Help a Future Frederick Resident

I received this email from a future Frederick resident …

I will be moving to Frederick in January to start a new job. I was there yesterday (Saturday, Dec 8th) looking at an apartment and was wondering if you could give me some insider info on the area. I really like the apartment but I have concerns about the area. They’re called Elmwood Terrace Apartments. It’s off route 40 right next to Frederick Towne Mall on Waverly Rd. I currently live in Philadelphia so I was surprised to see that the first floor patios had no railings and that the buildings don’t have controlled access. I want to think it’s because the area is just so safe that those things are not necessary. But then the leasing agent told me that they have hired security to patrol at night and that “crime has no address.” So I guess my main concerns are related to crime and safety. I will be working at Ft. Dietrick and found these apartments to be a good location and have the qualities I wanted. I’ve looked online for infomation but would really appreciate information from someone who knows the area. Thanks so much for any help!!!

Can you all provide any help in his apartment search?

~Guy~

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Fort Detrick preps for new workers

A snippet from Sunday’s FNP about the expansion of the Fort

Nearly 1,500 new jobs are forecast for Fort Detrick in the next few years and Frederick needs to prepare for them.

About 8,000 people pass through the base gates each day.

A panel of representatives from agencies were on hand Friday at the Frederick County Workforce Development board meeting to discuss growth the Federal Base Realignment and Closing, or BRAC, recommendations will bring to the military research base at the heart of Frederick.

Fort Detrick is the largest employment site in the county, made up of about 40 different government entities. It will become the National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research, as well as continuing as a U.S. Army garrison.

“Most people don’t know who is on the fort and how to access jobs,” said Darlene Carver, chairwoman of the workforce board.

There are websites such as americajob.com that shows available job postings in the government. The meeting Friday was a step toward making those job opportunities listed through the local workforce office.

Bad credit? No job

One of the main factors in landing a government job, especially at Fort Detrick with the Department of Homeland Security and high technology laboratories, is security clearance.

Mike Hayes, director of military and federal affairs for the Maryland Department of Economic Development and a retired Marine brigadier general, said most people fail a security check because of bad credit.

Hayes and other panel members said young people need to realize early that handling their finances poorly or bad behavior can preclude them from a government job in the future.

Andy Moser, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, said the Maryland Workforce Exchange is a key site for job searching.

Maryland received a $4 million grant to help with planning and implementation for the expected influx of people because of BRAC changes, which will move personnel into Fort Detrick, Aberdeen and Fort Meade.

Construction at the bases is the first step, Moser and Hayes said, to build the facilities for the agencies on the bases.

That will create a lot of construction jobs, they said, but security clearance is still paramount.

“Even construction workers have to be cleared to get in the gate,” Hayes said.

However, Moser, even with its boost in employment, the BRAC influx is only 15 percent of Maryland’s growth. The rest is because of the state’s expanding economy. Moser said employers are also looking at an impending drop in the workforce as more people retire.

Hayes and Darryl Rekemeyer, director of the Fort Detrick Business Development Office, said the two main areas for employment at Fort Detrick will be medical research and information technology. Rekemeyer’s office deals primarily with companies that want to do business with the government.

1,500 new jobs is a good thing, but I can’t imagine what that’s going to do to the Rosemont corridor. Maybe a few more places to eat will pop up, if you can fight the traffic. I just hope this culls a few more cars off 270 every morning!

~LizFrog~

For all you I-270 commuters:

From the News-Post:

A project to resurface parts of I-270 is starting this coming week.

Starting next week, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration will begin a $16 million project to resurface 4.5 miles along I-270. The work will take place between Muddy Branch Road near exit 10 and just north of Md. 189 (Falls Road), in Montgomery County.

If the weather holds up, the project is expected to be completed by spring 2008.

During construction, temporary single-lane closures may occur along northbound and southbound I-270, between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Double-lane closures may occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes.

SHA spokesman Chuck Gischlar said motorists should expect construction delays and consider alternate routes. He suggests Md. 355, Md. 124 or Md. 115.

