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Brandee Ganz, CIO of Howard County, Maryland

What’ve you accomplished in the past year that you want more people to know about?

Prior to COVID, we were not a telework agency. We only had 2-3% teleworking. When COVID happened, we had to transition to 100%. We partnered with the school system to help the county and help our residents to meet the needs of the pandemic. We learned many people don’t have access to the internet. We learned many people don’t have devices. We are our own ISP, so we branched out and provided public Wi-Fi. We’re still working on the Transform Howard initiative.

How many people are still remote now?

Individuals are allowed to work remote based on approval. It’s definitely not 100%. People are back in the office and working through things. We still have a huge part of our workforce that is remote. We are encouraging remote work and we continue to make changes that we are very secure with remote work as well.

What’s the long-term goal of the Transform Howard program?

It’s a way to get useful information out to the public. We just put out a brand-new county website so when residents come they can do a search and find information a lot easier. We’re looking at services from a food standpoint, a housing standpoint. What can we do to make sure residents know what’s available to them? Maybe people aren’t interested in a statistic, but they are interested in where farms are, where restaurants are. We’re also doing innovation grants. All of those things are to transform things across the county so residents do have that equitable access to everything.

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