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APUS Partners with Cities of Charles Town and Ranson WV to Boost Innovation, Education, and Technology Jobs in the Community

Mayor Peggy Smith, (304) 283-4518 or
Mayor David Hamill,

Event will also include briefing with senior Administration officials to discuss support for manufacturing communities and high-tech innovation

WASHINGTON, DC – June 17, 2014- Charles Town Mayor Peggy Smith and Ranson Mayor David Hamill are two of only 21 mayors across the nation invited to join President Barack Obama on June 18 for the first-ever Maker Faire to be held at the White House.  Mayor Hamill and Mayor Smith will also join a policy discussion with senior Obama Administration officials to discuss support for communities on economic, infrastructure and community revitalization.  

Mayors Smith and Hamill will use this June 18 event to help boost high-tech businesses and entrepreneurism in Charles Town and Ranson.  The cities have been working together to promote high-tech businesses in the downtown, and have been pleased to partner with the American Public University System (APUS) to boost innovation, education, and technology jobs in the community.  The two cities would like to attract more high-tech businesses that complement APUS, and to promote entrepreneurs who seek to grow small businesses in their downtown area.
One emerging driver of technology innovation is the “Maker Movement”, which is an effort to provide access to high-tech tools and new approaches for businesses, entrepreneurs, and students.  In Charles Town and Ranson, the cities have pledged to work with American Public University and other organizations such as West Virginia TechConnect to explore opportunities for building new businesses and promoting high tech innovation, including through support for the Maker Movement in the community.  The cities and APUS plan to hold a “Maker Roundtable” later in 2014, which will gather together technology, business, educational, and civic leaders to discuss how to grow this sector and support the development of high-tech small businesses, including through a new APUS Business Incubator scheduled to launch next year.    

The commitment to growing high-tech innovation and the Maker Movement in Charles Town and Ranson has caught the attention of the Obama Administration, which is trying to promote technology and manufacturing growth, the Maker Movement, and local community revitalization through its policies and resources.  That is why, on June 18, 2014, President Obama will host Mayor Peggy Smith and Mayor David Hamill along with other mayors, private sector leaders, educational and non-profit officials, and technology entrepreneurs at the first-ever White House Maker Faire.  See  The day’s events will also include a policy discussion between Mayor Hamill and Mayor Smith and approximately 20 other mayors with senior Administration officials including Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy; John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy; Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary for Commerce for Economic Development; David Agnew, White House Director of Intergovernmental Relations; and Jason Miller, Senior Advisor to the President on Manufacturing. 

The mayors that were invited to the June 18 events at the White House are part of a group of over 90 mayors nationwide who took part in the “Mayors Maker Challenge”, an effort to recruit innovative mayors to take new actions to boost the Maker Movement in their own communities. This Challenge is led by a national coalition of local officials called the Manufacturing Alliance of Communities (MAC), which seeks to boost national policies and resources to support manufacturing communities.  MAC has issued a new “Maker Mayors Action Report” that describes the efforts of mayors and local communities to use the Maker Movement to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in technology and advanced manufacturing, in the same way that the Internet and cloud computing lowered the barriers to entry for digital startups.  Both Charles Town and Ranson are featured in MAC’s Maker Mayors Action Report for the efforts underway in our community.

Mayor Peggy Smith states that “Our community is ready to support our entrepreneurs and grow high-tech businesses.  We have a great mix of small town charm with access to the Washington DC high-tech corridor, and we are an ideal place to invest.”  Mayor David Hamill states that, “I am honored to be part of this exciting event with President Obama to spur access to cutting-edge tools for our entrepreneurs of all ages, and I look forward to building on our collaboration with the federal government to create sustainable community revitalization.”  Both Mayors are excited to continue their collaboration with American Public University System, which is building a high-tech campus at the common border of the two cities.

For more information on the White House Maker Faire and the National Day of Making, visit and follow #NationOfMakers on Twitter.

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