Baltimore County’s businesses, its government, and its people share a common vision for a bright future — not merely over the next five or ten years, but for generations to come.
With the goal of boosting community engagement and identifying budget deficiencies, the County Executive has created a new blue ribbon commission tasked with studying the County budget process.Learn More
"I grew up in the shadow of a steel mill. I saw firsthand the detrimental effects the mill’s closure had on my friends and family. But like so many in Baltimore County, I didn’t give up, I went to work."
- John Olszewski, Jr.
"I spent 7 years teaching in the Baltimore County Public School System. I know what needs to happen to bring our children’s schools into the 21st century."
- John Olszewski, Jr.
"For nearly a decade I served in the state legislature working to improve education, bring jobs to Maryland, and improve the quality of life for all Marylanders."
- John Olszewski, Jr.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Senator Chris Van Hollen today announced that the County has received a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) federal grant for $2.7 million to hire 28 new firefighters in 2020. The funds will support the Department’s expansion of services in Sparrows Point to support the growth at Tradepoint Atlantic. The County will provide $1.7 million in matching funds.
“Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and communities, and this new funding will go a long way toward supporting their mission and ensuring they can continue their exemplary service as our County grows,” Olszewski said. “I’m grateful to Senators Van Hollen and Cardin, and our entire delegation in Washington, for supporting our application for funds and for their continued partnership as we build a better Baltimore County.”
“Every day the men and women of the Baltimore County Fire Department put their lives on the line to keep our community safe. This funding will provide additional staff and resources to accomplish their mission. I was proud to join County Executive Olszewski in announcing this crucial funding today. I will keep working in the Senate to invest in our public safety and ensure our first responders have the tools they need,” said Senator Van Hollen.
The Baltimore County Fire Department plans to expand services at the Sparrows Point Fire Station in order to accommodate the residential and economic growth associated with the development at Tradepoint Atlantic and the surrounding area. The federal funds will support the salary and fringe benefits of 28 new firefighters who will be hired in anticipation of the growing needs of the Department.
The Department anticipates hiring the new firefighters in 2020. The SAFER grant program is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and provides funds directly to fire departments to ensure they can maintain an adequate number of firefighters to effectively serve their communities.
The Baltimore County Fire Department employs more than 1,000 paid emergency response personnel at 25 career stations. There are also 29 volunteer fire companies with more than 2,000 volunteers supporting them. Baltimore County firefighters and emergency medical technicians respond to more than 138,000 incidents each year.
Olszewski included a number of key investments in his first budget to support the work of the County’s firefighters, including funds to equip all career stations with commercial-grade washing machines to clean gear of carcinogens and other residue, and a total of $1.5 million for the volunteer fire company grant fund.
The County’s infrastructure deal with Tradepoint Atlantic, approved by the council last year, requires Tradepoint Atlantic to identify space onsite for the County to build a new fire station. Construction on a new station should begin by Fiscal Year 2022.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today released a transportation survey that will allow County residents to share information about the transportation challenges they face, and solicit input and ideas about how those challenges can be addressed.
The survey is a step in a larger effort to increase transit options for County residents and identify other opportunities to help people get around more easily and efficiently.
"How easily people can get around has a major impact on quality of life, but for too long Baltimore County has been focused on roads alone," Olszewski said. "We're changing the narrative by investing in things like transit and bike lanes and looking for innovations that can better serve County residents."
The Baltimore region is one of the 20 most congested areas in the United States, with the average commute time topping 30 minutes. For residents who travel by MTA bus, commute times are often much longer. However, while some other large jurisdictions in Maryland operate extensive Locally Operated Transit Systems, Baltimore County's CountyRide is limited in service and scope. CountyRide operates on-demand rather than with fixed routes, and it serves only the county's older adults and residents with disabilities.
In his Fiscal Year 2020 Budget, Olszewski included funds to begin planning a Towson Circulator pilot, with plans to expand to other commercial corridors.
In addition, in his Consolidated Transportation Program request to the Maryland Department of Transportation, Olszewski asked for state support in line with what other counties receive in order to invest in the infrastructure to begin expanding the County's transit system.
The request also included items to address traffic concerns in areas around the County and accommodate past and future planned growth, including a long-needed interchange at Interstate 795 and Dolfield Boulevard—a request the County has made since 2007.
Beyond transit and roads, Olszewski included in his budget the first ever line item for bike and pedestrian features.
In addition, Olszewski has taken steps to add capacity within government to more effectively plan transportation projects and identify opportunities for innovation. He has hired a lead transportation planner within the Department of Public Works and taken steps to build a transportation bureau within the department.
Residents can take the survey online. For more information about transportation in the County, listen to the latest episode of The County podcast.
Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) will hold their Fifth Annual Fall Career Fair on Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Eastpoint Mall. The event is a partnership between DEWD, the Maryland Department of Labor and Eastpoint Mall.
With over 35 employers with open positions to fill, the event is an opportunity for residents to find or start their next career. The event will take place in the lower level concourse of Eastpoint Mall, located at 7839 Eastpoint Mall, Baltimore, Maryland 21224.
"This is our fifth year organizing this career fair for Baltimore County and surrounding County/City residents," said Will Anderson, Director of DEWD. "We are grateful that there are so many employers who are willing and ready to hire the local talent that is available here and we are looking forward to a great turnout. This is a perfect example of County Executive Olszewski's reboot of economic development and job opportunity expansion."
