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WorkSource Montgomery introduces the Montgomery County Career Advisory Program

MoCo CAP - Montgomery County Career Advisory Program

MoCo CAP helps address the College and Career Readiness pillar in the Blueprint for Maryland's future

MoCo CAP, short for Montgomery County Career Advisory Program, is a collaborative effort headed by WorkSource Montgomery, along with partners Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery College, and the Universities at Shady Grove. The goal is to address the College and Career Readiness pillar laid out by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation. 

This multi-phase program will ultimately work with the nearly 90,000 MCPS students in grades 6 through 12 to equip them to meet the required standards. They will explore their skills, interests, and values in order to pursue a more intentional life after graduation.

To achieve these goals, MoCo CAP Career Coaches are placed in every MCPS middle, high, and special school throughout the county. Working closely with MCPS educators’ ongoing efforts in the classroom, these Career Coaches aid students with personalized career advising as they learn to advocate for themselves and explore diverse areas of interest. Coaches also help students navigate post-graduate options, including attending a 2- to 4-year traditional college or vocational school, beginning an apprenticeship, pursuing military service, or other career pathways.

What does MoCo CAP Mean for employers?

One of MoCo CAP’s goals is to close the skills gap between employers and employees in Montgomery County. Career Coaches will help students connect their education and the world of work, as well as present more opportunities for students to get training and real-world experience.

Employers can collaborate in a variety of ways to aid students:

  • Participate in virtual info sessions
  • Act as guest speakers
  • Support career fairs & networking events
  • Offer workshops & training sessions
  • Sponsor various opportunities
  • Host mentorship, internship, or apprenticeship programs

Working with MoCo CAP offers not only more opportunities for students, but also for employers, including:

  • Exposing a pool of potential future employees to new career options and nuting talent aligned with your specific business needs
  • Displaying and expanding corporate social responsibility by contributing to education and skill development
  • Exposing your business and brand to the MoCo community at-large, including students, families, educators, etc.
  • Building relationships with educational institutions, potential partners, and other businesses supporting the program
  • Collaborating with students to foster a culture of innovation with fresh perspective

For more information, contact mococapindustry@worksourcemontgomery.com or visit the MoCo CAP website.

Renovus Capital Partners announce investment in Behavioral Framework

Behavioral Framework logo and Renovus Capital logo

Founded in 2017 in Rockville, Behavioral Framework helps children diagnosed with autism and their families understand, improve and lead functional productive lives

Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 3, 2024 – Renovus Capital Partners announced an investment in Behavioral Framework, a leading provider of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Behavioral Framework was founded in 2017 in Rockville, Maryland by Angela West, with the mission of helping children diagnosed with autism and their families understand, improve, and lead functional, productive lives. Behavioral Framework’s best-in-class clinical model leverages the scientific principles of ABA, a family-focused mindset, and an organization-wide commitment to excellence to unlock each child’s potential. Pathways, a division of Behavioral Framework, provides autism diagnostic services. Behavioral Framework’s dedicated team serves children and families across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Renovus to Behavioral Framework and usher in the next chapter of our growth as we continue to build a world-class autism services organization focused squarely on the needs of our clients and their families,” said Kyle West, Behavioral Framework CEO. “There is a critical need nationwide for autism diagnostics and ABA therapy. Operating from our shared values and vision, the Renovus team will help us accelerate our growth and provide life-changing diagnostics and therapy to as many children and families as possible.”

“Kyle and Angela have established a strong leadership position in the growing ABA space with a unique focus on compassion for the people they serve and achieving measurable results on their behalf,” said Jesse Serventi, Founding Partner at Renovus. “We are proud to support a passionate team as we seek to advance the important impact Behavioral Framework is making in the lives of children and families affected by autism, while growing to reach new communities.”

“Our success in helping our clients achieve meaningful outcomes is built around holding ourselves to the absolute highest standards, individualized care, and a family focus,” said Angela West, Behavioral Framework Chief Clinical Officer. “Our decades of experience have taught us that strong leadership combined with research-based programming and compassionate care are fundamental keys to better outcomes for patients on their path to independence. Renovus shares this commitment and we look forward to their support in the coming years.”

