Baltimore County Now
Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) is so fortunate to have the support of students, their families, staff, elected officials, business partners, and community members. By working together, we are preparing every student for success in the future and ensuring that the county remains strong.
Every year, we ask for your opinions on how our schools and system are doing so that we can pinpoint areas for improvement. The 2016 BCPS Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey is now available online at https://bcps.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eQm7Z37Wguu2eRT.
There are separate but related questions for students in Grades 4-12, parents, community members, and staff. The survey is anonymous and only takes about five minutes via phone, tablet, or computer. We want to know what you think about academics, safety, communication, and organizational effectiveness.
Last year, we received almost 75,000 responses. That was a huge increase from prior years, but I know we can do better. Individuals who fit into more than one category can take the survey more than once: as a staff member, as a community member, and for each school your children attend.
Parents can choose to take the survey at a school or the public library. In addition to English, this year’s survey is also available for parents and community members in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Urdu, Arabic, Nepali, Yoruba, Russian, French, Tagalog, Uzbek, Amharic, Korean and Gujarati.
I want to hear from all of you! Please take a moment and share your voice by February 29.
Wear Any Shade of Blue
When I came to Baltimore County, one of the things I noticed first was the tremendous pride people have in their neighborhoods and in their schools.
A few years ago, we created an annual Team BCPS Day as a special time to celebrate our school system and the impact it has on Baltimore County and beyond.
This year, I want to invite the entire community – current, former, and future students, families, staff, volunteers, partners, and community members – to participate on Thursday, January 14, in Team BCPS Day 2016.
The simplest way to get involved is to wear blue – any shade will do – and send us the photo via Twitter using the hashtag #BCPSblue or email email@example.com.
Showcase the Strength of BCPS
If you want to go a little further, we encourage alumni and business partners to write or record messages about how they are part of Team BCPS and what the school system means to them. These messages also can be sent to BCPS through Twitter with the hashtag #BCPSblue or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, to celebrate the publication of “Building the Future,” a book written by a former BCPS employee about the school system’s history, BCPS is looking for class pictures and photographs of classrooms, schools, and school activities. Alumni and community members can share any pictures and photographs that they have through Twitter with the hashtag #BCPSblue or email email@example.com.
Help us grow Team BCPS Day, and help us showcase the strength of this school system and the impact of its successes.
By Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS)
Manufacturing, of Course!
Manufacturing, for many, harkens to World War II, when Baltimore Bombers were built at Glenn L. Martin and steel churned from Sparrows Point.
The legacy smokestack industries as we knew them are gone, but Baltimore County manufacturing has kept what is vital to compete in the 21st century: innovation, precision, and a skilled workforce with generations of success in making things.
County Has Largest Number of Manufacturers in Maryland
National Manufacturing Month is more than another name for October. It’s a time to celebrate the 14,000 manufacturing jobs in Baltimore County. With 839 companies, Baltimore County has the largest number of manufacturers in Maryland, according to the Maryland Workforce Exchange.
Whether it’s aerospace defense, bio tech, industrial, pharmaceutical, information technology, apparel, food, or life sciences, a variety of manufacturers call Baltimore County home. Thousands work at McCormick, Stanley Black and Decker and BD Diagnostic Systems, each with Baltimore manufacturing legacies going back more than a hundred years.
No more 19th century manufacturing and R&D here! For example, McCormick’s Technical Innovation Center is equipped with idea lounges, whiteboards and test kitchens - think “Google” for food. The GM plant in White Marsh with its all-white interior, looking as crisp as an Apple store, manufactures hybrid transmissions and motors for electric cars.
Advanced, precision manufacturing can be found on all sides of the county. Middle River is home to Lockheed Martin and Middle River Aircraft systems, which produce advanced global security and aerospace technology. Textron Systems develops unmanned systems in Cockeysville, while Zentech in Windsor Mill is making circuit boards for defense, aerospace, medical, and communications.
On the “delicious” side… there are headquarters and manufacturing for nutrition and weight loss company Medifast, Michele’s Granola, and Tessamae’s All Natural food products.
So, why do 839 companies make things here? Baltimore County is in the center of the mid-Atlantic market, with a robust freight system, connected highways, a world-class port, and available industrial and flex sites. As these companies grow and implement even more advanced technologies, they find a skilled workforce trained to innovate.
The Education Connection
bwtech@UMBC and the Towson Incubator are cultivation hubs for innovative thinkers. Baltimore County’s Fab Lab, one of the only 3-D fabrication labs open to the public in the Mid-Atlantic, is putting inventors and students at the helm of laser cutters, 3-D printers and prototyping. Recently, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) announced a course for Design Fabrications and Advanced Manufacturing – a two year associates degree to give students essential skills in the new world of advanced manufacturing.
The new Sollers Point Technical High School, located in Dundalk, is a great example of what’s possible. The high school feels like a college campus outfitted with professional grade mechanical shops where students learn advanced circuitry and hydraulics.
Designing Workforce Training Around Employers’ Needs
Baltimore County Job Centers are providing training designed around employers’ talent needs. The Department of Economic and Workforce Development is working with CCBC and other vendors to offer state-of-the-art training – usually vetted by businesses themselves – in high demand occupations like project management, health services, information technology, diesel service mechanics, commercial construction and real estate. A specialized manufacturing program is being considered for the upcoming year.
More than Just Conveyor Belts
Manufacturing is not a one-direction conveyor belt anymore. So when you’re sitting back after a hard day at work, enjoying a Baltimore County-made beverage from DuClaw or Heavy Seas, think about how manufacturing has changed. And celebrate advanced manufacturing’s multi-directional network of ideas.
Baltimore County Economic and Workforce Development