Baltimore County Now
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, Workforce Development
"Working this summer made me a better person, a better employee and a better student." That's how one youth described his experience after participating in Baltimore County's 2013 Summer Youth Employment Program.
Over 200 participants ages 15-22 participated in this six-week program designed for youth to gain an appreciation of the labor market, gain insights into their own strengths as employable citizens, and learn marketable skills. Youth who were homeless, in foster care, disabled and economically disadvantaged worked 30 hours a week earning $8.00 an hour. The work experiences were provided by over 75 employers from the County's business community including public, private and non-profit organizations. Wages were supported by funds from the Division of Rehabilitation Services, Department of Social Services, Maryland Summer Youth Connections and the Workforce Investment Act. The summer program was sponsored by Baltimore County Department of Economic Development – Division of Workforce Development.
A highlight was New Horizon II, a partnership among Baltimore County’s Division of Workforce Development, Y of Central Maryland, Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation and Baltimore County Public Schools. The program provided 25 homeless youth, ages 15 – 21 a morning of academic instruction and employability training, followed by an afternoon of real-world work experience. The academic program, administered by Baltimore County Public School teachers, assisted youth in attaining the necessary credits to graduate from high school. Since the program was located in Dundalk, work experiences were provided by area businesses including the Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, Police Athletic League, Access Art, and Blue Ocean Property Management.
The summer program was a win-win for youth and employers. Youth gained valuable experience working as office clerks, senior center aides, camp counselors and custodians. Employers served as mentors and taught the youth basic work skills. Both youth and employers experienced a summer they will never forget. As one young participant said, "When I leave this program, I will take with me some work experience, some new friends, and a different outlook on the world of work."
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
Baltimore County’s Department of Economic Development recently partnered with Towson University’s Division of Innovation & Applied Research to develop a series of videos that provide virtual tours of several areas of Western Baltimore County.
Focusing on Arbutus, Catonsville, Halethorpe, Woodlawn, Liberty Road and Owings Mills, these virtual tours highlight business success stories as well as currently available commercial real estate. The videos also contain 3D modeling designs of several existing and planned corporate buildings and industrial developments.
These innovative videos are a break from a decades-old practice of hosting bus tours for local and out-of-town real estate brokers. With just the click of the mouse, the Department of Economic Development now has the ability to share available real estate opportunities and promote these investment areas to companies that may be considering Baltimore County as a business location, no matter where in the world they are currently located.
Virtual tours for other areas of the County are under consideration.
Find out more about western Baltimore County businesses and opportunities. Start your virtual tour right now.
Baltimore County Small Business Resource Center
From tearooms to sign companies, computer services to hair salons, the Baltimore County Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) has provided guidance to more than 6,000 clients and helped 700 businesses get started since its founding 30 years ago.
The SBRC, a joint effort between the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, helps people establish, grow and improve their business in Baltimore County. The SBRC’s counselors work one-on-one with clients to help them develop business and marketing plans and find financing, real estate and other resources. Counselors also hold drop-in sessions at public libraries throughout the County.
“The SBRC counselors are a wealth of information, providing assistance and advice to current and would-be entrepreneurs at every stage of the business planning process,” said Keith Scott, President and CEO of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and SBRC.
At its annual open house, the SBRC gave an award to Nikki Lewis of Mallow Crunchies, who has worked with both counselors since her business first started at local farmers markets. Today, Lewis sells her treats at The Mallow Bar, a café in Rosedale, focused exclusively on the production and sale of the artisan crispy treats.
From June 17-21, the United States is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Small Business Week. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. Small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
The Baltimore County Small Business Resource Center is located at 102 West Pennsylvania Avenue in Towson. For more information, or to set up an appointment with a SBRC counselor, call 410-825-6200.