A team led by senior banker Erika Haanpaa of Cain Brothers, a division of KeyBanc Capital Markets, served as exclusive financial advisor to Behavioral Framework.


About Behavioral Framework

Behavioral Framework is a leading family-owned and locally operated provider of ABA therapy, and an INC 5000 company, with a vision of providing exceptional care and better client outcomes for children diagnosed with autism and their families. Behavioral Framework was founded out of a strong desire to deliver consistent and superior care with a holistic and collaborative approach that serves the whole family. Learn more at https://www.behavioralframework.com/



TEDCO announces 2024 SBIR/STTR proposal lab cohort including five Rockville companies

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) America's Seed Fund powered by SBA

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are the nation’s largest source of non-dilutive government early stage/high-risk funding for startups and small businesses.

Columbia, Md., Jan. 9, 2024 – TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced the selection of 25 Maryland companies to participate in the 2024 Small Business Association (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST) SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab cohort. This program, now in its sixth year, supports companies in the cohort, allowing them to work closely with TEDCO experts on preparing polished proposals for up to $275,000 in federal awards through the SBIR/STTR Phase 1 program. 

“TEDCO is proud to have a variety of programs and opportunities dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial innovation throughout Maryland,” said TEDCO CEO Troy LeMaile-Stovall. “Through this program, TEDCO can continue our work supporting Maryland companies when applying for the SBIR/STTR funding opportunities.”

What is SBIR/STTR?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, housed in 12 federal agencies and coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, are the Nation’s largest source of non-dilutive government early stage/high-risk funding for startups and small businesses. These competitive programs are designed to encourage small businesses with potential for commercialization to engage with Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D). The awards-based program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential while providing an incentive to profit through commercialization.

Proposal Lab Participation Leads to Higher Success Rates

In collaboration with the Rockville, Md. woman-owned OST Global Solutions, this six-month lab will connect companies with experts from TEDCO’s Network Advisor program; these experts will provide the cohort with actionable feedback through two proposal reviews, thereby increasing the company’s likelihood of award. 

Throughout the proposal lab, TEDCO will bring in experts from selected government SBIR/STTR program offices to provide information and answer questions on everything from timing, to writing style, and to what makes a proposal compelling. 

“I am honored and humbled by the overwhelming response to the FY24 Proposal Lab program,” said Kimberly Mozingo, director of TEDCO’s Federal Programs. “The 45 companies who applied are tackling some of the most pressing global challenges facing humanity today. While we could only select 25 for this cohort, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to all applicants for their dedication and commitment to making a positive impact on our world. Our Proposal Lab team eagerly anticipates working with the cohort to craft compelling, compliant, and competitive Phase I SBIR or STTR proposals.”

