Funding for the arts can create jobs in Montgomery County.
That’s the message from the candidates running for county executive in the June 24 primary. The contenders were asked by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County for their opinions on arts and the humanities.
Candidates for the County Council were also posed the questions.
One of the questions posed said the County’s employment base is projected to grow 5.9 percent by the year 2017, with the arts and humanities an important part of that growth. “Can the arts and humanities help address some of the workforce development challenges facing Montgomery County? If so, how? And if not, why?”
Here are some of the responses given by candidates for county executive:
Phil Andrews: “As County Executive I will create many more opportunities for service-learning through programs like AmeriCorps, including programs that have a focus on the arts and/or that can provide volunteer coordination.”
Douglas Duncan: “...You need a diverse economy to make sure that as the bigger economy goes up and down we’ve got enough of a diverse base here of businesses to help sustain us through that. And the way to do that is to make Montgomery County the startup center for businesses here.”
Sidney Katz: “...There is a tremendous amount of employment based on the arts and humanities in the County.”
Ike Leggett: “...It requires appropriate training to ensure that we have adequate personnel in the industry. But as it becomes more technology based, we need to do a better job so that the people are better trained in the industry for the future.”
Jim Shalleck: “...Increased facilities and programs will create more jobs which will benefit the economy.”