Maryland's economy has been consistently outperforming the national average, with information technology, telecommunications, and the aerospace and defense industries being the main drivers of growth. The state is also a leader in biotechnology, with its research leading to commercial applications in human genome mapping. This article examines how the economy of Columbia, Maryland has impacted its politics. Columbia is located in central Maryland, 32 km southwest of Baltimore and 40 km northeast of Washington D. C.
The city has seen a 17% growth in its economy over the past decade, and shows no signs of slowing down. The Columbia Mall is a large regional mall with three major department stores, a multiplex movie theater, and more than 200 stores and restaurants. The Columbia Center Association commissioned Sage Policy Group to study the economic and fiscal implications associated with the implementation of the Columbia Center Plan (the Plan).Howard Community College is located near the city center, while the University of Phoenix, the American Career Institute, the Lincoln School of Technology, Loyola University of Maryland, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the Maryland University of Integrative Health, and the Johns Hopkins University have facilities on the east side of the city, in the Columbia Gateway Business Park. Enterprise Community Partners is one of Columbia's oldest employers, having been established in 1982. The economy of Columbia has had a significant impact on its politics.
The city has invested in public and community spaces as a low-cost, high-impact way to start encouraging an innovation district even before construction begins. Several Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) routes provide access to and from Washington and Baltimore; the MTA's Monday-Friday suburban bus service connects Columbia to the Washington subway system. There are several other major competing malls in eastern Columbia, such as the Dobbin Center Shopping Center, which opened in 1983, Snowden Square, in the rest of GE's industrial plant, Columbia Crossing I and II, which began in 1997, and Gateway Overlook. Maryland continues to invest in education to prepare the state for growth in sectors that require highly educated workers. Today, the phased replacement of old GE buildings with suburban offices is nearly complete, just in time for a new series of major changes in worker preferences and economic development. When using this material, in whole or in part, appropriate citations and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives.
Sources for this data and additional information about Maryland's economy are available from the Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor.