Baltimore County Now
By Helga Weschke, Acting Deputy Director
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
From a golf cart parts company in Rosedale to a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Hunt Valley, cybersecurity firms in Catonsville to industrial suppliers in Dundalk, teams from the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development met with over 350 companies in one week to deliver a single, clear message: “Your business is an important economic driver in the local economy.”
“We are very fortunate that over 20,000 employers have chosen Baltimore County as their home. It is critical to our economic success that we maintain a healthy, welcoming business climate so these companies can grow and prosper,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in declaring September 30 to October 4 Business 1st Week. "We want to make sure that our diverse business community knows that Baltimore County has the resources in place to support their success."
Business 1st Week is an opportunity for the County’s business and workforce development staff to hear what business issues keep company CEO’s up at night, and how county resources can help support and grow their operations. Companies received an overview of financing opportunities, free workforce recruitment and training programs, tax credits, and innovation and commercialization programs available to Baltimore County businesses.
So what did we learn after a week blanketing the County? Our business community is certainly diverse when you look at it from street level. In a single day, one team visited a product design company, an HVAC repair firm, greeting card importer, and clothing recycling company. We also learned that the workforce is the key component to an operations success.
We appreciated the chance to meet and thank companies for being part of our economic prosperity.
And we’ll do it again – once our feet recover!
For more information on business programs and services, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/business or call 410-887-8000.
Executive Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
You see BD’s blue and orange logo when you travel north on I-83, but how many people know what the company actually does? I recently joined County Executive Kamenetz on a visit to BD in Sparks – headquarters of its Diagnostics Systems unit – to find out more about one of the region’s largest life sciences employers.
Tom Polen, President of BD Diagnostics - Diagnostic Systems, spends a lot of time on the road, whether the road is in China, Canada, or BD’s corporate headquarters in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Tom briefed us on BD’s extensive Baltimore County operations.
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) is a Fortune 500 company-- #316 to be exact. With more than 1,600 employees in Baltimore County, BD’s Diagnostics Systems unit develops, manufactures and sells advanced medical devices that help diagnose infectious diseases and cancers. BD has six locations in Sparks and Cockeysville in more than one million square feet of space – about the size of White Marsh mall if you put all the buildings together. BD products are designed, built and shipped from Baltimore County to hospitals, medical offices and pharmaceutical companies around the world.
At BD labs in Sparks, biomedical scientists have developed new software and instruments to more accurately and quickly identify which type of infection a patient has and which drug will be most effective to fight it. These extensive research and development operations will lead to the discovery of new diagnostic tools to improve people’s health and cut health care costs.
BD’s plant in Cockeysville operates 24/7 and manufactures millions (Or something less specific than the actual quantity) of petri dishes per year. Petri dishes are used in labs to grow cultures that help detect and diagnose diseases and develop new drugs.
BD’s Diagnostic Systems unit was born out of four Baltimore biotech start-up companies that commercialized research from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. Today, the ideas, innovation and science born in Baltimore universities are key elements of BD, one of Baltimore County and Maryland’s largest employers and a worldwide leader in combating disease.
Tomorrow, I will have the honor of speaking at the annual Baltimore County Police Memorial Ceremony. Every year, family, friends, and co-workers from across the County come together next to the memorial that overlooks Patriot Plaza in Towson to recognize the bravery and heroism of the Baltimore County Police Officers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
Recalling the bravery and dedication of these heroic men and women is always a humbling experience. I am sure that tomorrow will be no exception. However, what always strikes me the most about our fallen heroes is the nature of their bravery.
Like most of our jobs, our officers have their quiet days, but unlike the rest of us, the men and women of the Baltimore County Police Department can never relax. Each of our officers knows that on even the most boring and routine day of their careers, the worst case scenario can be right around the corner. They know that at any minute they may be asked to put their own safety at risk to protect their community.
Having the courage, discipline, and commitment to handle such a stark reality is remarkable. Yet it’s just another day in the life for the men and women of the Baltimore County Police Department. As Baltimore County Executive, and as a father raising a family here, I could not be more grateful that these officers are on the street each and everyday, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep our County safe.