Baltimore County News
By Jen Horton, Policy and Planning Manager, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development
Nine key industries will drive three-quarters of Baltimore County’s job growth over the next decade, according to a new study commissioned by the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development. The study also projected overall job growth through 2024, with Baltimore County employers favoring more highly skilled and educated workers.
Healthcare, corporate operations centers, construction and financial services are among the top industries currently driving Baltimore County employment. Together with manufacturing, federal agencies, port-logistics and distribution centers, information technology and higher education, these nine sectors drive 50 percent of Baltimore County’s employment. Growth in these key sectors will drive 75 percent of Baltimore County’s job growth by 2024.
Baltimore County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development commissioned the Jacob France Institute and Valbridge Property Advisers to analyze current and projected job trends—including types of jobs, skills and applicants.
“Our local economy is already strong and growing, supported by a range of healthy industries. But there’s no time for rest—it’s time to take stock so we maintain a solid pipeline of workers whose skills are in sync with what business needs,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “This jobs report has been applauded by our state and federal workforce partners as a proactive and thorough approach to staying ahead of industry trends.”
“This research provides us with data to help us do a better job of matching Baltimore County job seekers to industries with workforce shortages,” added Will Anderson, director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.
Below are key findings identified in the Jobs of the Future report:
Baltimore County’s nine industry job drivers contribute three-quarters of net employment growth since 2001 and are expected to continue this trend throughout 2024. This finding suggests that Baltimore County boasts a diversified economy, with workforce demands that span across multiple sectors of the economy. The County has performed well in sectors such as Healthcare and Social Assistance, Finance and Insurance, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. The County shows continued weakness in Manufacturing, Federal Employment and Port-related industries.
The research does not include 2016 announcements of almost 2,000 new jobs coming to Tradepoint Atlantic—the East Coast’s largest privately-owned industrial site. A 2016 study by Sage Policy Group projects redevelopment at Sparrows Point will create 10,000 direct jobs, and 7,000 indirect jobs by 2025, primarily in the Port, Logistics, and Distribution Centers sector.
Total employment in Baltimore County has increased by more than four percent since 2001. The County is projected to experience steady employment growth, with employment projected to increase by 12,902 jobs or 3.5 percent, to 385,650 jobs in 2024.
Baltimore County Total Employment 2001 to 2015 and Projections through 2024
Baltimore County employers are demanding a more highly skilled and educated workforce, while the County’s nine industry clusters are requiring a higher degree of skills and education. Employment in high skilled occupations (requiring a Bachelor’s and above) increased by 13 percent in 2001 to 2015 and is expected to continue to grow by six percent through 2024. 32 percent of jobs in the nine targeted industry clusters are high skilled jobs that require a Bachelor’s degree above, versus 25 percent of all jobs in Baltimore County.
Baltimore County offers a diverse workforce across the high, middle and low skilled spectrum of jobs. Compared to the nation, Baltimore County has a high share, 43 percent compared to 37 percent nationally, of employed residents working in high skilled occupations, but tends to lag the State and region in terms of its concentration of workers in these occupations. However, Baltimore County tends to have higher concentrations of workers employed in Middle and Lower Skilled occupations than the State or region. For example, employment in Middle Skill occupations increased by 12 percent since 2001 and is projected to grow by 5 percent through 2024.
Although the County’s employment numbers are projected to grow steadily through 2024, the researchers identified talent retention of skilled and educated out-commuters and graduates as a key challenge that needs to be addressed in the County’s ongoing economic and workforce development strategy.
“Our Economic and Workforce Development staff in partnership with the business and academic leaders on Baltimore County’s Workforce Development Board already have begun using this data to help prioritize and address our workforce system gaps,” said Will Anderson.
Economic and Workforce Development have already prioritized some of the report’s key recommendations, including:
- Emphasizing industry clusters in the economy that lead to in-County job creation.
- Supporting the expansion of the County’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially in the service, healthcare, and construction industries which are more likely to provide employment for mid- and low-skills workers.
- Strengthening efforts to retain talent in the County through increased connections with local employers and educational institutions.
- Enhancing opportunities for upgrading the skills of local residents by strengthening partnerships with area community colleges that provide career education and training opportunities.
