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.
Dozens of homeless advocates and health service providers cheered this morning as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz led a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to mark the grand opening of the County’s new and improved Eastern Family Resource Center (EFRC).
“I believe that the true measure of a government is how we treat the downtrodden - those who are most vulnerable,” Kamenetz said. “We consider it a vital responsibility to provide a social safety net for people who need it, and that is why my administration invests about $40 million each year in our social safety net, including building two modern full-service homeless shelters.”
“This new facility will help countless people in eastern Baltimore County, whether they are homeless or need low-cost health and dental services for their family,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.
The new $26 million, 80,000 square-foot, three-floor facility is located on the campus of Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center and replaces an outdated facility. The former EFRC housed a shelter for women and families, as well as an array of programs operated through the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services.
The new EFRC replaces and expands the previous shelter for women and families that served 250 people, and offers three shelter operations, including an enhanced shelter for women and families, serving up to 250 people; a transitional shelter program for women and families, with a capacity of up to 38 people; and a new shelter for men, with a capacity of up to 50 people. The expanded center supports the County’s 10 Year Plan to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness. The shelters are operated and staffed by Community Assistance Network in partnership with Baltimore County.
The new shelter space in the EFRC was designed specifically to meet the needs of those who will be served in the shelters, including child care and child development space, as an outdoor play area and space for workshops and educational activities. The shelter will also allow for enhanced program collaboration with the addition of flexible office space for partnering agencies.
The County is funding $16 million of the cost of the new facility, with Medstar Health providing $5 million in support, along with $5 million from the State of Maryland. The architect is Chris Parts of Hord-Coplan-Macht and the building contractor is CAM Construction.
Baltimore County and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center negotiated a land swap whereby the land housing the previous Eastern Family Resource Center is incorporated into the hospital campus and MedStar gave the County the 3.9-acre parcel of property for the new center.
The new building allows the Department of Health to meet the growing needs of the community in a space that is thoughtfully designed for enhanced program collaboration. The building houses multiple Health Department functions, including Family Planning, Dental Services, the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program, Immunizations, Substance Abuse Treatment, a Sexually Transmitted Infections clinic, and the Infants and Toddlers Program.
The new facility also allows the County to expand health services to people who are homeless through its partnership with Health Care for the Homeless. The expanded space allows them to increase the capacity and scope of services to homeless people in Baltimore County, including expanded primary care, behavioral health and supportive services.
In July of 2015, the County Executive Kamenetz also opened a new 54-bed, $3.4 million shelter homeless shelter for men that incorporates functional amenities to better help residents receive the services they need and work toward independent living. The facility is also operated and staffed by Community As
by Todd Dolbin, Baltimore County Department of Economic & Workforce Development
Malik was a resident at the Westside Men’s shelter in Catonsville. After long unemployment, he was ready to find a good job, move out of the shelter and move on with his life. His goal: start fresh and pursue a commercial driver’s license.
So where did Malik start? How could Baltimore County help? The first step was a visit to Baltimore County’s Hunt Valley American Job Center, one of three centers serving the County.
With Malik’s career goal in mind, counselors connected him to a commercial driver’s license information session. As with any job, there were deadlines, documentation and applications for the All-State Career program. Malik also needed a current Maryland driver’s license. The pieces were not in place and the deadline for the session passed. But Malik didn’t give up and neither did Baltimore County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development.
County career counselors stayed in contact with Malik and encouraged him to compile the required eligibility documents and resolve his driver’s license issue. With the County’s training and career connections, support and coaching, Malik did the work and was accepted into the CDL program, where he completed the written and driving training and received resume and interviewing assistance.
Today, Malik holds a CDL diploma from All-State Career, has passed the Maryland CDL certification exam, and now holds a Maryland Class B license with a passenger endorsement. He is currently pursuing several job leads and looks forward to starting work soon.
So, how about you? Interested in a career move or jumping back into the workforce? Has it been a few too many years since you’ve written your resume and interviewed for a job? Not sure where to begin?
Baltimore County provides guided employment and support resources to help you achieve your own employment goals. Eligible job seekers meet with professional consultants to explore career paths, get referrals to training programs, job fairs and comprehensive online job boards. Join workshops to enhance job seeking skills and work readiness. Take your job search to a convenient American Job Center where you can use computers and printers with on-line access, individual work spaces with telephones, and a variety of job search resource materials to speed your success.
Get training in the fields where Baltimore County companies are hiring. Occupational training scholarships in these high demand fields are available for eligible job seekers. A Baltimore County career counselor can help you decide if one of these skills enhancement training programs is right for you:
Baltimore County stands ready to help you with the job of finding a job. Let’s get to work!
At today’s 27th annual Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Awards ceremony, an enthusiastic crowd helped to recognize the achievements of eleven individuals, employers, advocates and organizations for their outstanding achievements and contributions.
The Commission on Disabilities provides support and advocacy for County residents with disabilities and works to ensure that County programs, buildings and services are open equally to all persons, regardless of their disabilities. In addition, the Commission provides resources and referrals on obtaining services not only from the County but through programs offered by the state and federal government.
“Healthy communities thrive because they have people who care, who get involved and who look out for the needs of their neighbors,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We are pleased to recognize the efforts of some remarkable people living with disabilities in our communities and the people who help them in their journey.”