The Maryland Companies Selected for the FY2024 Cohort

  1. Advanced In Vitro, LLC, based in Frederick, Md., is a biotechnology company specializing in non-animal assay technology and consulting services.
  2. Aloe Therapeutics, based in Darnestown, Md., is working on a locally delivered immunotherapy to deliver cancer cures. 
  3. Aquatic Circle LLC, based in Cumberland, Md., is creating nature-based solutions for nutrient recycling, water processing, and waste treatments.
  4. BeneKinetic, based in Rockville, Md., is developing a revolutionary fully automated AI Coach that improves motivation with virtual group physical therapy exercises, resulting in faster and fuller recoveries from acute and chronic conditions.
  5. Conjectura LLC, based in Rockville, Md., is working to leverage AI to build ethical and trustworthy AI systems, focusing on the design of effective Machine Learning architectures, and interoperability for a wide area of applications.
  6. Crave Away, based in Oakland, Md., is a biotechnological sciences company specializing in the development of addiction cessation products.
  7. CurveAssure, Rockville, Md., is developing an AI Coach to improve motivation with virtual group physical therapy exercises, resulting in faster and fuller recoveries from acute and chronic conditions.
  8. Drūl, based in Baltimore, Md., is creating a device to use saliva to track and monitor oral health.
  9. EC-DOC, based in Fort Washington, Md., sells Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) credits and byproduct chemical commodities produced from electrochemical direct ocean capture of CO2.
  10. Forager Station, Inc., based in Frederick, Md., is commercializing electrochemical direct lithium extraction (DLE) from saltwater brines using thin, durable, lithium-conducting solid electrolyte membranes. 
  11. Gambix, based in Oakland, Md., is an AI company specializing in website building through natural language processing. 
  12. Imagining Reality Insights & Solutions Inc. (IRIS), based in Baltimore, Md., is a Maryland C Corporation that develops technological solutions to educational challenges, starting with IRIS READS, a suite of games using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology to support literacy and language skills for children.
  13. Infinite Focus Schools DBA Clymb, based in Baltimore, Md., is a mindfulness and emotional health app for youth. 
  14. Lensguide Imaging Technology Inc. (LEGIT), based in Rockville, Md., is developing a nano-photonic imaging micro-endoscope for painless, immediate in vivo cancer detection.
  15. LightSiNC NanoTech LLC, based in Poolesville, Md., is providing customized design, fabrication and testing services for photonics chips from visible to infrared using silicon nitride and silicon carbide nanophotonics platforms. 
  16. Mesozoic Technologies, LLC, based in Easton, Md., is a family-owned winery that’s expanding into brandy and has developed an automated still system.
  17. NEOPATHOLOGY CORP., based in Frederick, Md., is developing technologies and products that facilitate processing and development of diagnostics and interpretation of biological processes in health and diseases, and in-vitro diagnostics to address the burden of specific cancers, the shortage of expert pathologist and pathology services, and the inadequacies of pathologist and oncologists to leverage contemporary toolsets for better clinical care.
  18. Odin Electric, based in Centreville, Md., is developing nuclear Small Modular Reactors (SMR) generators for large institutions with individual buildings and/or homeowners with large homes.
  19. SCS Laboratory Solutions, Inc., based in Rockville, Md., was formed to support the development of a device to extend the shelf life of and improve the safe handling of anhydrous and explosive chemicals in synthetic, organic, and research chemistry laboratory spaces.
  20. Somnair, based in Baltimore, Md., is a preclinical medical device company developing a non-invasive neurostimulation device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
  21. Studio 60 Technologies, LLC, based in Saint Leonard, Md., is building a personal GIS navigation assistant that will support the mobility impaired. The application will collect navigational data and update in real time. Studio 60 uses natural language processing, machine learning, and decision support systems to provide users with up-to-the-minute routing instructions.
  22. SwiftDock, based in Owings Mills, Md., is a logistics startup developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) package delivery system featuring integrated docking stations, ensuring complete separation between customers and our UAVs.
  23. Sybal Corp, based in North Bethesda, Md., is working on a cloud-based solution to provide governance support for regulated industries. 
  24. TSESSEBE Technologies, L.L.C., based in Gaithersburg, Md., is a digital health technologies company that delivers technologies for the business, work and personal lives of minority small business owners and the general public.
  25. Voting Buddy, Inc., based in Ashton, Md., helps voters identify like-minded politicians/candidates through an interactive communications platform and community.

For more information about the SBIR/STTR Proposal lab, please visit https://www.tedcomd.com/funding/tech-transfer/federal-tech-transfer/sbirproposal


TEDCO invests in PediaMetrix

PediaMetrix logo

PediaMetrix, based in Rockville, Md., is a technology company working to bring artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to pediatric care

Columbia, Md., Jan. 3, 2024 – TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced a recent $200,000 investment from its Life Science Investment Fund (LSIF) into PediaMetrix, a biotechnology company working to detect body deformities in infants and improve patient outcomes. TEDCO’s LSIF lives under the Seed Funds umbrella and invests in companies that have a Federal Drug Administration (FDA) pathway. Participating in this round were also Blu Ventures, as well as a pediatrician.

“The SoftSpot™ app is an FDA cleared tool that allows more efficient early detection for infant skull deformities, allowing for early intervention,” said Dr. Fereshteh Aalamifar, founder & CEO of PediaMetrix. “Thanks to TEDCO’s investment, we can continue creating a more efficient and effective tool of monitoring infant patients for both physicians and parents.”