- Promoting place-based economic development strategies, including a focus on revitalizing Towson as an urban live, work, play and learn environment to attract millennials, Towson University students and businesses.
"This research confirms two core economic growth strategies that we have emphasized over the past several years,” said Kamenetz. “First, focus on ‘growing our own’—supporting our current employers. This will continue to be the bedrock of our strength. Second, economic and workforce development need to work hand-in-glove. They belong together because jobs, skills and talent are all deeply connected.”
Pledges regional cooperation
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz issued the following statement on the eve of Mayor-Elect Catherine Pugh's inauguration:
“With congratulations to my good friend Catherine Pugh as she becomes Mayor of the great City of Baltimore, I also reaffirm Baltimore County’s commitment as a regional partner to address issues of job growth, education, transportation, housing and public safety. The future of Baltimore City is bright and I look forward to working with Mayor Pugh to build that future.”
New Strategic Factory and Miller's Minuteman Press
A 100 KW solar array powers millions of dollars of state-of-the-art equipment in Strategic Factory’s new Owings Mills production headquarters. The new building also is powered by financing made possible through the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.
Strategic Factory’s 40,000 square foot facility more than doubles the size of the printing and marketing firm’s former leased space. Financing for the expansion was supported by a $1 million loan from the Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund, a privately financed partnership between Baltimore County and 23 of the region’s leading financial institutions. Sandy Spring Bank, a member of the Fund, provided the loan. A $5,500,000 Industrial Revenue Bond issued by Baltimore County to KM Printing-Miller’s Minuteman Press supported the company’s construction and equipment purchases. Baltimore County has no financial liability for the bonds, which are available to manufacturers making capital investments that meet federal bond requirements.
Production Headquarters Opens
Strategic Factory’s new production headquarters was built by Merritt Properties. The 40,000 square-foot facility, located on 8.5 acres on Dolfield Boulevard in Owings Mills, houses multiple agencies including Miller’s Minuteman Press, BRANDED4U, Graphic Tango, Master Signs and Production Facility.
Healthy Business Community
“A sure sign of a healthy business community is when companies make significant new investments. With Strategic Factory and Merritt Properties, we have two successful, locally owned companies investing in Owings Mills,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Baltimore County is pleased to have played a part in facilitating financing for Strategic Factory’s growth through our Small Business Loan Partnership and revenue bonds. Our confidence is well placed, as Strategic Factory already has added jobs at their new production headquarters.”
The company currently employs 100 people and added 21 new jobs since moving into the new building. They plan to hire an additional eight to 10 people by the end of this year.
“Our new headquarters brings new jobs and new investment to the Owings Mills business community. Since opening our doors we’ve increased our workforce by twenty percent, and we’re continuously adding new technology and equipment to the mix,” said President and CEO Keith Miller. “We’re looking forward to growing and expanding the company and collaborating with the local community to ensure continued growth and success, while bringing quality and excellence to the region.”
Small Business Loan Fund
The Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund, a public-private partnership between the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development and 23 of the region’s leading financial institutions, has a pool of to $13.9 million in loan commitments from the financial institutions. Qualified small businesses with fewer than 100 employees may borrow up to one million dollars from the privately-financed loan fund. These fixed rate loans only require 10 percent equity, freeing capital for additional investment.
"These loans are critical to providing small businesses with capital to invest in people, equipment or buildings. It is heartening to see 23 local financial institutions stepping up to support economic growth through the Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "The fund’s lower equity requirement, lower interest rates and lower fees are an added incentive for small businesses to explore this loan option."
Baltimore County reviews each applicant’s financial statements, credit history and collateral to secure the requested loan. All applicants are then reviewed by an independent loan review board established by the participating lenders.
The following lenders participate in the Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund:
- Bank of America
- Bay Bank, FSB
- BlueRidge Bank
- CFG Community Bank
- Chesapeake Bank
- Columbia Bank
- Farmers & Merchants
- First National Bank
- First Mariner Bank
- Hamilton Bank
- Howard Bank
- M&T Bank
- Northwest Bank
- Peoples Bank
- PNC Bank
- Rosedale Federal
- Sandy Spring Bank
- SunTrust Bank
- Susquehanna Bank
- TD Bank
- The Harbor Bank
- Wells Fargo Bank
For more information on the Baltimore County business financing assistance, contact the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, by calling 410-887-8000 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/business .