Kristi Love, Special to he AFRO

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To boost business, camaraderie, and attempt to lower the unemployment rate in Maryland, the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has instituted weekly networking events for residents and business professionals.

The unemployment rate in Maryland is currently at 4.5 percent and the county’s EDC wants to employ more residents to increase resources and improve the business landscape of the area. The Calvert Brewing Company, a farm brewery in Calvert County, is the host for the Thirsty (for Business) Thursday networking events every third Thursday of the month. The EDC started the events, each with a different sponsor, in August 2014.

“Thirsty Thursday is the business match maker of Prince George’s County,” says Walter Simmons, director of the Workforce Service Division. “This is our effort to motivate businesses in the community to work together in order to increase profit.”

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Prince George’s County professionals gathered at The Calvert Brewing Company to network. The event is part of an initiative from the county’s Economic Development Corporation to spur more job growth in D.C.

The June 16 event included more than 200 individuals from businesses that ranged from startup companies to well-established firms. “Every business has the opportunity to be global,” Martin U Ezemma, director of International Business at EDC. “Prince George’s County is a great place to start and grow your business.”

Randstad Staffing had representatives attending the networking event. Randstad is one of the largest staffing organizations in the United States, according to its website. The agency provides temporary-to-hire and permanent placement services each week to more than 100,000 people. “The opportunity to help minorities no matter their age find jobs is fulfilling,” said Rob Ford, a consultant for Randstad Staffing. “It is great to know I am able to empower people through providing employment.”

The next Thirsty (For Business) Thursday event will occur on July 21 from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at La Chiquita Restaurant in Hyattsville, Maryland.