PediaMetrix, based in Rockville, Md., is a technology company working to bring artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to pediatric care to improve patient outcome and reduce costs. With this implementation, the company hopes to lower costs of healthcare and improve patient outcomes. SoftSpot’s core technologies have also been backed by $3.6M in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Seed Funds (NSF).

“PediaMetrix’s app, SoftSpot™, has the potential to support infant growth, ease parent concerns and allow for more efficient communication between parent and physician,” said Teddy Gresser, director of TEDCO’s Seed Funds. “With further development, their app could be applied toward other body deformities, with the hopes of lowering healthcare costs while still allowing for effective point-of-care diagnoses and support to both the patient and their guardians.”

PediaMetrix has engaged in multiple TEDCO programs over the last few years; this includes the Rural and Underserved Business Recovery from Impact of COVID-19 (RUBRIC) program, the LSIF, and the Pre-Seed Builder Fund. 


About PediaMetrix

Founded by alumni entrepreneurs and scientists from Johns Hopkins, NIH, Oxford, and Princeton, PediaMetrix’s mission is to bring AI and computer vision to pediatrics to lower the healthcare costs and improve outcomes. PediaMetrix’s lead product, SoftSpot, enables early detection and management of the most common conditions with head shape abnormalities in newborns. Learn more at https://www.pediametrix.com/


TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at www.tedcomd.com.

Maryland Tech Council joins life science leaders at NYSE to kick off Biotech Month

A group of business people standing behind a desk at the New York Stock Exchange bell
Image credit: Maryland Tech Council

The Maryland Tech Council (MTC) is the largest technology and life sciences trade association in Maryland

New York, Ny., Jan. 3, 2024 – The Maryland Tech Council (MTC), the largest technology and life sciences trade association in the state, today joined fellow life science trade organizations from across the country to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and kick off Biotech Month. Kelly Schulz, Chief Executive Officer of MTC, was among the 16 leaders in attendance at the event, which was held jointly by NewYorkBIO and NYSE to celebrate the link between investment and innovation to best serve patients nationwide.

“National Biotechnology Month highlights the vital role Maryland’s life sciences companies play in discovering and developing the treatments and cures the world depends on,” said Schulz. “Joining my colleagues from across the country at the New York Stock Exchange underscores that collaboration will help us protect and grow the U.S. innovation ecosystem, including the 54,000 life sciences jobs we host in Maryland.”

“Nationwide collaboration is crucial to driving innovation, finding cures, and ultimately improving health outcomes and quality of life for patients,” said Jennifer Hawks Bland, CEO of NewYorkBIO. “As the worldwide epicenter for the financial sector, New York is uniquely positioned as a nexus for connecting the biosciences industry with the capital that makes groundbreaking research and development possible. NewYorkBIO is grateful to NYSE for this opportunity to welcome our colleagues from across the country to Wall Street, as we bring new meaning to ‘ringing in the new year’ and kick off Biotech Month.”

The event is one of several ongoing collaborations between NewYorkBIO and NYSE, who work together to connect New York’s robust investor community with innovative life science organizations of all types and sizes.

“We are thrilled to host NewYorkBIO and life sciences leaders from across the U.S. at the NYSE to ring our Closing Bell in honor of Biotechnology Month,” said Michael Harris, Global Head of Capital Markets at the New York Stock Exchange. “As we continue to see growth in the life sciences industry, the NYSE looks forward to welcoming many more biotech companies to our community of icons and disruptors.”

MTC’s Schulz joined the below leaders from life science organizations across the country:

  • Nick Shipley, Chief Advocacy Officer at BIO
  • Michele Oshman, Vice President for External Affairs at BIO
  • Chris Molineaux, President & CEO of Life Sciences Pennsylvania
  • Debbie Hart, President & CEO of BioNJ
  • Elyse Blazevich, President & CEO of Colorado BioScience Association
  • Eddie Pauline, President & CEO of Ohio Life Sciences
  • Jodie Gillon, President & CEO of BioCT
  • John Conrad, President & CEO of Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization
  • Joni Ekstrum, Executive Director of South Dakota Biotech
  • Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President & CEO of MassBio
  • Laura Gunter, President of North Carolina Life Sciences Organization
  • Maria Thacker, President & CEO of Georgia Bio
  • Michael Fleming, President of Delaware BioScience Association
  • Mike Guerra, President & CEO of California Life Sciences

First introduced by President Clinton in 2000, National Biotechnology Month is an opportunity for the nation’s biotech community to come together to recognize the industry’s achievements on behalf of patients around the world. Falling in January, the recognition month is also an opportunity for industry leaders to look ahead to the advancements of the upcoming year.