Event: Fifth Annual Fall Career Fair
When: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Where: Eastpoint Mall (7839 Eastpoint Mall, Baltimore, Maryland 21224), lower level concourse
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
What: Over 35 employers with open positions to fill
Cost: Free, but registration is requested
"It takes a comprehensive, forward looking strategy to improve employment opportunities for Baltimore County residents," said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. "I applaud our Workforce Development team and the employers who are working to make this career fair a success for our residents."
Employers scheduled to attend the Career Fair include: Aerotek, Amazon, AT&T Portables, Baltimore County Government, Baltimore County Police Department, Baltimore County Public Schools, Burlington, CCBC Job Network, Checkers, Community College of Baltimore County, Flashpoint Personnel, Floor and Decor, GBMC HealthCare, Hendersen-Webb Inc., Humanim, JCPenney, Johns Hopkins University, LIDS, Maryland Public Television, the Maryland School for the Blind, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Mercy Medical Center, Metro Staffing LLC, Middle River Aerostructure Systems, NPower, Oasis Health Ventures LLC, Primerica, Sherwin-Williams, Southwest Airlines, the State Of Maryland, Tailored Staffing, The Andersons, TMD Staffing and Xpress Exterior Design.
To register for the Career Fair or find out more information, visit www.BaltimoreCountyJobFair.com.
The Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development provides business and workforce services that attract, retain and expand businesses; foster the creation of high quality jobs; prepare and train residents for in-demand careers; bring employers together with the qualified talent; and expands Baltimore County's economic base. For more information, visit www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/business.
The Opioid Response Working Group convened by County Executive Johnny Olszewski today released its draft report (PDF), which identifies 11 recommendations the County should consider as it continues its efforts to combat overdose deaths, expand access to treatment and prevent addiction.
The recommendations fall into seven categories, including:
The draft report and link to the public comment survey are available online. Members of the public have the opportunity to provide feedback on the recommendations until Wednesday, October 2, and a final report will follow.
“I’m encouraged that numbers so far this year show that we’re on track for fewer overdose deaths, but every overdose death means the loss of a son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, neighbor and friend. We have a moral obligation to direct our resources toward evidence-based strategies that will save lives and help people overcome the disease of addiction,” Olszewski said. “I’m grateful to the Working Group members for their efforts thus far and I look forward to hearing the public’s response to the proposed recommendations.”
Baltimore County has the second highest number of overdose deaths in the state—in 2018, 348 people died from opioid-related overdoses, up from 323 in 2017. Olszewski’s Transition Team made a number of recommendations (PDF) related to tackling the opioid epidemic, including the appointment of an Opioid Strategy Coordinator to spearhead efforts to address the crisis across the government.
The Opioid Response Working Group was announced in May, and the group gathered public input through an online survey and two public meetings, as well as information from experts and stakeholders.
“The working group members were delighted to serve and are very grateful to the members of the public who came forward with their insights,” said John Chessare, President and CEO of GMBC HealthCare and chair of the Opioid Response Working Group. “We look forward to working with the County in implementing the recommendations to further reduce opioid addiction and its effects on our community.”
The Working Group has received technical support from staff at the Baltimore County Department of Health, and faculty and students at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with support from the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.
The Baltimore County Department of Aging’s (BCDA) 2019 Living Connected initiative has provided resources and activities to combat social isolation in older adults. Many life events that occur later in life—retirement, loss of a friend/spouse, moving, changes in health—happen as one ages. This can cause one’s social network to become very small, leading to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Further, research has proven that isolation has detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health. The affects are wide ranging. In fact, it is said that loneliness and social isolation has the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
“Each of us is aware of someone in our communities that may be feeling isolated and alone. Therefore, BCDA has issued a Call to Action for Thursday, September 12, 2019. On that date, everyone was asked to reach out to someone in the community that would benefit from feeling more connected and valued by inviting them to share a meal or to join a group of peers to break bread,” challenges BCDA Director Laura Riley.
Older Adults Welcome to Join
Baltimore County’s 20 senior centers are hosting lunches where all older adults are welcome to join our Eating Together Program for a special meal. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit a center, to meet the members and to discover the diverse activities offered at the site. For example, the Liberty Senior Center is hosting close to 200 older adults for their meal at noon. “The center will be filled with activity, music and chances to connect with peers while enjoying a meal,” added Marie Dix, Director of the Liberty Senior Center. Additionally, many centers are offering day long opportunities to share a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Further, religious institutions, restaurants, community associations and housing buildings have joined this Day to invite older adults to special events and deals to make them feel valued and appreciated. To learn more about opportunities to share a meal and to discover the community partner events being offered, you may visit the County's No Senior Eats Alone webpage.
No Senior Eats Alone Day is just one effort on behalf of BCDA to keep older adults connected. If you know of an older adult that would benefit from getting connected to the Department of Aging’s resources and programs, contact MAP or the Maryland Access Point of Baltimore County at 410-887-2594 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. For more information on the various programs provided by BCDA, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/aging.
A lifelong Baltimore County resident, Johnny believes in the power of public service and giving back to the community that has done so much for him. Learn More.