No lane closures will be allowed during the Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day holidays.

Sounds like fun.  Not!

Lizfrog 

Road Rage

I think it’s unbelievable what happened yesterday, although I am surprised we don’t hear about this sort of thing more often.

Fortunately, I don’t have to commute on 270 anymore, so I was spared most of the traffic yesterday.

How about you ?  Any inside scoop on yesterday’s incident?  How about your favorite Road Rage story?

~LizFrog ~

Biotech in Frederick

There’s a front page feature today about how Frederick is banking on the future of Biotech in the county.

Since I work in Biotech, I am certainly in favor of the press and I think they are on the mark. We have dozens of smaller biotech operations, as well as some of the biggest and most profitable biotech in the area.

Frederick is a main facility for Invitrogen, who at one time employed over 400 people and the word is that they intend to surpass that eventually as they’re resurrecting the Distribution facility. They are located just south of the Westview mall. You should check out their web site, because they have 62 open positions posted in Science, Sales and Marketing, IT and Distribution. MedImmune has announced a major expansion on Solarex court and has more job openings than I can count. Dynport is a major player off TJ, although they don’t have any manufacturing capabilitiies. Cambrex in Walkersville has 26 openings posted, despite the rumors that they’re about to be acquired by two Indian companies who appear to be in a bidding war.

There has been surprisingly little new news about the massive expansion at Fort Detrick. I don’t understand why the headline wasn’t reiterating the fact that the Feds are going to pour another 2 billion dollars and create more than 2,500 jobs there in the not too distant future. This kind of investment will certainly spawn a number of start-ups, so the major impact might still be 15-20 years away.

Makes me glad I moved to Maryland to use my Bio degree.

Frederick Commutes

The Frederick News-Post has an interesting article about Frederick resident’s daily commutes to and from work.

Neither time, gas prices or wear-and-tear on auto and human bodies will prevent workers from their appointed commute. Some leave Frederick County for Washington, D.C., and the areas adjacent to I-270 and I-495; others drive to the county from other states. The reasons are often the same: income, quality of life and family obligations. The escalating costs of gasoline have hit $3 a gallon or more in many places.

“Gas prices, even if they go up to $4 a gallon, are not an issue for me,” said Molly Boyle, vice president of operations at 3 Roads Communications in Frederick. “As for wear and tear on the vehicle, in the scheme of things, it’s a minor issue.”

Ms. Boyle has more than 20 years’ experience in television news, management and production, and has worked for CNN, Fox, Turner Broadcasting and CBS.

She prefers to commute from her Washington, D.C., home to Frederick because the work is interesting, hours are flexible and she can live a normal life with her 4-year-old daughter.

“The news business is a very demanding life and world, and consumes your life,” Ms. Boyle said. “It’s long hours. At a cable network, you’re constantly feeding the beast. There’s no deadline; it’s an allday, rolling deadline.

“You make a lot of sacrifices at a network, and I did it for a long time. I wanted a life.”

Dee Crouse commutes from Walkersville to the National Institutes of Health in Rockville. Her husband, Jerry, commutes to the main Frederick post office on East Patrick Street in Frederick.

Does Mr. Crouse feel guilty? “I do feel guilty. It takes me 15 minutes from the garage door to the post office parking lot,” he said. “I wish Dee worked here, but her job is good income for the family.” The Crouses are parents of two teenage sons.

Ms. Crouse, an accountant, is a budget analyst for the National Institutes of Health, and it takes her an hour and 20 minutes to get to NIH. “I don’t mind commuting as long as I’m not driving,” she said.

Public transportation is her vehicle, and Ms. Crouse’s only driving is to the MARC station on South East Street in Frederick.

She buys a monthly pass that allows her to ride the D.C. Metro, Montgomery County’s Ride-On bus system and the MTA Commuter Bus. She takes the MARC so seldom, she doesn’t spend the extra $15 a month for the more expensive pass.

I can relate with my commute to Rockville everyday. At least I have a slight repreive on the traffic because school is out. I think I dread the start of the school year more than the kids do.