The Stafford Tech and Research Park at Quantico Corporate Center represents a major step forward in reducing the number of county residents who must journey daily to Washington for employment. In our ongoing effort to boost economic development, Stafford County is planning the park along with our community neighbors, including George Mason University (GMU), Quantico Marine Corps Base, the University of Mary Washington, Germanna Community College, other university partners and private sector stakeholders.

Each day, we experience brain drain, as 35,000 commuters spend hours in their cars, driving back and forth to Washington. Our commuters want to live in Stafford County because of its quality of life, its schools and the cost of living, but must go north to find the best jobs.

In a recent agreement, the county said it is leasing classroom and conference space in the research park at no cost for five years from the Silver Companies. High tech classes aimed at defense and government contractors are planned, and the focus of the park is on the defense and intelligence areas. The University of Mary Washington already is teaching two courses at Conscious Security, Inc., and several new classes are being planned for the Fall.

George Mason University wants to run a business incubation project in Stafford County, just as it is doing in Fairfax City and Loudoun County, and we’re working with them on that project. A business incubator is designed to help startup businesses reach maximum success, and it offers all a company needs to grow and prosper. There will be networking opportunities, furnished office space, telephone and reception services and Internet access and free one-on-one business counseling.

With the public and private sectors working together, we will have an educated work force and be able to perform cutting edge research that certainly will attract investments from corporations and bring well-paying jobs.

We know we can approach 3,000 jobs or more. Imagine how much better life would be if those 3,000 people didn’t have to drive 50 miles! This will reduce congestion and the consumption of natural resources.

A study in 2007 indicated each research park job creates an additional 2.57 jobs in the community.

When we create 10,700 new jobs, Stafford definitely will be the place to come for young people looking for the most innovative jobs.

BRAC already has brought nearly 3,000 jobs to the county, and millions of transportation dollars have been allocated to improve Telegraph Road, Onville Road/Rt. 610 and US 1.

The new technology park is part of the Boswell’s Corner Redevelopment area in the county, and one of four area chosen by the county for redevelopment. Boswell’s Corner is a two-mile stretch running south from the Marine Corps base. Interstate 95 sits to the west, the military base is on the north and east and Telegraph Road is on the east. US 1 runs through the middle of the area.

Stafford County targeted Boswell’s Corner for development in 2006. It’s the gateway to the county from the north, and is planned for high-quality office use and supporting retail uses.

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