Friday, November 2, 2018

Montgomery County shut-out of contest for UK firm's first US factory

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announces
another win over Montgomery County
Score another one for Virginia, as Montgomery County continues to sit out the regional economic development competition. British firm Harlow Group Ltd. has chosen Danville, Virginia for the site of its first U.S. precision sheet metal manufacturing plant. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced the win Thursday. Alabama was the other Harlow suitor; Montgomery County did not even try to woo the firm.

Virginia will spend only $147,000 in financial incentives, while Harlow will invest $8 million in the state building the facility in Danville's burgeoning Cyber Park. Meanwhile, Montgomery County leaders are turning office parks ripe for aerospace, defense and tech campuses into bedroom community townhome developments instead. No wonder Montgomery has a $208 million budget shortfall this year.

"Virginia has once again attracted a leading international manufacturer, and we are thrilled to welcome Harlow Group to this region’s impressive corporate roster,” Northam said yesterday. Harlow Group CEO and Founder Alan Pearce praised Virginia's pro-business climate. “Virginians have been amongst the most welcoming and friendly people and their appetite to make things work and overcome obstacles is second to none," Pearce said. "The ambition of Virginia to embrace new technology and invest in the future will keep the Commonwealth as the number one destination for expansion and business investment, and we are extremely proud to be associated with Danville and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Montgomery County has failed to attract a single major corporate headquarters in two decades, and just lost one of its few high-tech manufacturing facilities to Frederick. It hasn't pursued lucrative aerospace firms in any serious way in the same amount of time.
Tired of losing to Virginia?
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County Council At-Large candidate
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Meanwhile, Danville's Cyber Park is becoming the latest aerospace hub in Virginia. “The community’s vision of becoming a hub of automotive and aerospace suppliers is now reality," said Robert Warren, Chairman of the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (Montgomery doesn't even have such an authority). Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones was equally celebratory Thursday. "We believed we would create a magnet to draw aerospace and automotive metal working companies from around the world," Jones said. "Our students and residents could be employed in jobs here in our home community that would be highly paid. It is so rewarding to see this vision becoming a reality.”

Another humiliating defeat for Montgomery County. Another reason to throw the bums out on Election Day. You'll notice the four developer-funded Democrats running for Montgomery County Council At-Large have no specific economic development plan on their campaign websites; just generalities and mindless pablum. That's because they don't understand how business works in the year 2018, and because their developer sugar daddies want all the potential land that could hold corporate HQs, and related research and manufacturing facilities to instead be developed as residential housing.

The only way to break this cycle of failure and corruption is to vote for Robert Dyer on Tuesday, November 6.


  1. It's MoCo's terrible traffic and the insane cost of housing, neither of which can really be affected by political musical chairs.

  2. The facts are the facts. MoCo has attracted nothing in comparison to VA. Once we lose Amazon HQ2 they'll go back into their hibernation and pursue nobody else. Regarding traffic and infrastructure, until Hogan's current proposal, have you even seen attempts comparable to VA's to improve the situation?

  3. Regarding Virginia's superior traffic infrastructure, the right wing wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to gloat about the fact that VA's superior traffic capacity makes them a much more attractive business environment than MoCo. But then they turn around and vilify the VA legislators to voted to fund the billions of dollars that improved the infrastructure. On the radio and on TV I am hearing a relentless litany of ads attacking the VA politicians who funded it.

    1. 12:07: Actually, nobody is vilifying VA politicians for their successful efforts to add Express Lanes, the Silver Line, and grade-separated interchanges along Route 28, or for completing the Fairfax County Parkway, to name a few.

      What they are vilifying is the bonehead I-66 toll scheme, which was the result of Democratic trolls in Arlington County and Northern VA. Instead of getting a private firm to build and operate the toll facility, they wanted to generate money for outdated and unpopular transit projects, while punishing drivers in their War on Cars. So they ended up with tolls over $40 one-way. Only an idiot - or an anti-car extremist - would have approved such a plan.

  4. If MoCo does in fact lose AMZHQ2 to NoVa, the reason will be that NoVa has a yuuuge moribund 1970s office park right next to a Metro station and just a few miles from Jeff Bezos' house, whereas the moribund 1970s office parks in MoCo are much smaller, and farther from both the Metro and Bezos' house.

    1. 7:34: And not the quick and direct access to two major airports Northern Virginia has, and the lower taxes, fees and regulations there compared to high-tax Montgomery and Maryland?