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U.S. Group Praises Garrett County Economy Efforts

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) -- The National Association of Counties is citing Garrett County as a model of economic recovery.

The western Maryland county announced Thursday that it was cited in a recent report for rebounding from the loss of more than 800 manufacturing jobs when Bausch & Lomb Inc. closed a sunglasses plant near Oakland in 1996.

The county diversified its economy and attracted new jobs by focusing on tourism and agricultural products, including cheese and wine.

The county's unemployment rate soared in the months after the plant closing and remained in double digits for all of 1997.

Garrett County's jobless rate this past October was 6.6 percent, just one-tenth of a percentage point above the state as a whole.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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