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.
Baltimore County Office of Communications
A tunnel project in Virginia has brought new jobs to Sparrows Point. Let me explain.
These days, if you walk along the dry dock at the Sparrows Point Shipyard and Industrial Park in Dundalk, you’ll see huge concrete tubes in the making. Let me define huge. These sections of reinforced concrete are 32 inches thick and wide enough in diameter to fit more than two lanes of traffic. The tubes are being manufactured by SKW Constructors for a tunnel project in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
SKW and its subcontractors have hired about 100 carpenters, concrete finishers, mechanics, structural and reinforcing iron workers, surveyors, truck drivers and laborers for the massive project. These positions already are filled, but SKW is currently hiring certified crane operators.
“SKW is a huge boost in the County’s efforts to bring new businesses and new jobs back to Sparrows Point,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Senator Norman Stone recalled the great manufacturing tradition at the Sparrows Point shipyard. “Workers at Sparrows Point built Liberty Ships here during World War II. Even though it isn’t ship building, it is good to see some manufacturing jobs back at the shipyard. I am hopeful that these jobs will be performed by local workers.”
In Sparrows Point, SKW found a perfect location for heavy industrial construction and shipping, taking advantage of one of the largest privately owned graving docks on the east coast.
By next winter, the first sections of tunnel tubes should be finished, floated out of the dock, and shipped by barge to Virginia for the Elizabeth River Tunnels project. As soon as the first shipment is on its way, construction of another five sections begins, along with production of huge industrial fans to circulate air in the tunnels.
“It feels good to know we’re exporting a little bit of Sparrows Point down to Virginia,” said County Executive Kamenetz. “This is the beginning of what promises to be a brand new Sparrows Point with thousands of new jobs coming to the region. I am committed to building on this good news, and our next step is to ensure that the Port of Baltimore expands its operation to Sparrows Point as soon as possible. I will do everything that I can to work with Port and State officials to move that process forward.”
To see the size of the concrete tunnel tubes, check out this slide show.
Baltimore County Office of Communications
Earlier this week on Baltimore County Now, County Executive Kamenetz shared dozens of interesting facts about why Baltimore County is such a great place to live. That got me thinking — Baltimore County is also a great place to work and do business. The County has seen hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment over the last three years, and we’re just getting started. The list below includes just a few highlights of Baltimore County’s thriving business community. (Sorry, we don’t have room to gloat about all 21,000 Baltimore County employers and new investment — but we’re equally proud of their successes.)
- A 2012 KPMG study ranked the Baltimore region as having the sixth-lowest cost of doing business among all U.S. metro areas.
- With more than 21,000 employers, Baltimore County is the largest job center in the region and the second-largest job center in Maryland.
- Erickson Living and the Community College of Baltimore County were named 2013 National Top Workplaces in a national poll of more than one million workers.
- Two of the federal government's largest agencies, the Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are headquartered in Baltimore County.
- More than 500 manufacturers can claim a “made in Baltimore County” label on their products, including McCormick, Medifast and Stanley Black & Decker DIY & Construction Headquarters.
- Health, IT, defense and financial services firms with major Baltimore County operations include T. Rowe Price, General Dynamics IT, Lockheed Martin, Pay Pal and AAI.
- Downtown Towson has seen more than $600 million in new private investment in office, residential, retail and entertainment development since 2010.
- Nearly $700 million is being invested in Owings Mills, including the Metro Centre at Owings Mills transit-oriented development and the Foundry Row retail-office project anchored by Wegmans.
- New shopping and housing are coming to Dundalk as developers are recognizing the community's market potential. Some old favorites are getting a facelift, while new homes and retail are on the way.
- The $100 million Greenleigh at Crossroads in White Marsh/Middle River will be Baltimore County’s first major town center designed around the principles of “new urbanism.” The 200-acre community will combine a mix of residential styles, offices, shops and pedestrian-friendly open spaces.
With a great location, low cost of doing business, dynamic workforce and stable tax rates (the Baltimore County property tax rate hasn’t gone up in 25 years, and the income tax rate has not changed in 21 years), no wonder business is booming in Baltimore County.