Sparks and Parks in Western Maryland
There is never a bad time to be in Western Maryland, but the fall is especially beautiful. Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting wonderful people and dynamic organizations across the western part of our state.
Keeping This Country Growing
My Made in Maryland jobs tour has taken me across the state to see the incredible diversity of products that are made right here in Maryland. One of the cornerstones of my tour is taking the opinions of business owners and workers back to my colleagues in Washington.
Canam Group, in Point of Rocks, makes the bridges and buildings that keep this country growing. Its staff knows that a long-term surface transpiration bill means more work. More work means more jobs. They also understand the critically important need to have an educated and well-trained workforce ready to power their expansion. Canam partners with Frederick Community College to ensure just that.
I am committed to passing a long-term transportation bill to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and build new projects that are badly needed (the North-South Highway comes to mind). I also am committed to making higher education and vocational training more accessible to all Americans. American workers can outcompete other nations, but Congress has to give them the tools they need to do so.
Congress should be an active partner in creating the jobs and authorizing the projects this country needs in order to remain a leader in so many fields. I took the conversations I had at Canam back to D.C. and look forward to working across the aisle so Congress can be the partner that working families deserve.
The Front Lines of Health Care
Job creation is always a top priority, but it means little if people are not healthy enough to earn a living or to enjoy the fruits of their labor later in their lives.
Western Marylanders sometimes face different barriers to accessing quality health care than people in other parts of the state. This shouldn’t be.
During my visit to Hagerstown Family Healthcare Center, I had a chance to meet with the people who are on the front lines of providing health care to thousands of people in the region.
The Affordable Care Act has made accessing that care easier but our work is not done. During my visit, I heard about the need to make seeing a medical specialist easier for people who may not be able to drive two hours to do so. I’ve introduced legislation to make telehealth services more widely available and to make mental health services cheaper and more accessible.
A few days later, I had the opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people raising awareness about the need to treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. Many of us know someone suffering from this horrible disease and, quite frankly, the federal government is failing to address the issue. There is not enough room in this brief update to fully express how dire the need is to act and to act now. But I will tell you that I am laser-focused on ensuring that the National Institutes of Health can do what it does best — innovate to save lives.
Return on Investment
Everyone wants a good return on investment. One of the best public-sector returns on investment is the National Park Service. For every dollar we invest in national parks, we see $10 go back into our local economies. That’s why I was so excited to help break ground on two restoration projects at Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) National Historic Park’s Canal’s Cushwa Basin.
The C&O Canal was an economic driver for this region in our country’s infancy. This restoration effort will help it create jobs once more by boosting tourism in the region. Equally as important, the Cushwa Basin is a beautiful area that offers a scenic place to get outside and get active. Western Maryland is quickly becoming a favorite destination for the 10.2 million people who live within a couple-hour drive of the region. As we complete more efforts to preserve our history while showcasing the beauty and ingenuity of the C&O Canal, I know even more people will visit Western Maryland and discover its many charms.