To capture the closing bell on January 3, refer to NYSE’s website: nyse.com/bell/calendar

About the Maryland Tech Council

The Maryland Tech Council (MTC) is a collaborative community that is actively engaged in building strong technology and life science industries by supporting the efforts of our individual members. We are the largest technology and life sciences trade association in the state of Maryland, and we provide value by giving members a forum to learn, share, and connect. With 700+ member organizations, MTC brings the region’s community together into a single, united organization that empowers our members to achieve their business goals through advocacy, networking, and education. The vision for the Maryland Tech Council is to propel Maryland to become the number one innovation economy for life sciences and technology in the country. Learn more at mdtechcouncil.com

Gov. Moore launches new workforce development programs for Maryland’s public sector and hospitality industry

Governor Wes Moore behind a podium with a pull-up banner stating 'Maryland Apprenticeship Program 2.0 mdapprenticeship.com'

The new initiatives include the Public Sector Registered Apprenticeship, and Maryland Hospitality Management Apprenticeship Programs

Annapolis, Md., Nov. 16, 2023 – Governor Wes Moore launched new workforce development programs in the public sector and hospitality industry during the Maryland Department of Labor’s third annual Maryland Apprenticeship Awards ceremony. The event, which coincided with National Apprenticeship Week, recognized 32 winners across six categories: Registered Apprentice; Youth Apprentice; Mentor, Business; Local Workforce Board; and Apprenticeship Champion, in addition to naming five new Apprenticeship Ambassadors to the Governor’s Workforce Development Board.

“When we invest in apprenticeships, we empower more people to participate in our economy, no matter their path,” said Gov. Moore. “Today, we are saying, in one voice, that we, as a state, are ready to invest in our future. Today is a celebration of the opportunities we can build when we move in partnership.”

The new initiatives to expand apprenticeship in Maryland  include the new Public Sector Registered Apprenticeship Program, a $3 million initiative to support the growth of registered apprenticeships within Maryland’s public sector. The fund will provide grants to public sector entities to create and expand registered apprenticeship opportunities within state, municipal, and local governments and serves as a bold, new career development and retention strategy. 

The Maryland Department of Labor is also dedicating $1.6 million to developing a new Maryland Hospitality Management Apprenticeship Program, which will create a pipeline to an associate degree and a management-level position for individuals in the hospitality industry. By partnering with six community colleges across the state, this innovative new program will expand apprenticeship into a non-traditional industry, providing individuals with new career and educational opportunities through hospitality apprenticeships.

Both programs are supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

“The Maryland Department of Labor is proud to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and showcase the key success of this program. Maryland is full speed ahead on growing apprenticeship through expanding to new industries, working with schools and colleges, and partnering with communities across the state,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu. “Maryland has set ambitious goals for expanding apprenticeship and we mean to meet them. Registered apprenticeship is key to our state’s economic success. We’ve already hit historic highs in apprenticeship adoption and today’s investments will accelerate our progress.”

The governor was joined by Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu; Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty, Department of General Services Secretary Atif Chaudhry, Maryland Higher Education Commission Acting Secretary Dr. Sanjay Rai; Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Carolyn Scruggs. Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman were also in attendance, along with leaders from Maryland’s hospitality, accounting, traditional trades, information technology, healthcare, manufacturing and labor unions. Additionally, leaders from local school systems and workforce boards were in attendance.

“Royal Farms is excited to launch our registered apprenticeship program to provide opportunities to individuals seeking a career in retail and food service management,” said Royal Farms Director of Training Jessica Mente. “We have created a clear pathway, and timeline, offering all the education and training tools needed for individuals to run a profitable business as a Store Leader for Royal Farms.” Royal Farms was approved for a registered apprenticeship program during this week’s Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Council meeting.

