County Executive Marc Elrich and state Del. Eric Luedtke are inviting 10 major companies based in states that have restricted abortion access, or are at risk of doing so, to consider moving to Montgomery County or elsewhere in the state.

Luedtke, the House majority leader in the General Assembly, told reporters during a press briefing Wednesday that a letter he and Elrich signed, along with state Del. Ariana Kelly (from District 16, which includes Bethesda), was sent on July 27 to the following companies, individually:

  • Tesla in Austin, Texas
  • The Match Group in Dallas, Texas
  • Dell in Round Rock, Texas
  • AT&T in Dallas
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Spring, Texas
  • McKesson in Irving, Texas
  • Humana in Louisville, Kentucky
  • HCA in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Centene in St. Louis, Missouri
  • McKesson in Irving, Texas
  • Cerner in North Kansas City, Missouri

Luedtke said officials haven’t heard directly from any of the companies about whether they would consider relocating to Maryland or Montgomery County. He added, however, that he’s heard anecdotally about smaller firms and companies that want to move out of states that might be impacted by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, and subsequent actions by governors and state legislatures in those states.

“There are plenty of smaller firms, particularly in the tech sector, doing work like video games, data science, cybersecurity, who are starting to look around and say, ‘You know, if I want to attract the best talent, if I want to attract the best programmers, I need to be in a place where those programmers feel comfortable living,’ ” Luedtke said.

“It doesn’t matter if you have five employees or 5,000,” he added. “Montgomery County is open for business.”

Elrich and Luedtke said county and state officials will continue to offer incentive programs to companies that want to locate in Montgomery County. Luedtke added that places like Austin, Salt Lake City and St. Louis that might see the enactment of laws placing more restrictions on abortion access have robust tech industries, which match the cyber sector, videogame sector, and other industries in Maryland.

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The leaders pointed to the education level of county and state residents as assets when pitching companies to move to Montgomery County or elsewhere in the state.

“We have one of the strongest, most highly educated, most technically skilled workforces in America and a lot of that talent is concentrated in Montgomery County … . So yes, that is a big draw for these companies, particularly in a time of a difficult labor market,” Luedtke said.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com 

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