Baltimore County Now
Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive
This is a story of economic growth and opportunity. But to appreciate change, it’s sometimes helpful to look back.
If you were job hunting four years ago, it was a pretty tough time. Optimism and “help wanted” posts were in short supply. The national and local economies were still clawing their way out of the great recession. Baltimore County in 2010 posted an unemployment rate of 8%.
Fast forward to 2014.
Baltimore County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.4% for November and December 2014. That’s better than Maryland at 5.5% and the U.S. at 5.6%. We haven’t seen a monthly unemployment rate this low since November of 2008, before the recession hit hard.
Baltimore County’s employment picture continues to be positive as more people are finding jobs in a steadily improving economy. One of our county’s greatest strengths is the diversity of our business community. Major employers include corporate giants such as McCormick, T. Rowe Price and Stanley Black & Decker. Five major hospitals and five colleges and universities offer solid employment opportunities. Entrepreneurial tech companies and a strong tourism and hospitality industry add to the growth.
We still have work to do. There are still too many people looking for work or who are underemployed. The professional career counselors at our County workforce development centers continue to help job seekers match their skills to the needs of employers.
But all in all, today’s Baltimore County job market stands much stronger than it did four years ago. And that’s reason for optimism.
by Helga Weschke, Deputy Director
Baltimore County Department of Economic & Workforce Development
From a company that produces sorting machines to major corporations such as Lockheed Martin, teams from the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development met with over 300 companies in one week to deliver a single, clear message: “Your business is an important economic driver in the local economy.”
Baltimore County just finished its second annual Business 1st Week, a time dedicated to reaching out to the County’s business community to show appreciation and to remind companies about the many programs and services available to help them thrive. 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. We also showcased the new Boost loan fund for small, minority and women owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
“We are very fortunate that over 20,000 businesses call Baltimore County home,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in declaring October 20-24 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.
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 machine shop, a 3D product design company, and a nut processing company. We also learned that a well-trained workforce is the key component to business success. Most firms felt that the economy is stabilizing and improving, with many firms experiencing growth.
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 Baltimore County Economic and Workforce Development business programs and services, call 410-887-8000 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/business.
by Rick Johnson, Business Development Representative
Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development
The next time you open a pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, pay close attention to the inner wrapping. Notice the thin brown paper that helps seal in the candy's freshness. How does each packet get cut to perfection? For this precision, thank Mann-Pak, a veteran and family-owned packaging company in Middle River.
Mann-Pak wraps more than just peanut butter cups. Thousands of products in grocery stores are sealed in shrink-wrapped packages from Mann-Pack, including paper towels, sponges, tissue multi-packs, confectionery wraps, and baked goods. In fact, Mann-Pak provides flexible packaging for major food industries and industrial organizations around the world.
Products include Go-Green packaging that uses a proprietary process that reduces CO2 emissions by using less material and less energy.
In business for more than 25 years, the company has become one of four major sources in the country for printing shrink film products in multiple markets. These markets include, poultry, bakery, candy, dairy, light industrial, and home table top paper goods. Mann-Pack serves companies internationally, including firms in South America, Mexico, Canada, and Asia.
Mann-Pak is proud to be known as a veteran-owned business. Working with the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, Mann-Pak's goal is to hire veterans to fill positions in their production operation, with significant growth forecast for 2015.
Although a small company now, Mann-Pak is capable of big things. And they’ll keep on helping those peanut butter cups stay fresh!
For more information on locating in Baltimore County, contact the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 410-887-8000 or visit online at www.BaltimoreCountyBusiness.com.