On Monday June 26 Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. traveled to the Eastern Shore to speak at The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch with the Governor” at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Salisbury. Hogan addressed over 200 attendees including business and community leaders from across the state.
Bill Chambers, CEO & President of the Chamber of Commerce, presented opening remarks with an enthusiastic address about the economic state of Salisbury, Wicomico County and the Eastern Shore. He thanked the Governor for his continuing aid and dedication to the Delmarva Area.
“The City of Salisbury continues its amazing revitalization and its emergence as a growing job market in our State, thank you Governor and your administration for your support in that regard and we hope it continues. Wicomico County, is also an emerging economic engine for our State.”
Chambers also made an entreaty to the Governor’s office to continue their support of the region in its new developmental endeavors, citing various areas of greatest necessity, and the impact the Hogan’s assistance will bring.
“The prospect of new enterprises calling the county ‘home’ as they support wind energy initiatives is exciting. Our airport continues to need State support to meet what is expected to be a growing demand, especially from our business community. Our agricultural economy is doing well and growing, and our public education system strives and deserves to be among the upper echelon in Maryland,” he said, “The business community in our region are fully aware that the number one economic engine in any jurisdiction is a top ranked, high performing public-school system that puts students first. These are all areas the we applaud your support Governor and urge your continued support. Our region is certainly poised to be the next ‘gold rush,’ for the State of Maryland.”
Governor Hogan opened his speech with a warm greeting, praising the organization for it’s well attended event.
“I think we’ve got a full house. It looks like the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce is doing well.” He went on to express his fondness for the area, “It’s always great to be back on the Shore, and particularly here on the Lower Shore, and back in Salisbury… I’ve been here many times, and this is not the last you’re going to see of me. We’re going to keep coming back. It’s wonderful to be back on the Shore, we got a lot going on here.”
His message for the day was clear, that he wanted to make sure the region was going to get the attention it deserved, and that he planned to make that his continued priority.
“When I was sworn in as Governor, in fact when I was running for Governor, I said the areas that were ignored and neglected, like the Eastern Shore, were no longer going to be forgotten and that we were going to pay more attention, we were going to listen to your needs and try to provide more help, and we’ve been doing exactly what we said we were going to do. When I was sworn in that day I said, ‘The war on rural Maryland is over.’, that there no longer would be a disconnect between the Shore and Annapolis, and we meant exactly what we said.”
Hogan gave impressive statistics regarding the economy and employment in Maryland.
“We had our best year for job growth in 15 years, and we’ve cut our unemployment rate, which at one point during the past administration was 8.6. We’ve cut our unemployment rate to 4.2% in Maryland. We went from losing 100,000 jobs, to gaining 100,000 jobs in just two years. And our overall economic performance in Maryland went from 49th out of 50 states, to number 10 in the United States of America. That’s up 39 spots in two years.”
The Governor also drove home his dedication to projects in the Salisbury Area.
“We’re investing in projects that support the revitalization of our historic downtown communities, including a million dollars right here for the Salisbury revitalization project,” he said, “In total we’ve invested more than 215 million dollars towards Lower Shore projects, including construction funding for West Salisbury Elementary School, Parkside High School, and East Salisbury Elementary School. More than 36 million worth of improvements to the Salisbury waste water treatment plant. And more than1.5 mill in improvements to Perdue Stadium.”
Hogan closed his speech with a grateful thanks to the audience and specifically the Chamber as contributors to the headway Maryland was making as whole.
“Frankly we can’t continue to make this kind of progress without your help, without the people in this room talking to your legislators and letting them know how important these things are. I want to thank the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce for being such an important part of Maryland’s amazing economic resurgence and I believe that together we’ve made a great deal of progress over the past two years, and we’re not done yet.”
Director of Marketing, Media & PR
Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce
144 E. Main Street
Salisbury, MD 21801