Washington County is a prime location for many key industries, and we also welcome entrepreneurs at heart who come equipped with innovative ideas. Washington County’s government, business, and community organizations partner to help diversify the local economy by providing specialized support to industries that have been identified to benefit from the area’s assets.
Key Industry Sectors
Washington County is a prime location for many key industries.
The hospitality and tourism industry is one of Washington County’s strongest sectors, supporting approximately 6,500 jobs in the County, including many jobs for those without college degrees.
While the traditional tourist attractions of the city and the convention and events business continue to drive this sector, growth in the sector was also boosted by the rise of DC’s restaurant and nightlife scene. The city’s dining scene is gaining international attention, named “Restaurant City of the Year” by Bon Appétit, and recently became the fourth North American destination to receive a Michelin Guide to its restaurants. In addition, cultural assets, such as theater, festivals and other performance arts, offer opportunities to expand tourism across the District.
Washington County has a long and distinguished history in developing and producing high quality brand name products, including Mack Trucks, Moller Organs, and Statton Furniture.
Manufacturing remains a prominent industry in the area, represented by these firms:
Volvo Truck Enterprises, Inc. – truck engines and transmissions(1,650 Emp)
Lehigh Phoenix – custom designed book components
Hub Labels – Pressure sensitive labels
Ring Container Technologies – food-grade plastics container manufacturing.
ElectrometCorp. – metal fabrication/machining for technology/defense ind
Fives Landis – precision grinding tools
Zeltex, Inc. – analytical equipment
HBP, Inc. – digital printing/graphic design
Fabricated Extrusions – custom sheet extrusions
Windsor Wire, Inc. – wire mesh basketsHadley Farms – wholesale baked goods
A diversified regional workforce of 400,000 (skilled and manufacturing-oriented) includes over 12% of the employment base in advanced manufacturing. Customized workforce and training development programs are also offered through the Western Maryland Consortium, higher learning institutions, and Washington County Public Schools Academy of Manufacturing & Engineering. To learn more, visit our workforce training information.
Science & Technology
Located an hour from Washington, DC’s biotech corridor and less than 30 minutes from well-known national biodefense resource Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, Washington County is an affordable place to do business with close proximity to local metropolitan areas.
About 25% of Fort Detrick’s employees live in Washington County, MD and the activities and related agencies at Fort Detrick generate more than $1.7 billion in economic activity in the region.
The other 11,000 life science professionals who live in the area have enjoyed Hagerstown-Washington County’s affordable quality of life. Some are seeking ways to start their own biotech research closer to home and will find the biotech incubator setting a cost effective option for them. Notably, no traffic and shorter commutes to work are a bonus!
Hagerstown-Washington County has a growing list of information and communications technology and service firms with capabilities in computer systems design, web design and development, wireless communications technologies, software development, advanced data processing, records management, and cyber-security, including:
Mountainside Teleport (Mid Atlantic Hub) – satellite communications
GDC – information security/data recovery
d’VinciInteractive – web design and development
T. Rowe Price – secure backup data center
TransOva Genetics – genetic preservation and cloning
High Rock Studios – web design/development
DocuTrac, Inc – medical records/practice management software
Innovative, Inc – IT/computer services
B&D Consulting – IT services/systems engineering/cyber-security services • Global Data Consultants – IT services
Agriculture in Washington County, and all across the nation, has seen substantial changes over the last 50 years. Technology, development, production enhancements, rising costs, regulations, and growth are all factors that have changed the fabric and composition of agriculture. Understanding the importance and significance of agriculture in Washington County is the first step to realizing you cannot survive without agriculture in one of its many forms.
Washington County Agriculture Profile (USDA Census of Agriculture, 2012)
- Number of Farms: 860
- Land in Farms: 129,600 Acres
- Average Size of Farm: 151 Acres
- Total Land Area: 458 Square miles
Washington County offers a variety of farms for every member of your family. Value-added products and events and attractions can be found at many of these farms.
Washington County is ranked FIRST in hogs and pigs in the State of Maryland.
Washington County is home to several wineries and breweries. The Antietam Wine Trail stretches across Washington County attracting visitors and citizens to local events.
Washington County is ranked FIRST for sales of fruits, trees, and berries in the State of Maryland.
Washington County has an agritourism app that allows the user to search local farms for products, what’s in season, ag-related events, and local wine and ale trails. This app is meant to encourage citizens to eat local and contribute to the agriculture community.
County dairy production is second in the state and land in orchards leads the state. Agricultural, agribusiness, and related food production operations in Washington County include:
- Palmyra Farms – dairy and cheeses
- Knob Hall Winery – vineyard and winery
- Lanco-PennlandCheese – dairy products manufacturing
- Misty Meadow Farm – dairy and creamery
- Big Cork Vineyards – farm market; winery
- Dairy One Cooperative – milk testing services
- Hadley Orchards – apples, peaches
- Antietam Brewery – Craft Beverages
- Cushwa Brewery – Craft Beverages
- South-Mountain MicroFARM – fresh, sustainable and local products from an ecosystem
Transportation & Logistics
Washington County has become a well-established crossroads and hub location for the distribution and logistics because of the intersection of I-70 and I-81. Distribution centers and motor freight trucking firms already located in the area to take advantage of the regional location and transportation infrastructure in the area include:
- Federal Express Distribution Centers – FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight
- Staples Distribution Center
- Home Depot Distribution Center
- Tractor Supply Distribution Center
- Lenox Distribution Center
- Dot Foods – refrigerated and frozen foods distributor
- Bowman Logistics
- Marketing Logistics International – management consultants
Washington County also has a rich history in the aircraft and aviation industry dating to the 1930s with the arrival of the Fairchild Aircraft Co, a leading manufacturer of World War II military aircraft. The area is also the birthplace of Piedmont Airlines, which is part of US Airways. Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR), today, is Maryland’s second largest public use airport in terms of runway length (7,000 feet), is served by two commercial airlines, Allegiant Air and Sun Air, and is host to a number of aircraft and aviation technology and service firms, including:
- Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) – aircraft modification/aerial surveillance and communications systems for defense and homeland security
- Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – aircraft maintenance training
- Fugro Geospatial, Inc.– aerial mapping and GIS services
- Rider Jet Center – general aviation services/flight training
- Hagerstown Aircraft Services, Inc – aircraft maintenance and repair
- DST, LLC – aerial reconnaissance services
- Royal Aircraft Services, LLC – aircraft and engine repair and maintenance
Washington County has many companies and professionals that serve residential and commercial development and construction needs. The community is filled with skills tradesmen, engineers, developers, contractors, planners and real estate to grow and maintain Washington County.
Washington County has enjoyed great success in attracting large business and financial services firms, including customer service centers, credit card and loan servicing centers and order processing and fulfillment centers.
The presence of the following firms illustrates the attractiveness of the area for a firm providing these types of back office and call center services:
- CITI – credit card and mortgage processing services (2,300 Emp)
- First Data Corp – commercial transaction processing services (2,185Emp)
- Merkle Response Management Group – order processing for government and non-profit groups
- Wolters Kluwer Health – order processing/subscription services for medical books and journals
- Brethren Mutual Insurance Company – multi-line insurance carrier
- Antietam Call Center – order processing and telemarketing
Along with these firms, other financial businesses are located here that support customers, corporations, governments, and institutions with financial products and services.
Washington County is home to many local and national banking institutions such as:
- Middletown Valley Bank
- Patriot Federal Credit Union
- M&T Bank
- First United Bank and Trust
- CNB Bank, Inc. 6