Montgomery County Honors Local Businesses, Individuals at Workforce and Economic Development Awards

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett was joined this morning by U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Montgomery County Council President Phil Andrews, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Steve Silverman, and other government officials and business leaders, to help recognize and celebrate local businesses and individuals during the 2009 Montgomery County Workforce and Economic Development Awards Breakfast, held at the Montgomery County Conference Center.

The 14th annual event, organized by DED, honored businesses and individuals from across the County that have shown steadfast commitment to business growth, job creation, workforce training and development, disability hiring, environmental health, and personal achievement.

“In good times and bad, it is important to recognize and celebrate those businesses that remain committed to retaining and creating jobs and providing employee training and assistance and the individuals that make up our workforce and contribute to the local economy,” said Leggett.  “This morning’s ceremony allows us to do so in a fitting, public setting and reinforces the importance of economic and workforce development linkages in attracting and retaining the local workforce and meeting the needs of our dynamic business community here in Montgomery County.”

The Department of Economic Development’s Division of Workforce Services, under guidance of the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board, administers the County’s workforce programs for both employers and job seekers through two MontgomeryWorks One-Stop Career Centers, located in Wheaton at Westfield Shoppingtown and in Germantown at a newly opened location within the UpCounty Regional Services Center.

“The Department has many ways to work with and support our local businesses, be it through workforce training and recruitment programs, targeted loan and grant programs, or recent initiatives like our Stimulus Opportunities System to help local federal contractors win bids,” said Silverman.  “In all our efforts, the goal is to help support and grow the business community so they continue to provide meaningful employment opportunities needed to sustain a vibrant local economy and community.  This morning’s awardees are all shining examples of just that.”

The 2009 Montgomery County Workforce and Economic Development award winners are:

Workforce Leadership Award – Thomas E. Perez, Takoma Park, MD Presented to an individual who has achieved demonstrable results through commitment to workforce development by devoting time, energy and expertise.

Youth Participant of the Year Award – Elio Toledo, Takoma Park, MD Presented to an individual 21 years or younger that has overcome exceptional personal challenges to pursue employment goals and/or has demonstrated outstanding achievements or accomplishments in the workplace.

Incubator Company of the Year – GiraMondo Wine Adventures, Wheaton, MD Presented to a current incubator company or a recent graduate of the Montgomery County Business Innovation Network.

Environmental/Agricultural Innovation Award – Honest Tea, Bethesda, MD Presented to an employer that has demonstrated awareness of the impact its business has on the environment.
 
Small Business Mentorship Award – Robin M. Sachs, RMR & Associates, Inc., Rockville, MD Presented to a business that has provided mentorship to a Small Business in Montgomery County resulting in growth in productivity, sales and/or job creation.
 
Economic Development Advancement Award – Hughes Network Systems, Germantown, MD Presented to an individual or employer in Montgomery County who has consistently made economic development and workforce development a priority.
 
Economic Development Leadership Award – Peer2Peer Tutors, Rockville, MD Presented to an individual or company achieving demonstrable results through commitment to economic and workforce development by devoting time, energy, resources and expertise to the creation or enhancement of a catalytic project or development.
 
Workforce Determination Award – Damaris Barich, Rockville, MD Presented to a formerly dislocated worker who has overcome tremendous obstacles to re-enter the workforce successfully with assistance from one of the County’s organizations involved in workforce development.
 
Participant of the Year Award – Cheryl Wise, Silver Spring, MD Presented to an adult participant who exemplifies the spirit of the employment and career development process by successfully completing a training program and becoming self-sufficient, thereby serving as a model to those striving to reach similar goals.
 
Senior Participant of the Year Award – Anthony Bruce, Silver Spring, MD Presented to a senior participant, age 50 or over, who exemplifies the spirit of the employment and career development process by successfully completing a training program and entering or returning to the workforce and serving as a model to those striving to reach similar goals.
 
Disability Hiring Award – Consumer Product Safety Commission, Bethesda, MD Presented to an employer who has made employment of qualified people with disabilities an essential component of their human resource planning through its recruitment, retention and advancement efforts.

Director’s Award – Community Support Services, Gaithersburg, MD Recognizes a business, organization or individual that has made a significant impact on the lives of business and/or workers in Montgomery County.

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