2021 | Business

Business Notes: Montgomery County economic agency partners with federal lab network on strategic partnership

Plus: Athleta now open in Rockville’s Congressional Plaza

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Economic Development Corporation partners with Federal Lab Consortium

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is working with the Federal Lab Consortium on a partnership aimed at improving the relationship between the public and private sector.

The partnership will help “build a stronger local relationship” between federal labs and private labs in the county, including small businesses, according to an MCEDC press release.

The MCEDC wrote that it hopes the partnership will lead to new technology in the market and create jobs.

The Federal Lab Consortium’s partnership with the MCEDC is its first with a county economic development organization, the press release stated.

The consortium chose Montgomery County because of its “concentration and diversity of major federal facilities.” Of the 95 federal labs in Maryland, 50 are in Montgomery County, the press release stated.

MCEDC President & CEO Ben Wu said in the press release that “by maximizing our local federal presence, we are creating greater opportunities for Montgomery County businesses to partner and commercialize exciting new technologies being developed by some of our top federal scientists.”

Women’s apparel store Athleta opens in Rockville’s Congressional Plaza

Athleta, a chain of women’s apparel stores, opened this week at 1661 Rockville Pike in Congressional Plaza.

Athleta features women’s and girls’ performance and lifestyle apparel that includes tops, jackets, pants, sleepwear, bras, swimwear and accessories.

A customer service representative told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday that the store had its soft opening on Monday.

Athleta’s Rockville location is the chain’s first in Montgomery County, although there are others in the greater Washington area.

The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays, according to the website.

Montgomery County will have two new apprenticeships

Out of 27 new registered apprenticeship programs that started during the pandemic, two are in Montgomery County, according to Gov. Larry Hogan.

Apprenticeships are full-time jobs that include training and classroom instruction. They are open to anyone at least 18, while 16- and 17-year-olds can register as apprentices if they have a sponsor.

The newly approved Montgomery County apprenticeship programs include one at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda that is classified under the category of “human service organization.”

The other new one is with the software development company Smoothstack, according to the press release.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com