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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: jobs

photo of Acadia Windows manufacturing plantRick Johnson,
Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

Since the days of aluminum storm windows in 1947, Acadia Windows & Doors has manufactured commercial and residential windows and doors in Rosedale. Skilled workers turn large sheets of glass, saws, and presses into energy efficient vinyl products engineered for maximum durability. Acadia’s products benefit from proprietary engineering, high tech equipment, and lean (and green) manufacturing processes. Today, Acadia is recognized as one of the East Coast’s major manufacturers of new and replacement windows and doors.

Since 2005, Acadia has worked closely with the Arc Northern Chesapeake Region (The Arc NCR) to provide employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Acadia has hired nine employees from The Arc NCR with great success.  "We didn’t partner with The Arc NCR to be altruistic; we partnered with them because it makes sense as a business decision,” said Acadia’s Vice President of Manufacturing Neill Christopher. “This is a great pool of workers.”

Arc NCR workers have made a difference on the manufacturing floor, performing tasks that resulted in production line improvements for the company.  Arc NCR workers earn the same wages as people without disabilities doing the same job, and interact with their peers at the company in an integrated work environment.

“We had a great deal of trepidation when The Arc NCR first approached us,” continued Christopher. “This is a manufacturing environment, with large sheets of glass, saws and presses, all capable of inflicting serious injury.  What we learned is that everything that we did to make things safer for our team members from The Arc NCR made it safer for everyone else as well.  We’re an OSHA SHARP site; proud of our safety record while striving to always make our facility safer for all who work or visit here."

Acadia's success story with Arc was so impressive, the company was asked to join a panel at a National Governors Association meeting to discuss their experience in the field of disability employment.

When disabilities are not barriers, everyone wins.


photo of large bridge construction componenetsFronda Cohen
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.


photo of Chevrolet Spark Fronda Cohen
Baltimore County Office of Communications

The first eMotor just rolled off the new production line at the GM plant in White Marsh yesterday, launching the Baltimore County facility as the global manufacturing source for a motor for the Chevrolet Spark electric vehicle.  They tell me it’s an oil-cooled, permanent magnet motor, and that GM engineers optimize the motor’s performance by using specifically designed bar wound copper stator and unique rotor configuration. 

So, really, what does that mean to me? I’m just driving around the Beltway trying to get to work on time.

First, it means jobs and investment in Baltimore County’s economy. GM has invested $121.3 million in the White Marsh plant for eMotor production, representing GM’s ongoing role in rebuilding American manufacturing.

It means that an American car company is investing in a sustainable electric vehicle, and building its motors in a sustainable plant.  GM’s Baltimore Operations facility is landfill- free, producing 9% of its energy from a roof top solar array. The new e-motor plant means significant investment in a sustainable future, both in the way the plant is run and in the products it manufactures. Green to the core.

There’s just one problem.  It may be a while before we can buy a Spark EV here.  This energetic car with the Made-in-Baltimore County eMotor will arrive in dealer showrooms in California and Oregon this summer, and will then be available in Canada, Europe, Mexico and South Korea. 

I guess that gives me time to find out what a “bar wound copper stator” is.


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