Baltimore County News
By Fronda Cohen, Baltimore County Communications
Manufacturing in Baltimore County is taking a giant leap when the Mary Sue Candies Easter bunny moves to a new, state of the art factory in White Marsh. The iconic 32 foot inflatable pink bunny is part of a decades-old tradition at Mary Sue, one of many candy brands Ruxton Chocolates will manufacture in its new 100,000 square foot plant and headquarters at Baltimore Crossroads@95.
Bill Buppert, the 38-year-old CEO of Ruxton Chocolates, is the man behind the move. Much has changed in the 15 years the man lovingly called “Billy Wonka” took over management of the company that makes Mary Sue, Naron, Glauber’s and private label brand candies.
Tastes have moved toward dark chocolate with higher cocoa content. Customers are looking for something new, so Ruxton is always testing to find the next great saltwater taffy flavor, Easter egg filling, pecan log or almond bark treat. [Hungry yet?]
But when one of your brands started production in 1905, much should remain the same. Equipment will move from three Baltimore locations that are bursting to capacity. “Our traditional techniques are who we are. You’ll still find brittles and toffees churned in huge copper kettles and chocolate poured on marble tables,” said Buppert. “Our employees really define who we are. Together, our 43 employees have some 500 years of candy making experience. You can taste the difference in every piece of candy we make.”
When Ruxton Chocolates moves to Baltimore County in the spring of 2017, there will be 43 candy makers, machine operators and packers carefully setting chocolates in their packaging.
With more capacity at the new plant, those candy packers might be moving faster so they don’t become a scene from “I Love Lucy.”
For more information on how Baltimore County can help your factory move faster, go to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/business or call the Department of Economic and Workforce Development at 410-887-8000.
17,000 jobs projected from Sparrows Point development
A new study values the economic impact of developing 3,100 acres at Sparrows Point as a global logistics, manufacturing and commerce hub. Conducted by Sage Policy Group for Tradepoint Atlantic, the study sees the industrial development in eastern Baltimore County creating nearly 17,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Baltimore region with approximately $3 billion in total economic impact.
At five square miles, Tradepoint Atlantic is the largest privately-owned industrial and terminal site on the East Coast, with deepwater berths, direct access to interstate highways, and internal rail connecting to CSX and Norfolk Southern freight lines.
"I am so proud that the vision we created with the Sparrows Point Partnership in 2013 is becoming a reality. While the vast majority of the 17,000 jobs will be in Baltimore County, this new study validates Tradepoint Atlantic’s potential as a dynamic economic driver for the entire Baltimore region,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
“Every business coming to Tradepoint Atlantic brings jobs and economic opportunity back to the Point. Under Armour, Pasha Automotive, FedEx Ground and Atlantic Forest Products are leading the way -- and they are just the start,” continued Kamenetz. “By leveraging assets built to support global logistics, manufacturing, e-commerce and marine trade, Tradepoint Atlantic is propelling the next generation of jobs for Sparrows Point.”
Sage Policy Group assessed the economic implications of Tradepoint Atlantic’s master plan. The study finds that full build-out over the next decade will lead to $1.8 billion in direct economic activity from the site’s tenants, creating 9,500 permanent, direct jobs. When taking into account multiplier impacts, this translates to $2.9 billion in regional economic activity and total employment of nearly 17,000 jobs, with associated worker income of $1.1 billion.
Plus 21,000 construction-related jobs
Implementation of the current Tradepoint Atlantic Master Plan will add more than 16 million square feet of built space at Sparrows Point by 2020-2025. This represents more square footage than all the office buildings in downtown Baltimore combined.
An additional 21,000 construction-related jobs (measured in job years) are projected during the building phase.
Click here for a video with Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Tradepoint Atlantic CEO Michael Moore discussing how to create the next generation of jobs at Sparrows Point.
Baltimore County unemployment rate falls to lowest in 7 years
Baltimore County’s September unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, down from the August rate of 4.7%, a positive employment trend in Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 5%.
“This is a strong report. Baltimore County has not seen the unemployment rate this low since May, 2008. Economic indicators continue to show that companies are hiring,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.