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."
To Dr. Dance and his administrative team: Thank you for creating such a positive school climate all across Baltimore County. Team BCPS is a reality, and it’s making a difference in our children’s lives.
To all of the administrators, teachers and support staff: Thank you for all you do for Baltimore County’s students each and every day. I know that many of you worked all summer preparing for the 2013-2014 school year, and as I drove by schools this weekend, I saw the parked cars of many educators who were putting the finishing touches on classrooms and getting ready for the most exciting day of the school year.
To our students: I know that many of you are very nervous, particularly our kindergarten students, 6th and 9th graders. Thank you for taking school so seriously. As I go from school to school, I’m always incredibly impressed by how hard students are working. Keep up the good work!
And finally, to our parents: I want to thank you most of all. You have been there from the beginning. You were the first to teach your sons and daughters their numbers and letters. You read them their first books. You take them to band practice and pick them up from student council. You take them to the zoo, science center and aquarium. You make them do their homework, make sure they have a good breakfast, and you work hard to teach them the difference between right and wrong. You are the foundation upon which BPCS rests.
I hope all of you have a wonderful year, and let’s continue to make the Baltimore County Public School System one of the best in the nation.
Intern, Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences
It’s August which means that the summer season is coming to a close. For many Baltimore County residents, this means the time has finally come to see their victorious Ravens on the field again. For me, August means it is time to buckle up for nine months away at school. Come August 31, I will be making the trek down I-95 to my temporary home at the University of Maryland in College Park.
While I bid “adieu” to the 410 area code, thousands of other students will be pouring into Baltimore County, home to five of the fifteen colleges in the Baltimore metro region.
This includes the Community College of Baltimore County, which educates a whopping 74,000 students each year and accounts for half of all Baltimore County residents who are undergraduates. Towson will once again be bustling with Goucher and Towson students. Owings Mills will be welcoming back Stevenson University scholars and UMBC sweatshirts will be popping up all around Catonsville.
Many college graduates call Baltimore County home. With great proximity to Baltimore City and Washington D.C., what college grad wouldn’t want to live here? The Baltimore-Towson area landed a spot on The Atlantic’s 25 Best Places to Live for Recent Graduates in 2012. It isn’t just recent graduates that are drawn to Baltimore County. An impressive 35.2% of county residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Baltimore County Public Schools excels in preparing students for college. According to a recent study in Education Week, BCPS has the second-highest graduation rate among the nation’s fifty-largest school districts. Additionally, 52% of Baltimore County traditional and magnet high schools earned a place on national “Best Schools” lists. Many of these impressive graduates will be making their college debut this fall.
Here are a few words of advice for the soon-to-be college freshmen. As a rising sophomore, I am well-versed in surviving the back-to-school chaos. These three tips will help you start on the right foot this school year.
- Join the Facebook group.
Social media has revolutionized college orientation. Students are now getting acquainted with their fellow classmates in school-specific “class of 2017” groups. Students have the opportunity to get to know floor mates, ask for advice, and even find a roommate.
- Know what not to buy.
Before you go and buy tons of fun décor for your room, keep in mind the amount of space that you have. I am only packing half of what I brought last year! Consider making another shopping trip after move-in day so you don’t overbuy.
- Don’t run right to the bookstore.
The cost of textbooks adds up quickly, but a couple strategies can help to cut the cost. Try comparing prices. You might even want to wait until after the first week of classes to buy books. There could be a more cost-effective online book, or you might not even need the book at all.
Remember this August that Baltimore County is more than Ravens nation. It is home to an impressive network of colleges and universities and a central hub for the countless college students who will attend them this fall. And, for me and thousands of others travelling beyond the county borders, Baltimore County will always be home.