Capital of the LESMD Region
Wicomico County was created in 1867 through a partition of Somerset County (1666) and Worcester County (1742). In 1732 the area now encompassing Wicomico County grew in importance with the establishment of Salisbury as a strategically placed trading outpost on the Wicomico River. Its location on one of the few navigable LESMD waterways leading to the Chesapeake Bay earmarked Salisbury for future growth.
The extension of the Delaware Railroad in 1860 found Salisbury well-positioned for the boom of the post-civil war era and beyond. By the time the county was created in 1867, and despite the commercial importance of towns such as Crisfield and Pocomoke City, Salisbury, as a hub of manufacturing and freight, was rapidly becoming the crossroads of the LESMD Region. The energy associated with this status continues to be felt throughout Wicomico County and the LESMD Region to this day.
Wicomico County is home to a diverse set of economic clusters. Agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and education are brought to life by major employers like Perdue Farms (third-largest poultry producer in the nation), Piedmont Airlines, Salisbury University (part of the University of Maryland system), Wor-Wic Community College, Jubilant Cadista Pharmaceuticals, and TidalHealth among others. The area features two industrial parks in Salisbury and nearby Fruitland.
Salisbury University, a member of the University System of Maryland, features 60 distinct undergraduate and graduate degree programs and has consistently ranked with US News and Ranking Reporter. In addition to community oriented academic programs like Nursing, Education, and Biology and Life Sciences – Pharmacology, SU has placed an emphasis on supporting student and community entrepreneurship with various competitions and the Downtown Center for Entrepreneurship.
Serving approximately 10,000 students per year, Wor-Wic Community College is an accredited two-year community college located in Salisbury. Wor-Wic offers workforce development, customized training, and continuing education courses for local residents.
One of three technical high schools in the LESMD Region, Parkside offers Career and Technical Education for students with 8 academic clusters ranging from Construction and Development to Hospitality and Tourism. Participating students have the opportunity to gain entry-level career training and/or academic training for continued education.
Economic Development Projects
Infrastructure projects include the Maryland portion of the Del-Mar Energy Pathway Project. Phase I extends an existing transmission main pipeline from Salisbury south into Somerset County along the US13 transportation corridor through Princess Anne to the junction of MD413.
Other infrastructure projects on a regional level include the Ocean City-Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport (SBY) Water Municipal Main Extension. The $4.7 million project will run city municipal water to the airport providing the necessary infrastructure to support potable water, fire suppression and allow increased development for the airport’s Technology Park. Three additional and separate infrastructure projects are directed at expanding utilities infrastructure to the SBY Technology Park. These include the extension of broadband service, natural gas and water/sewer.
In addition, a new applied technology center of 40,000 square feet is included in a planned expansion of Wor-Wic Community College to support credit programs in the college’s occupational education division. Additional features include several specialized industrial laboratories, computer laboratory, classrooms/study spaces, conference room, offices and the information technology department.