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Heather Gramm

Senior Director
Maryland Department of Commerce

Heather Gramm has been the senior director, strategic industries & entrepreneurship at the Maryland Department of Commerce since June 2019.

In her role, she helps oversee the development and implementation of the state’s efforts to grow its strategic industries, including biohealth and life sciences, cybersecurity and aerospace, manufacturing, energy and agriculture.

She also oversees strategic initiatives for entrepreneurship, small business and workforce development.

Before taking on her current role, Gramm served as deputy director for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development. She earned a B.A. in business administration from Hood College and the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification through IEDC.

Over the past 15 years, the Department of Commerce’s greatest accomplishment has been distributing more than $445 million in small business relief funds to sustain hundreds of small businesses, nonprofits, and arts and tourism organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

“In particular, I am proud of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund, from which we provided more than 50 grants to manufacturers to help them pivot or expand production of much-needed PPE during the height of the pandemic,” Gramm said.

Gramm said the manufacturing sector faces a couple of significant challenges, including building up its workforce. Second is the adoption of new technologies, known collectively as Industry 4.0. “These new technologies present great opportunities for the sector, but also present challenges in adoption and implementation, as well as preparing the workforce for new skills required in a more technology-based workplace.”