Appleton Greene
Baltimore, MD

Once a predominantly industrial town, with an economic base focused on steel processing, shipping, auto manufacturing, and transportation, the city experienced deindustrialization which cost residents tens of thousands of low-skill, high-wage jobs. The city now relies on a low-wage service economy, which accounts for 90% of jobs in the city. The city is home to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Other large companies in Baltimore include Under Armour, Cordish Company, Legg Mason, McCormick & Company, T. Rowe Price, and Royal Farms. A sugar refinery owned by American Sugar Refining is one of Baltimore’s cultural icons. Nonprofits based in Baltimore include Lutheran Services in America and Catholic Relief Services.

Gaithersburg, MD

Gaithersburg has grown at a rapid rate over the past several decades. What was once a small farming town of barely 1,000 has turned into a thriving city of 66,000. The city is bursting with human potential. Over half of the population has at least a college degree and around 31,000 people work in innovative fields like software engineering, medical science, and biochemistry. The economy has been remarkably stable even after the difficulties of the past few years. From 2010 to 2014, there were only four significant layoffs by companies in the city. It is the people who call Gaithersburg their home who will continue to make the city an attractive place for commerce in the future. The biotechnology industry is anticipated to be one of the most prosperous commercial areas of the future. The global markets for healthcare and bio-energy are expected to grow into the trillions. Gaithersburg is well situated to prosper off of biotech’s future. The regulatory agencies in the city have no reason to leave anytime soon. As long as they remain, Gaithersburg will attract companies wishing to establish close connections with regulatory officials within the city and the Washington area at large. Gaithersburg will look especially attractive to businesses due to its lower cost of living compared to other Washington satellite cities. In particular, real estate in Gaithersburg is much less expensive than it is in cities like Fairfax and Reston. In 2013, the average home sale in Gaithersburg was priced at $340,200, whereas in Montgomery County, the average home was sold at $415,800. Perhaps most important of all is that Gaithersburg will continue to attract talented people working in the STEM fields. By 2030, it is forecast to become the largest city in Montgomery County with approximately 84,600 citizens. Its job market is expected to continue to grow along with the city. Over the next 10 years, the labor market is forecast to expand by 35%. It will not be an unsustainable boom town that loses talent to other, larger markets. The high quality jobs, stable economy, and steady labor force growth ensure that. But Gaithersburg is much more than a giant business park. It is a strong community that prides itself on its diversity. In fact, some say that it is the most diverse city in the nation. New residential developments in the city are increasingly emphasizing walkability by locating themselves adjacent to restaurants and shops. By doing this, developers are catering to a younger crowd that prefers city living over suburbia. The strengths are there for Gaithersburg to continue attracting talent to fuel its burgeoning biotech sector. The city’s most prosperous days are likely still to come.