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Baltimore County Now

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patriotic star imageAmerican Job Centers Offer Opportunity

Veterans Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on how grateful we are for the sacrifices so many give serving in our armed forces. That reflection isn’t limited to November 11. 

Baltimore County’s three American Job Centers are working to help veterans put their military skills and experience to work back at home. More often than not, veterans have a robust skill set, but are struggling to translate their military experience to a language that employers in the civilian world understand.

“Our job is to bring veterans into the 21st century labor market through skills enhancement, occupational training and labor market information,” explains Leo Martinelli, Baltimore County’s Manager of Service Innovation for the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development. 

Veterans facing unemployment due to service-connected disabilities can also access special Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives through the American Job Centers. State and County staff work to make critical services more accessible to vets with especially challenging circumstances. In addition to two veterans outreach representatives at the Eastpoint American Job Center, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is now stationing a full-time vet rep, Careatha Burton, at the Liberty Job Center in Randallstown.

“Veterans face many challenges. In some cases the first hurdle is finding the veteran a home. Next it’s helping navigate the process of other critical support, such as support for coping with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PSTD), healthcare, and transportation to name a few. Once that foundation is built we begin crafting a way to employment,” explains Careatha.  

Careatha’s Story – From Unemployed Veteran to Career Counselor

As a veteran who once found herself unemployed, Careatha has firsthand experience using services at a County job center. Careatha enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve after graduating from Woodlawn High School in 1987. During her service, she became the first in her family to graduate from college with a B.S. in Applied Psychology and a Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Careatha got a job as a workforce development counselor out of state. When the grant funded program ended, she was out of work. 

Careatha came back home to find a job. The Liberty Center in Randallstown was her first stop. “As a workforce development professional, I knew all the resources available at the job centers. It’s a great networking opportunity and so many jobs are found through people you know.” 

“Here is the cool part, Careatha is now helping other veterans at the very place she started her journey," explained Will Anderson, Director of Economic and Workforce Development for Baltimore County. “And, helping our veterans with career services in Baltimore County doesn’t stop at our American Job Centers.  Patrick Young leads the way at Towson University.  Keisha Campbell helps veterans at UMBC. CCBC has a long history of educating veterans, and has a certifying official at each campus.  Finally, Goucher College and Stevenson University also focus on their vets.”

Help is Available

If you have a loved one, neighbor, friend or fellow veteran facing unemployment or in need of help, please tell them about our job centers. The County’s  Homefront: Our Turn to Serve initiative  also offers coordinated services to returning veterans. 

Our veterans served us. Now it’s time to serve our veterans.  

Bryan Dunn
Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

Companies Show Quality of County Business Community

Potomac Photonics in the bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park and Dunbar Security Solutions in Hunt Valley have been recognized with the 2015 Baltimore County New Directions Award. 

The annual award is made to companies that exemplify the quality and future direction of the County’s business community. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will present the awards November 19, at the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame ceremony.

"We are proud to recognize Potomac Photonics and Dunbar Security Solutions as leaders in Baltimore County’s technology community,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Both companies demonstrate the importance of seizing growth opportunities.”

Potomac Photonics is a manufacturer of micro machined parts used in medical, biotech and electronic devices. Located at the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, the entrepreneurial firm is growing its export business and adding new equipment with the assistance of a $150,000 High Technology loan from Baltimore County.

Dunbar Security Solutions, a subsidiary of Dunbar Armored that includes the parent company’s cyber, alarm system and central station monitoring services, is expected to expand its Hunt Valley workforce from 40 to 100 over the next four years. Dunbar Security Solutions is adding office space on Schilling Road to accommodate this anticipated growth.

Potomac Photonics and Dunbar Security Solutions join previous New Directions Award winners that include Social Solutions, Firaxis Games, Nations Photo Lab and Pharmaceutics International, Inc.

County Chamber Business Hall of Fame Inductees

In addition to the New Directions award, the Community College of Baltimore County and Kenneally & Company, certified public accountants, will be inducted into the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame at the November 19 ceremony at Hayfields Country Club.

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

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