This year’s honorees include:
A few interesting stories…
Patricia Lane-Forster is an art teacher at Ridge Ruxton High School who serves students who are severely disabled, both intellectually and physically. She finds ways to adapt art projects so that students can complete the work independently, regardless of their ability. For example, she has developed methods through which nonverbal students can communicate color, texture and style preferences. For students with limited mobility, she incorporates robotics into the art class so that every student can make a mark on paper or canvas with the touch of a button.
Mat Rice, an individual with disabilities, has been at the forefront of self-advocacy in the legislature and in teaching other individuals with disabilities about how to advocate for themselves. Rice graduated from the Maryland School for the Blind and Parkville High School and went on to work as the Public Policy Specialist for People on the Go of Maryland. He has been instrumental in advising legislators on issues that affect the quality of life for people with disabilities in Maryland.
George Bollock has been a volunteer with the Oriole Advocates since 1991. He became a chairperson and “cheerleader” for a program known as the Challenger Baseball League, in 2010. The Challenger Baseball Program offers a variety of adapted baseball opportunities for athletes with disabilities. Bullock has provided more than 800 tickets each year for the athletes and their families to enjoy a game at Camden Yards during “Challenger Night.”
Wanda Brown, who teaches an engineering class at Dulaney High School, has led her engineering students through a standard engineering design process to create what is known as “chariot” for a young boy named Chandler who has Cerebral Palsy. The “chariot” is essentially a wheelchair bicycle hybrid that helps him exercise his limbs while being pushed outside in the neighborhood by his parents. This is just the most recent of eight projects for children with disabilities that Dulaney High’s engineering class has completed under Brown’s leadership.
Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services and “Sure Shot,” the Department of Health mascot, announced the County’s Super Saturday, free flu vaccination clinics.
On Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to noon, the Department will hold public flu vaccination clinics at the follow locations in each of the seven councilmanic districts:
Free flu vaccinations will be available, while supplies last. Vaccines are given on a first come, first serve basis and no appointment is needed. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination will be administered.
“Nobody wants to catch the flu and flu vaccines are a great defense against this common, but potentially dangerous illness,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “By having clinics located across the County, we are making it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get their free, annual flu shot on Saturday.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine - even if they were vaccinated last year - since immunity from vaccination declines over time and strains my change from year to year. The vaccine is safe, effective and readily available this season.
“I am urging all individuals six months and older to stay in the game and get a flu shot this year,” stated Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “As I remind residents every fall, the best defensive move against the flu is knowing the flu FACTS – Frequently wash your hands, Always get an annual flu shot, Cover your coughs, Take time off when you are sick, and Seek medical treatment if symptoms get worse.”
For more information on Super Saturday flu vaccination clinics, call 410-887-BCHD (2243) or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/flushot.
Infrastructure improvements and expansion of aging marine facilities at Tradepoint Atlantic could receive a significant boost as Baltimore County submits a $25 million grant request to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The federal Transportation Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant would be matched by a $25.5 million private investment from Tradepoint Atlantic, developer of 3,100 acres at Sparrows Point.
With funding from the TIGER grant, Tradepoint Atlantic will make structural upgrades to the East-West Berth, modernize it for efficient movement of 21st century cargo, strengthen bulkheads, perform maintenance dredging to allow deep water ships access to the marine terminal, and other necessary improvements designed to leverage existing rail and highway systems on the site.
“This public/private infrastructure investment will ignite job creation in Baltimore County and the entire region by speeding up the turnaround of Sparrows Point from a shuttered steelmaking site into a modern hub for global commerce,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
The investments in dredging, a stronger berth, and short line rail track will facilitate efficient and safe loading and unloading, reducing handling costs for shippers using the facility.
“By partnering with Baltimore County to secure a federal grant for this key infrastructure investment, we can continue our commitment to creating a first-class facility dedicated to increasing long term job creation in the Baltimore region and lowering prices of American export and import consumer goods,” said Aaron Tomarchio, a Senior Vice President at Tradepoint Atlantic.
The project will expand the region’s bulk handling capability by restoring an obsolete regional marine asset to a state of good repair. The modernization program expands bulk cargo handling capability at Tradepoint Atlantic and does not introduce container cargo handling to the site.
If successful, the grant projects will span four years. The TIGER grant application and administration is led by the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development. The application is supported by the Maryland Department of Transportation.
“With this federal transportation grant request, Baltimore County continues to proactively put key pieces in place to support development of Tradepoint Atlantic,” said Kamenetz. Baltimore County initiated creation of the Chesapeake Enterprise Zone and established a foreign trade zone to facilitate global commerce.
A recent economic impact report projects Tradepoint Atlantic will generate 17,000 jobs in the Baltimore region, plus another 21,000 jobs during construction. Economic impact is projected to top $3 billion when development of the 3,100 acre site is completed in 2025, according to the Sage Policy Group study.
“There are more than 17,000 jobs on the horizon at full development, but jobs already are coming back to Sparrows Point from world class companies including FedEx Ground and Under Armour,” added Kamenetz.
Serving as Baltimore County’s twelfth County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz has established a three-pronged approach to governing by applying the principles of innovation, responsibility, and efficiency. Learn More.