nation’s top scientists and engineers.
Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) has a 100-year history in Harford County and nearly 21,000 mostly-civilian employees, resulting in a $6.5 billion national economic impact in 2017. An epicenter of 90+ research, development, test, and evaluation organizations, APG hosts six Centers of Excellence, an autonomous vehicle proving ground, and one of five national cyber test ranges among the U.S. federal laboratories. Pioneering technologies include 3-D printing and prototyping, which provide opportunities for the private sector to bring commercialization concepts to market faster than ever before.
To facilitate the commercialization of technology, the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center (DefTech) is now open in Harford County to connect entrepreneurs and growing companies with the cutting-edge developments at Aberdeen Proving Ground. DefTech is a collaboration between the Maryland Department of Commerce, Harford and Cecil counties, and APG.
New in 2018, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) has chosen Harford County as the nation’s epicenter of research and development for new manufacturing materials and processes to meet the Army’s demand for advanced weapons systems. This unprecedented initiative will bring major defense contractors and premier academic institutions to the region, while offering opportunities for private businesses and a hands-on education/training center. The center located minutes from I-95, is being developed in collaboration with APG’s Army Research Laboratory and Harford County government, and will be known as AMMP, or Advanced Manufacturing, Materials & Processes.
Harford County is part of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #74, offering international companies economic incentives that allow imported and exported goods to be stored and processed without being subject to customs inspections and tariffs. Harford County government also encourages development in its two enterprise zones by providing tax credits to businesses that invest in these areas.
Harford County is physically positioned for success, located along the bustling I-95 corridor with access to one-third of the U.S. population within an overnight drive. A robust network of interstate highways, state roadways and rail lines support multimodal transportation options. Global transportation hubs nearby include Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the Port of Baltimore. In fact, the Port of Baltimore is one of the nation’s fastest and busiest ports, moving 38.8 million tons of international and domestic cargo in 2016 and including a 50-foot-deep berth and Neo-Panamax cranes.
Within Harford County, Harford Transit LINK, the county’s public bus service, was named 2017 Maryland Transit System of the Year for its modernization campaign to become a leader in innovation and customer service. Routes have been recently added, specifically to connect employees with thriving employment centers.
Other international companies located in Harford County produce a wide range of products and services: from hovercraft to bio and chemical defense technologies; to specialty sauces, soups and custom dry blends; to crypto-technology solutions for drivers’ licenses. Sephora distributes international brands of cosmetics and fragrances, Clorox manufactures household cleaning products, and Smucker Natural Foods produces nationally recognized juices and jams. Food science and supply industries have also expanded in Harford County with the recent addition of United Foods International East Coast operations, the expansion of Gordon Food Services, and TIC Gums.
Under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman, Harford County’s Office of Community & Economic Development (OCED) focuses on transportation, housing and jobs, and assists businesses large and small with a vast array of resources. Led by OCED Director Len Parrish, Harford County provides personalized service and expedites the process through an online permit center, fast track permitting, tax incentives, site selection assistance, incubator space, and easy access to Open GIS data. Other business resources are also centralized for ease of access with the following partners co-located with OCED: the previously mentioned DefTech center; the region’s workforce training and development organization, Susquehanna Workforce Network; the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and the Maryland Small Business Development Center. In Harford County, these partnerships allow government, industry, and academia to work together to help business grow. How can we help you?