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Keyword: jobs

Baltimore County’s unemployment rate continues to decline, posting a December rate of 4.1%. The rate is down 0.2% from the previous month, a positive employment trend in Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 4.5%.  

“This is another strong jobs report for Baltimore County workers. When companies hire, there’s a positive ripple effect across our entire economy,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. 

Diageo today announced its intention to build a US version of Dublin’s popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in southwest Baltimore County. The company plans to build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s Relay site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million and create up to 70 new jobs. 

“Beer tourism is about to boom in Baltimore County. We are thrilled that Diageo is reviving an historic building with the iconic Guinness brand. This will be a world-class tourist destination that will bring new jobs and become the perfect complement to our Maryland craft breweries,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.  

The new brewery would be a home for new Guinness beers created for the US market. Visitors would be able to tour the working brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site at the taproom, and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store.

“The Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin is a popular new addition to St. James’s Gate brewery and the Guinness Storehouse, one of Ireland’s top tourist destinations,” stated Tom Day, President, Diageo Beer Company USA.  “We want to leverage our 250 years of brewing heritage and bring the success and excitement of the Guinness visitor experience in Ireland to Baltimore County. We believe a replication of the Open Gate Brewery in Relay will benefit residents and our industry partners, including beer distributors and on- and off-premise retailers, as well as increase overall tourism for the region.” 

The project would re-establish a Guinness brewery in the US after 63 years of absence. The new brewery and visitor experience would become part of Diageo’s production facility in Relay, site of the historic Calvert Distillery which opened in 1933. 

Relay was chosen as the preferred location for this project for the site’s proximity to major East Coast tourist and population hubs, availability of skilled employees, and space to build and adapt existing structures on the property.  

Up to 70 new jobs expected 

While specifics are still being evaluated, it is estimated that the project could generate approximately 40 jobs in brewing, warehousing and an agile packaging operation, which may include canning, bottling and kegging. The Guinness visitor experience could create approximately additional 30 jobs. A significant number of construction jobs would also be created during the building phase, and the company would endeavor to hire as many local firms as possible to conduct this work.

Tom Quirk, Chair of the Baltimore County Council whose district encompasses the Relay site, stated, “More than just a brewery, this is a significant investment in our community that represents a new direction for the historic Relay facility. This will be a strong boost for tourism, not only in the county, but the entire region.”

“This will be an exciting addition to Baltimore County’s vibrant tourism scene. Visitors will discover an authentic taproom experience in a unique, historic building,” said Hal Ashman, chair of the Baltimore County Tourism Advisory Council.

Diageo hopes to receive approvals and to begin construction this spring with the goal of opening the brewery in fall 2017 to mark the 200th anniversary of Guinness being first imported into the US.   

The iconic Guinness Stouts will continue to be brewed at St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland. The Guinness brand was established in 1759 when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin.  


Construction and welding apprentices prepped through training grant 

A new Baltimore County training program will prepare workers for apprenticeship programs in high-demand construction and welding careers. The program focuses on participation by veterans, ex-offenders, low literacy and low income individuals and people with disabilities. The core training prepares welding workers, highway maintenance workers, pipe layers, construction equipment operators, electricians, carpenters, and masons.

Baltimore County’s American Job Centers in Randallstown, Hunt Valley and Eastpoint will identify job seekers who can benefit from the training and want to pursue a registered apprentice program in construction careers.  The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) will provide the training.

“Baltimore County’s workforce development programs are laser-focused on matching motivated workers with jobs. There is high demand for workers in heavy construction. This program offers a new career pathway for individuals looking for a fresh start,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.  

First year Registered Apprentices average $15.00 per hour in wages. All participants completing the training will obtain an industry-recognized credential or certificate of completion.

Training is funded through a $184,400 grant to the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, through the Highway or Capital Transition Construction Skills competitive grants process.

The grant will be presented to the Baltimore County Council for discussion at its work session January 31. 

Revised September 26, 2016