From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — Sen. Ben Cardin has a personal interest in the work he does on behalf of Western Maryland and all of Appalachia, work for which he was recognized at the PACE breakfast on Friday.
“Mountain Maryland is a special place. ... I love spending time there — I ski, hike and spend time with my family,” Cardin said.
Cardin received the 2012 Congressional Award for his strong commitment to the people of Appalachia by the Development District Association of Appalachia.
The Congressional Award is presented each year by the association to a member of Congress for outstanding service to the people of Appalachia and support of the work of the local development districts and the Appalachian Regional Commission, officials said.
“I am honored by this award and I pledge to continue my work to bring greater resources and investment to Western Maryland,” said Cardin. “Western Maryland has many of our state’s greatest natural resources and we have a great opportunity to develop its natural beauty while also spurring economic development.”
Cardin has been a proponent of the ARC’s mission to help bring the region into socioeconomic parity with the nation, a press release from his office stated.
“Senator Cardin has been a true champion of the work of the Appalachian Regional Commission, strongly supporting our economic development projects in Western Maryland's Appalachian counties of Garrett, Allegany and Washington. His leadership in the Senate on Appalachian issues has been vital to the success of ARC’s mission not just in Maryland but throughout the Appalachian Region,” said Earl Gohl, co-chairman of the ARC.
Cardin has supported the completion of the Appalachian Development Highway System as a way to create jobs and spur economic development. The senator also has worked to obtain funding for other projects in the Appalachian region.
The Development District Association of Appalachia is a public, nonprofit organization made up of Appalachia’s 72 multicounty planning and development districts. Its members work closely with ARC, other federal and state agencies, and local residents to identify and address economic development needs and opportunities in their communities.