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Report: Recruiting Targeted Industries to Frostburg Could Keep More FSU Grads in Region
02/10/2017

In 2016, the city of Frostburg, supported by Frostburg State University and the Appalachian Regional Commission, ordered a study to determine which industries are most likely to employ FSU graduates. By recruiting such industries, city officials hoped more FSU students would choose to remain in Frostburg and the surrounding areas after graduation.

On Thursday, the Site Selection Group delivered its Target Industry Report to stakeholders from the city, FSU, Allegany College of Maryland, major regional employers and local and state economic development entities. To effectively attract new industries, organizations across Western Maryland should work together to promote the academic programs and graduates of FSU and ACM, as well as the region’s many competitive advantages.

“I was very pleased with the study done by the Site Selection Group to promote economic development in our city. They really hit the nail on the head,” said Frostburg Mayor Robert Flanigan, mentioning the collaboration that led to the study. “These ongoing partnerships are so crucial not only to Frostburg, but also to the county and the western part of our state.”

SSG identified several majors at FSU and ACM that are attractive to industry, as well as specific industrial sectors that would find strategic advantages in the Frostburg area.

“It was a thorough, useful report with practical and effective strategies for FSU, the city of Frostburg and all in the region to work together to promote the economic development of Western Maryland. I was particularly pleased to hear SSG confirm FSU’s important role as an economic engine in this part of the state and beyond,” said John Bowman, FSU’s interim vice president for international and government affairs.

FSU’s large number of business administration students and graduates are well-suited to meeting finance and accounting needs of several types of businesses. Biology and health sciences majors are attractive to businesses in the life sciences sector. The growing number of computer science and information technology majors are ideal for small technology firms.

Specific industry targets for Frostburg include back-office operations for metropolitan-based corporations, financial and accounting services, security software and services, environmental and health software, health and environmental testing labs and service centers for those testing facilities. FSU alumni, particularly those established at metropolitan-area businesses, are a potentially valuable source of economic development leads.

“The report emphasizes that FSU and ACM are producing graduates with the skills today’s employers demand,” Bowman said. “FSU also brings students to Frostburg from across the mid-Atlantic. Once they experience four years of Western Maryland’s natural beauty, many want to stay. New career opportunities will encourage even more of our graduates to settle down here.”

SSG also developed an actionable strategic marketing plan to identify and attract such employers. Among its suggestions, that plan stresses the need for ongoing collaboration and coordination among economic development officials, FSU and ACM.

“We’re going to take the study, review it and hope to move forward soon with this new economic development plan with our existing partners and form new partnerships with the business community in our region,” said Flanigan.

While Dallas-based SSG typically helps corporate clients find ideal locations for new or expanding businesses, the group leveraged its institutional knowledge to determine the best industrial sectors for Frostburg’s unique geographic and demographic characteristics.

For more information about the study or about siting a business or organization in Frostburg, contact Elizabeth Stahlman, community development director for the city of Frostburg, at estahlman@frostburgcity.org or 301-689-6000, x105.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu