By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Hogan Administration is asking for help from the General Assembly to attract more companies to the State.

Maryland is home to some of the biggest players nationwide.

“We just have to keep getting better in everything we do,” says Maryland Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill.

One way to do that is to stay aggressive on the economic development front.

The Administration wants lawmakers to increase the money they can grant a single company under a key incentive program and deepen tax credits for firms that add jobs.

“Economic development is a team sport, takes everyone to go in same direction to make it happen,” Gill says .

Gill won’t say which companies they’re targeting but admits some are knocking on the State’s door.

“There’s a knock on the door,” he says.

While officials are looking for more power to attract companies to Maryland, it’s just as crucial to keep their own heavy hitters from leaving the State.

Three companies all received new packages to stay in Maryland. McCormick got $4 million through incentives, Northrop Grumman got a package worth more than $57 million, and Marriott got $62 million.

“The key to success in economic development is growth through retention,” Gill says.

A focus that’s all centered around making business work better in the state of Maryland.

“We ain’t Arkansas, all I really mean by that is we have these great assets, we gotta get out there and tell and sell Maryland,” he says.

The secretary added that with the right set of tools, Maryland can compete with anybody and that the Department of Commerce is focusing on a new branding campaign that should be released within the next 30 days. A new story to tell and sell Maryland’s message.

According to statistics, Maryland added about 30,000 jobs in 2016.

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Rick Ritter