Emergent BioSolutions receives $75m contract option from BARDA to procure doses of newly licenses anthrax vaccine

Emergent BioSolutions word logo

This latest contract option supplements previous contract procurements and supports the U.S. biodefense preparedness efforts

Germantown, Md., Nov. 28, 2023 – Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) today announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the United States Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $75 million option to Emergent’s existing contract (HHSO100201600030C) for the acquisition of newly licensed anthrax vaccine CYFENDUS™ (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, Adjuvanted). Deliveries are expected to begin this calendar year and be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Previously known as AV7909, CYFENDUS™ vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2023 as a two-dose anthrax vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis use in individuals 18 years of age and older. Anthrax is considered a high-priority national security threat and has the potential for major public health impact.

“CYFENDUS™ vaccine is a critical component of Emergent’s anthrax medical countermeasures franchise, and supports the U.S. government’s anthrax preparedness strategy,” said Paul Williams, senior vice president, products head at Emergent. “This procurement helps ensure the nation has sufficient anthrax vaccine and aligns with Emergent’s longstanding commitment to strengthen public health preparedness.”

In 2016, BARDA and Emergent extended their partnership to support clinical development and manufacturing efforts for the AV7909 vaccine, including a Phase 3 trial to demonstrate safety and efficacy, working toward the goal of eventual FDA licensure. A pre-Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) package was submitted in December 2018, and the first pre-EUA doses of AV7909 were delivered to the U.S. government in 2019. In April 2022, Emergent submitted the Biologics License Application to the FDA for review, leading to approval and licensure in July 2023. This latest contract option supplements previous contract procurements and supports the U.S. biodefense preparedness efforts.

This project has been supported in whole or in part with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority under contract HHSO100201600030C.

About Emergent BioSolutions

Emergent develops, manufactures and delivers protections against public health treats through a pipeline of innovative vaccines and therapeutics. With a product portfolio including BioThrax, Anthrasil, Ebanga and CYFENDUS, Emergent has worldwide manufacturing facilities including Rockville, Maryland. Learn more at https://www.emergentbiosolutions.com/


Rockville receives $25,000 grant for arts-driven pedestrian safety mural

Aerial photo of street intersection with the corner asphalt decorated with art
Asphalt Art project in Baltimore, MD - Image credit: Bloomberg Philantrophies

Rockville is one of 25 cities from the United States, Canada and Mexico to receive the Bloomberg Philantropies Asphalt Art grant

Article originally published by MoCo360 Media on November 27, 2023

Rockville, in partnership with VisArts, a non-profit visual arts hub based in the city, was awarded $25,000 in November to develop an arts-based pedestrian safety project. The initiative aims to improve street safety and revitalize public space – bringing color and character to Beall Avenue with a mural, according to a VisArts press release.

According to Karyn Miller, the Arts, Culture, and History program manager for the City of Rockville, the project will also enhance a section of Gibbs Street between North Washington Street and Maryland Avenue.

Miller added that in the coming months, the city and VisArts will work to prepare designs for streetscape and safety improvements in the site area and then issue a call for artists to submit mural design ideas.

Alice Nappy, the executive director at VisArts, said the organization is all about integrating the arts into everyday life and said that the project is “right up our alley.”

“As an arts organization, our feeling is that the arts are transformational,” Nappy said. “… I look at the road that site is going to be on, it’s pretty much cars and trucks and buses bustling down and there are people trying to cross the street all the time. If there’s a way to use art to make cars and vehicles pay more attention to, ‘Oh, here’s a place where people might be crossing!’ I think that’s going to be helpful.”

The mural design on Beall Avenue will be selected through a competition, and Rockville in collaboration with VisArts will issue a call for artists to invite them to submit design ideas. The call for artists has not yet been sent out.

“While VisArts is involved, the actual artist or design will be sourced from a wider pool of talent, offering an opportunity for local artists to contribute to this civic project,” Miller wrote in an email.

Rockville is one of 25 cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico to receive the grant, which comes from Bloomberg Philanthropies, a New York City-based non-profit organization. According to a press release from VisArts, the city’s project was selected from more than 200 applications.

The Beall Avenue location was chosen due to the need for improved safety measures. According to Miller, the area has been the site of numerous collisions, including six injuries and one death recorded in the last four years.

