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Baltimore County Now

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photo of GM WHite Marsh plantManufacturing, 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.

Why Here?

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.

Bryan Dunn
Baltimore County Economic and Workforce Development

Networking Event Helps Minority, Women-Owned and Small Businesses Connect with Prime Contractors

Sometimes small businesses and those owned by women and minorities can find it challenging to connect with larger, more established companies with whom they could sub-contract on government projects.

Baltimore County government and their partners are hosting a free “Meet the Primes” networking event to help facilitate those mutually beneficial business relationships.

The 7th annual “Meet the Primes” event will take place on Wednesday, October 14, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium Exhibition Hall, located at 2200 York Road in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland 21093. The event is co-hosted by Baltimore County, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore County Public Library, the Community College of Baltimore County, the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments and theBaltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee.

The purpose of this “free” event is to facilitate a networking forum for prime contractors to expand their pool of potential subcontractors to fulfill participation subcontracting goals set in contracts. The exhibiting contractors are asked to come prepared to discuss potential upcoming subcontracting opportunities. Subcontractors are encouraged to come prepared to market their skills and abilities with a one-page capability statement that readily identifies past government and commercial work experience in their specialty area of expertise as well as certifications and specialized licenses obtained. There will be more than 100 exhibitors and over 300 women-owned, minority-owned and other small businesses in attendance.     


For additional information about the “Meet the Primes” event, contact Carla Tucker, Minority and Small Business Marketing Manager, Baltimore County Government at or call 410-887- 3119.

'Reinventing Myself'

image of ACE workshopBaltimore County is leading a national workforce innovation program that is a game changer in connecting job seekers to employers. Baltimore County was awarded this highly competitive $11.8 million grant from the Department of Labor called Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE).

This four-state, nine-site initiative is demonstrating results here and across the country.   

One of these nine sites is right here at home. Baltimore County is partnering with the Community College of Baltimore County to connect businesses with a steady flow of newly-trained workers for in-demand careers. The County has found that the earlier employers connect with the ACE team, the better their chance of securing quality candidates.

Businesses like WPM Realty are seeing that the ACE Program is an effective way to get involved and fill key job openings. Linda Goldberg, Human Resourse Director at WPM, explains how they’ve used the program to grow their business: “Through ACE, we’ve had incredible success getting qualified job candidates to build our team.” 

Watch The ACE Program video about the amazing talent base Baltimore County has to offer. 

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