Baltimore County Now
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.
Julia Lynton-Brown, Talent Management Coordinator, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development
Let’s face it. Looking for a job can be a challenging, frustrating and sometimes lonely effort. Baltimore County’s Workforce Development Centers can help. Clients who visit the County’s Eastpoint, Hunt Valley or Liberty Center in Randallstown will experience a warm and friendly team of career professionals to assist with services such as professional development seminars, career counseling, resume review and job interview assistance. By registering in the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE), jobseekers can also have access to employment opportunities, onsite recruitment events and timely labor market information.
Companies with jobs to fill work with Baltimore County’s Business Services team to connect with talented workers through free, customized onsite recruitments. Recent opportunities ranged from corporate call centers to manufacturing, with informational and interviewing sessions for companies such as McCormick, Toyota Financial, BD (Becton Dickinson) and Access Receivables.
“Strategic partnerships among the County’s Business Services team, Workforce Development Centers and our business partners have resulted in full-time opportunities offering competitive wages and benefits for many of our customers” said Leo Martinelli, Hunt Valley Workforce Development Center Manager.
Outreach and pre-screening by center staff is key to ensuring businesses meet well qualified candidates. BD and Toyota Financial have returned twice and hired qualified candidates as a direct result of workforce recruitment sessions. Access Receivables, one of the most recent businesses to partner with Economic and Workforce Development, hired additional workforce candidates.
“All service related businesses revolve around the ability to find, hire and train excellent people. In our experience with the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, we’ve achieved our hiring goals. We believe this success was entirely due to our partnership with the County and a mutual understanding of this business challenge, said Kevin Gillespie, Vice President of Access Receivables in Hunt Valley. “It is our hope to continue this partnership, as their dedicated team of professionals have built an excellent model for local employers, the local workforce and the entire community.”
“This has been one of the most successful methods for us to find and hire the talent needed to fill our Corporate Call Center opportunities,” states Scott Brooke, Talent Acquisition Consultant for Toyota Financial Services in Owings Mills.
“The talent is always professional and well prepared for the interview,” added Cindy Denholm, HR Partner for BD in Sparks.
Whether you are looking for a job or a company looking for qualified candidates, Baltimore County Economic and Workforce Development can provide free, professional help. Details and resources for job seekers and businesses are available online or by calling 410-887-8000.
Will Anderson, Director
Baltimore County Department of Economic & Workforce Development
It’s a reality every small business owner faces. When your business plan says it’s time to take it to the next level, you discover that you need more trained workers, more space, and more capital. As they say in that classic movie “who you gonna call?”
The Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development can help with free workforce recruitment and training, site searches for a new location, business and marketing plan development, and financing assistance.
OK, we got your attention with financing.
Baltimore County can help you make the most of Enterprise Zone, commercial revitalization and job creation tax credits. But let’s focus on a new Baltimore County loan fund.
The new Baltimore County Boost Fund offers flexible loans for small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. The Boost Fund provides business loans for
· Start-up and gap funding
· Building and leasehold improvements
· Business and equipment acquisition
· Working capital
· Commercial real estate acquisition
The Boost Fund can lend qualified small businesses between $50,000 to $250,000, with a reduced down payment and interest rates set at or below market rates. Payment plans are customized to meet your business cash flow needs.
We have already made an impact with the Boost Fund. Here are a few examples.
Michele's Granola is honored to be the one of the first recipients of Baltimore County's Boost Loan Fund. These funds will allow us to expand to a larger kitchen facility in Baltimore County and double production of our small batch granola products that will be available for wholesale distribution throughout the United States. We are proud to be a woman-owned business contributing to job creation and economic development in Baltimore County.
Michele Tsucalas, President, Michele’s Granola
A women-owned manufacturing company
One of the greatest impediments to growth any business faces is access to capital. With the Boost Loan program, Baltimore County clearly recognizes that expanding small businesses are vital to the local economy. We will use this loan to grow and make further contributions to the local economy.
Barnett A. Carroll Jr., President, Aegis Mechanical Corporation
A service disabled veteran-owned and minority certified business
Baltimore County's new loan program has helped my husband and I renovate an older but full-of-character building. The funds are being used to build a new kitchen, renovate the bar, and revitalize an older dining area so we can bring some great food and service to Arbutus. Without Baltimore County and their loan program, we wouldn't be where we are with the renovations.
Sharon Andrews, co-owner, Oak Creek Café
A new business in the Arbutus Commercial Revitalization District
For more information about additional financing programs, tax credits, recruiting workforce talent and other small business services, visit the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development at www.BaltimoreCountyBusiness.com or call 410-887-8000.
This could be the boost your company needs.