This morning at a BRAC symposium sponsored by the Baltimore Business Journal, Tom Sadowski said that Central Maryland is on track to become the global center of information technology due largely to the impact of BRAC.
Hyperbole aside, there are some hard numbers to back up his assertion. The relocation of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to Fort Meade from Northern Virginia puts the military equivalent of Google, Microsoft and the Internet right in our backyard. The government is projected to spend over $100 billion on defense IT over the next few years with 80% of that money going to private contractors.
Tom Sadowski is the president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. Joining him on the panel were Rosemary Budd, North East regional program manager and principal with Booz Allen Hamilton, Tom Mottley with RKS Realty, and James Richardson, the director of the Hartford County Economic Development Authority.
The panel also stressed the need to attract a younger, highly skilled workforce. Over 50% of the employees relocating to both Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Fort Meade will be “retirement eligible” in 2011.
This mornings meeting was held at the new Westin Hotel at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. This was the first time I’ve visited this property and I found it to be pretty impressive.