“This four-block region is an integral part of Rockville Town Center,” Miller stated. “The area sees heavy traffic and is home to a vibrant community life both indoors and out including restaurants, retailers, residential buildings, offices, and cultural facilities. … The asphalt art project entails implementing vibrant designs to the streetscape to highlight road improvements and encourage drivers to be more mindful of their speed.”

Other U.S. cities that received grants are Anderson, South Carolina; Clarksdale, Mississippi; Fall River, Massachusetts; Fort Collins, Colorado; Honolulu; Little Rock, Arkansas; New Orleans; Passaic, New Jersey; Flagstaff, Arizona; Louisville, Kentucky; Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; Stamford, Connecticut; Milwaukee; and San Francisco.

The grant is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art initiative, which aims to fund and support “arts-driven street redesigns to improve safety, revitalize public space and engage local communities,” a Bloomberg press release said.

According to the release, the Asphalt Art initiative is inspired by the growing number of cities around the world that are using arts- and design-based solutions to improve pedestrian and street safety and create vibrant public spaces. In addition to the grant, Bloomberg will provide the cities with technical consulting.

Monique Ashton, the newly elected Mayor of Rockville, posted about the grant on X, formerly Twitter, on Nov. 15. “Thrilled about this grant and the possibilities to support our #VisionZero efforts while also bringing art and vitality to our community.”

See how streets across the U.S. and around the world have transformed into colorful, pedestrian-oriented blocks in this video posted by Bloomberg Philanthropies on X.

“The Asphalt Art Initiative has proven that when cities invest in these low-cost projects, streets become safer and communities become stronger,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City in a press release. “The new Asphalt Art Initiative projects in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will save more lives, inspire more imaginations, and strengthen more cities across the continent.”

According to Miller, the project is currently in the planning and development stages and Rockville residents can expect to see the completed project by late 2024. She added that the time frame for completion is an estimate and subject to change.

The Rockville community will be kept informed about the progress of the project and will have the chance to engage with the design of the project, according to Miller.


Rockville earns perfect Municipal Equality Index score for seventh year

Traditional Pride Flag with the words 'Love is Love' hung from a City of Rockville tent

The Municipal Equality Index was designed by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to help residents learn how inclusive their city's laws and policies are of LGBTQ+ people.

Rockville, Md., Nov. 27, 2023 – Rockville has scored 100 marks for the city’s commitment to the health, welfare, safety and equality of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in its seventh year of participation in, and the 12th year for, the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

Rockville scored 95 out of 100, plus an additional 10 bonus points, for its nondiscrimination laws, law enforcement, employment and workplace inclusivity, leadership and services to the LGBTQ+ community. Final scores cannot exceed 100.

“Cities and towns around the country are stepping up each and every day, finding new and innovative ways to empower LGBTQ+ people in the face of a dire national state of emergency,” Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson said in a statement accompanying the report.

The 12th annual MEI scorecard, released in November, analyzes and rates 506 municipalities across the country, measuring each for the inclusivity of laws, policies and services for their LGBTQ communities. Cities rated include the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples, and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state groups’ members and supporters.

Cities are rated across numerous criteria, covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ equality.

Rockville’s MEI report can be found at www.hrc.org/resources/municipalities/rockville-md. Learn more about the MEI at www.hrc.org/resources/municipal-equality-index.

Press release link: https://rockvillereports.com/rockville-nets-another-perfect-mei-score/

The Washington Business Journal recently released its annual list of the Fastest-Growing Companies in Greater DC for 2023. The ranking is based on the average percent change in revenue from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. To qualify, companies must be headquartered in the Washington area, privately held with no parent company, and have generated at least $2 million in revenue in 2020 and $10 million in 2022 with increases each year. Two Rockville-based companies have been included in the Journal’s 2023 list of 50 fastest-growing companies:

#19 – RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation

Industry: Chauffeured ground transportation provider

Year Founded: 1988

2022 Revenue: $74.9 million

Total Employees: 715

#20 – Presidential Exteriors

Industry: Residential remodeling and construction

Year Founded: 2015

2022 Revenue: $36.3 million

Total Employees: 188