St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Trade Mission to Israel Called a Success

During the week of March 19 - 26, St. Mary's County Commissioner Tom Jarboe (1st District) traveled to Israel with a Maryland State business development delegation. The delegation was comprised of the Maryland Cyber Czar (Jeffrey Wells), representatives from the Maryland Israel Development Center (MIDC) and business leaders with experience in international import and export of technologies in fields such as cyber, biomedical and autonomous unmanned systems.

The goal of the trip was to develop potential business leads for Maryland companies seeking to expand exports to Israel as well as meeting with candidate Israeli based companies that are interested in expanding operations into the United States (specifically Maryland).

During the trip the delegation visited CyberSpark, an Israeli Cyber Innovation incubator complex located in the municipality of Be'er Sheva in the Negev desert. This research development test and evaluation center was constructed and is located in the middle of a desert. Ten years ago nothing existed in this section of Israel except for sand. But today it is a bustling research center which will soon host the Israeli Army's 8200 (Intelligence command). The delegation also toured several high-tech businesses and attended a 2-day CyberTech conference in Tel Aviv where they met with many Israeli firms looking to expand their businesses into the United States.

Maryland-based companies are eligible for a grant from the Israel Binational R & D Foundation (BIRD) to collaborate new high tech product development with Israeli companies. Grants of up to $1 million are available to engage innovative companies from The Start Up Nation to kick start Maryland-based technology development to a new level. Funding is also available to Maryland startup companies through the new MIDC-OurCrowd Partnership. OurCrowd of Israel is the global leader in equity crowdfunding. As a result of the partnership with the Maryland/Israel Development Center, OurCrowd is now evaluating Maryland companies for funding.

St. Mary's County businesses interested in learning more about trade opportunities in Israel are encouraged to contact Commissioner Jarboe directly ( ). For more information on the MIDC and available grant funding go to

Fair Housing Month Celebrated by Commissioners

April 2015 marks 48 years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The act sought to eliminate discrimination in housing opportunities, further housing choices for all Americans without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, family status, and disability, and to encourage fair housing opportunities for all citizens.

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held a proclamation ceremony to recognize the anniversary of the Fair Housing Act's passage and proclaim April as Fair Housing Month.

Commissioner Tom Jarboe (1st District) read the proclamation and noted Maryland's role in affecting fair housing throughout the state "… the Maryland Fair Housing law was first enacted in 1971 and memorialized per Maryland Code, Article 49B, Sections 19-39 which adds marital status and sexual orientation as protected classes."

Commissioners were joined by members of the Southern Maryland Association of Realtors, Inc., Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, Housing Authority of St. Mary's County, and the St. Mary's County Human Relations Commission for the ceremony. The group hopes to continue to build alliances which supporting Fair Housing throughout St. Mary's County.

"Illegal barriers to equal opportunity in housing, no matter how subtle, diminish the rights of all, and ongoing educational outreach and monitoring are key to raising awareness of fair housing principles, practices, rights, and responsibilities," said Commissioner Jarboe.

Commissioners Proclaim National County Government Month

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County joined more than three thousand counties across the country in recognizing the important role county governments play in the lives of their citizens.

During a proclamation announcing April as National County Government Month, Commissioner Tom Jarboe (1st District) noted St. Mary's County was among 3,069 counties providing essential services which create healthy, safe, vibrant and economically resilient communities while serving more than 300 million American citizens.

This year's National County Government theme is "Counties Moving America Forward: The Keys are Transportation and Infrastructure." The proclamation noted St. Mary's County efforts in building roads, providing safe and reliable public transportation and take seriously its duty and responsibility to promote and enhance the health, welfare and safety of its residents in sensible and cost-effective way.

National County Government Month is an initiative spearheaded by the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo encourages counties to focus on how they have improved their communities through road and transportation projects, water and sewer improvements and other public works improvements as part of its President, Riki Hokama's "Transportation and Infrastructure" initiative.

Each year since the Commissioners of St. Mary's County actively promote programs and services to its citizens.

Health Department Seeking Contractors to Educate Local Youth on Health Risks of E-Cigarettes

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking contractors to educate local youth on the health risks of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Use of tobacco and exposure to second hand smoke are the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. Funds for this award are provided from the Cigarette Restitution Fund which is administered through the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration within the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. For more information about this request for proposals, please visit the health department’s website at

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