Baltimore County Now
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Will Anderson, Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development
The economic development race was on when McCormick & Company, the global spice and flavorings powerhouse, announced it was looking for a new headquarters campus location. We suspect there was a gleam of hope in the eyes of every governor, county executive and mayor in the mid-Atlantic as they revved up their economic development operations and opened Power Point to prepare their pitches.
Baltimore County rolled up its sleeves. One of the first business meetings of this administration was with the CEO of McCormick, one of our largest employers. Maintaining that sound relationship set the groundwork for open dialogue as the company started its site selection process. Baltimore County worked for more than13 months to identify sites and appropriate incentives to meet the company’s requirements.
After rounds of due diligence and a lot of public speculation, McCormick chose to stay home, in Baltimore County Maryland.
Here’s why we believe McCormick decided to stay and invest here.
· Baltimore County’s business climate is right for a global company. Our property and income tax rates have not gone up for decades. This stability is critical for business planning.
· For more than 40 years, McCormick’s C-level headquarters and key operations have been spread out in northern Baltimore County. An R&D innovation center and two active manufacturing plants already are in Hunt Valley, so it made good business sense to have these operations and talent closer together in a 21st century business environment.
· McCormick employs more than 10,000 people around the world. One fifth of McCormick’s workforce – 2,100 employees – work in Baltimore County. About 900 of these employees will be moving to the new Hunt Valley campus.
· McCormick is a global publicly traded company with $4.2 billion in annual sales of spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and flavorings. Baltimore County has ready access to international airports, Wall Street decision makers and services that support manufacturing and trade.
· McCormick told us they need a location that helps them recruit and retain top-tier talent. Hunt Valley is a perfect fit. We have some of the region’s most exclusive executive housing and great schools. Hunt Valley Towne Centre and Wegmans are right across the street from the new headquarters site. Plus employees can take light rail right from work to an Os or Ravens game.
So we say ‘thank you McCormick’ and raise a jumbo crab doused with OLD BAY in your honor. We’re glad you chose to stay here in Baltimore County, home of McCormick innovation for generations to come.
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.