Tri-County Council Appoints Officers for So. Md. Workforce Investment Board

HUGHESVILLE, Md. (Oct. 21, 2008)—Gary V. Hodge, Charles County commissioner and chairman of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, has appointed three regional business leaders to serve as new officers for the re-established Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board. Those named were Maurice I. “Butch” Long, Jr. as Chairman, Austin J. Slater, Jr. as Vice Chairman, and Michael Benton as Secretary.

In announcing the appointments, Hodge stated, “These three dynamic business leaders from Charles, St. Mary’s, and Calvert counties will lead the effort to restart our Workforce Investment Board. As the Chief Local Elected Official for the new Southern Maryland WIB, I’m pleased they have accepted the invitation to serve and I’m confident they will serve with distinction.”

Butch Long of Hughesville in Charles County is President and CEO of the MIL Corporation which employs more than 400 consultants providing management, financial, technical, and engineering services across the spectrum of federal agencies and programs in the region. He is a former President of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance.

“I am honored to be asked and privileged to serve Southern Maryland on this important Workforce Investment Board,” said Long. “This effort will provide the impetus and focus to strengthen our existing workforce, build critical skills for future jobs, and better position Southern Maryland to compete and grow our economy.”

Joe Slater of California in St. Mary’s County is the President and CE0 of the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, which employs 500 workers.

“Workforce recruitment, training and retention are three pillars essential to strengthening our government programs and private businesses,” said Slater. “I praise our elected leaders at the local and state levels for re-establishing the Workforce Investment Board and making our region eligible for significant federal training funds.”

Michael Benton of St. Leonard in Calvert County is co-owner of Home Town Real Estate with 150 agents in six locations. He is a former Chairman of the Calvert County Economic Development Commission.

Acting as a nominating committee, Long, Slater and Benton will be recommending candidates for appointment to the 16 business and 13 other organizational seats on the WIB. The three officers will be assisted by Ellen Flowers-Fields, Director of Regional Economic Development for the Tri-County Council, in starting up the WIB. They are expected to present a slate of recommended Board members for action at the November meeting of the Tri-County Council’s Executive Board.

Source: Gary V. Hodge, Charles County commissioner and chairman of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland

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