Jacques Gansler with the University of Maryland, far right, speaks during the announcement of the new organization, the 2030 Group. Educational leaders from George Mason University and the University of Maryland joined the group's President, Robert Buchanan, third from right.
By Natalie Neumann
A new study shows the area will see close to 1.6 million new jobs and 1.7 million more people in the next 20 years. Some local business leaders are pushing for more regional cooperation to handle the growth.
A new organization called The 2030 Group says the area's jurisdictions can't go it alone when it comes to housing, education, transportation, the environment and employment needs.
Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen says the Council of Governments does similar work to what the new group wants to do, but thinks the business group could bring in a key player.
"It's federal policy, federal commuting patterns, federal locational decision and frankly the federal workforce that drives local jurisdictions, and they are the missing link in all of this," she says.
Stephen Fuller of George Mason University worked on the growth study and says 2030 Group is a good start.
"The future is bright," he says. "We're just not organized yet to think long-range and we're not organized to promote regional solutions."
The group hopes to get organized in September, when it holds a conference at the University of Maryland.