Interagency Workgroups Share the Benefits of Three Years of Regional Coordination

Planning in Progress

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, local Assistance and Training Manager

In March 2019, staff representatives for every Maryland state agency on the Commerce Subcabinet (Subcabinet) met in Lanham to discuss a new initiative titled Regional Resources. The Subcabinet established interagency staff teams representing five regions (Eastern Shore, Baltimore Metro, Southern Maryland, Western Maryland, and Washington Metro) to collaborate in business and community development across the state.

Fig. 1 – Screenshot showing Maryland Regional Resources home page.

The regional teams meet monthly, frequently inviting guest speakers from statewide economic development associations and regional organizations to join the collaboration. The teams also submit bi-monthly reports to the Subcabinet and coordinate on targeted projects. Additionally, staff from the Maryland Departments of Commerce (Commerce) and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) organized a collaborative work and reporting structure for the new Regional Resources Workgroup and developed a program website.

The regional teams navigated many challenges that arose over the past three years, specifically the threats posed by the crisis of pandemic and the opportunities presented by pandemic recovery. Team leaders incorporated new members in response to state agency and Subcabinet requests and successfully leveraged interagency collaboration to address priority projects.

Through it all, the workgroup to the challenge of Governor Hogan’s Customer Service Promise and advanced objectives outlined in A Better Maryland to “respect regional distinctions” and “improve collaboration and coordination among state agencies.”

Perhaps most importantly over these past three years, the teams established cross-agency professional relationships in support of Maryland’s communities and the work of their own agencies. At the October 4, 2022, Subcabinet meeting, the regional teams offered testimonials, compiled in the video linked below. Here, they express the importance of the Regional Resource initiative in their own words.

To learn more about the Regional Resources Workgroup, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager for the Maryland Department of Planning, at joseph.griffiths@maryland.gov

Planning Practice Wednesday Special Edition: October 2019 Planner’s Blog

Introduction

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and our partners have been busy the past few  months, hosting or collaborating on the following events: Continue reading

Commerce Subcabinet Hears Regional Priorities

Planning in Progress

by Joe Griffiths

In the May edition of Planning Practice Wednesday, we introduced readers to the Department of Commerce’s new Regional Resources Workgroup. Since that time, the Commerce Subcabinet established five regional teams (Eastern Shore, Baltimore Area, Western Maryland, Southern Maryland, DC Metro Area) composed of state staff from agencies including the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Maryland Higher Education Council (MHEC), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Labor, and others. Each team has a regional leader who organizes bi-monthly conference calls to discuss regional issues and propose methods through which state agencies serving on the Commerce Subcabinet can assist local economic development projects and help jurisdictions overcome barriers. Continue reading

Commerce Subcabinet Recognizes Regional Resources

Planning in Progress

If the feedback received during the development of the new state development plan, A Better Maryland, taught us anything, it is that Marylanders desire a regional approach to planning. Maryland may be small in size, but it has large regional distinctions. The planning needs and objectives of Western Maryland differ from those along the I-95 corridor, and the community development goals of the Eastern Shore necessitate an approach unique from what one might find in Southern Maryland. These distinctions are one of Maryland’s greatest assets, and the Commerce Subcabinet recognizes and wants to maximize this strength. Continue reading