Skip Navigation

Image of the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: economic and workforce development

Tradepoint Atlantic to increase MBE/WBE requirement, project labor transparency and donate land for recreation

County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Tradepoint Atlantic officials announced that they have collaborated to significantly enhance the benefits that the community will receive from a pending public infrastructure agreement to support redevelopment of Sparrows Point into a global logistics hub.

After negotiating these new community benefits, County Executive Olszewski announced his support for the pending deal which is scheduled to be voted on by the Baltimore County Council later today.

“By engaging our communities and working in partnership with Tradepoint Atlantic, we took a good deal and made it even better,” said Olszewski.  “Growing up in the shadow of the steel mill, I’ve seen firsthand how transformative this project can be and am proud to support this agreement which will expand opportunity for the community.”

“Since the beginning of this project over four years ago, we have been actively engaging the community as we work to transform Sparrows Point.  We are proud of the strong community partnerships that have been forged and are committed to working with all public stakeholders to ensure this generational project is a success we can all be proud of,” said Aaron Tomarchio, Senior Vice President of Tradepoint Atlantic.

Tradepoint Atlantic has agreed to convey to the County a substantial parcel of environmentally clean, developable, accessible land for a new public park. The developer will work with the private sector to seek funding for amenities for the land that could include multi-purpose fields or other recreational features.

MBE Goals and Labor Transparency

Ahead of a County Council vote on a public infrastructure support agreement, Tradepoint Atlantic also has agreed, at the request of County Council members and the County Executive, to increase the minority business requirements for the infrastructure improvements from 15% to 20%, and improve reporting transparency for project labor agreements.

“The redevelopment of Tradepoint Atlantic is a fresh start for our district and the whole region and I thank County Executive Olszewski and Tradepoint Atlantic for working to add much-needed lifestyle amenities for the local community,” said 7th District Councilman Todd Crandell. “We have been seeking an opportunity for rec and open space on the site and I am glad the commitment has been made.”

"I strongly encouraged Tradepoint Atlantic to increase their minority contractor participation because it is important that when we make public investments, everybody gets a seat at the table,” said Council Chair Julian E. Jones.

“When we invest taxpayer dollars, it is particularly important that developers be accountable for their commitments to labor and their obligation to engage community,” said 2nd District Councilman Izzy Patoka.

The proposed infrastructure agreement already includes the donation of land to the County for a new Fire and Police facility that would serve the Tradepoint Atlantic businesses and nearby communities. 

Public roads, water and sewer infrastructure would support more than 17,000 new jobs and $3 billion in economic impact.


Cites Modern Facility with Top-Performing Employees and Superior Results

County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. reached out to the head of General Motors (GM) to emphasize the value of the state-of-the-art White Marsh manufacturing facility, both to GM and to the Baltimore region. In a letter sent yesterday afternoon, he called on GM Chairman and CEO Mary Teresa Barra to find a product or alternate use for the plant that will keep all of its 300 high-performing employees working.

“We know that Eastern Baltimore County is one of the most competitive areas for manufacturing on the East Coast with our highly skilled workforce and proximity to transportation networks,” Olszewski said. “I wanted to make sure that the leadership at GM understands the importance and value of this facility to their bottom line and to Baltimore County.” 

The full text of his letter is below:

                                        December 11, 2018

Ms. Mary Teresa Barra

Chairman and CEO

General Motors Company

300 Renaissance Center

Detroit, Michigan 48243

Dear Ms. Barra,

As the newly-elected County Executive of Baltimore County, I was shocked to learn about General Motors’ (GM) decision to cease production at GM’s White Marsh facility. This facility has been an anchor and source of pride within our County since it opened in 2000.  The facility’s importance to the region became even more significant upon the opening of the $245 million electric motor facility in 2012. Hundreds of millions of federal, state, and local dollars have been invested since its opening and it has been lauded as a “state of the art” facility that embodied American resiliency in the wake of the great recession.

As you know, our region has strong and deep roots in manufacturing. Our proximity to major highway and rail networks and the Port of Baltimore has made eastern Baltimore County one of the most significant areas for logistics and manufacturing – and we continue to remain competitive. We attract talented and qualified workers and have demonstrated our commitment to embracing 21st century workforce solutions through bolstering trades, job training and workforce development. And we will continue to do so.

Therefore I respectfully request that GM find a product or alternative use for the plant that will keep all 300 of those employees working in Baltimore County. I understand that according to GM’s own corporate metrics, the employees at White Marsh are among the top performers across the entire company. Furthermore, I understand these employees have had very few grievances with GM management. The facility is both modern and effective, and I know these hard-working men and women remain committed to achieving high performance standards.

If GM does not reverse the decision to cease production in White Marsh, we must work collectively with our state and federal partners to do everything we can for the employees and families impacted.  As such, I have asked my team to immediately engage with local GM and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 239 in an effort to protect the career-paths of affected GM workers. At my direction, Baltimore County’s Department of Workforce and Economic Development will serve as the central agency responsible for communications, coordination with area employers interested in recruiting GM workers, and hosting career fairs.  We will also offer workshops and direct career counseling, assist with resume development, interview preparation, and other unemployment essentials.

Earlier this week, a team of economic and workforce development professionals from my administration met with GM’s human resource manager, Erin Spitzer, to discuss collaboration on these efforts. I have every confidence that we will continue to have GM’s cooperation and partnership in these efforts. 

While we are bracing for a possible closure, I would like to reiterate my strong request to maintain operations at the White Marsh facility. As soon as possible, I invite you and/or members of your senior leadership team to join me in a tour of the White Marsh operation to observe the world-class operation there firsthand. I am available to discuss this matter at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

John Olszewski, Jr.

County Executive

cc:

Eric Shelhorn, Plant Manager, GM White Marsh

Erin Spitzer, HR Manager, GM White Marsh

John Blanchard, Director of Local Government Relations, GM

Will Anderson, Director of Economic & Workforce Development, Baltimore County

Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce

The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor of Maryland

The Honorable Katherine Klausmeier, Senate of Maryland District 8

The Honorable Eric Bromwell, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

The Honorable Joe Cluster, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

The Honorable Christian Miele, Maryland House of Delegates District 8

The Honorable Cathy Bevins, Baltimore County Council District 6

Harry Bhandari, Delegate-Elect, District 8

Joseph Boteler, Delegate-Elect, District 8


Job readiness training available this summer in County libraries

Job Connector is bringing job readiness training into Baltimore County communities. Beginning this summer, the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development will offer new job readiness workshops at County libraries. The workshops, designed with employer input, address essential workplace skills such as effective communication skills, maximizing time in the workplace, displaying the image of your workplace, and managing your mindset.

Each of the new Workplace Excellence sessions will meet twice a week for three weeks and be facilitated by a certified trainer from the County’s Workforce Development American Job Centers.

“This program is about customer service, bringing new Baltimore County job programs directly to people in their communities. We’re ‘going local’ to help job seekers sharpen their skills and get hired faster,” said Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler.

The free, three week sessions are geared for adult job seekers. The summer 2018 sessions will take place at the Lansdowne and Essex libraries in July and Loch Raven and Sollers Point libraries in August. Enrollment is limited. Interested County residents must apply via e-mail to jobconnector@baltimorecountymd.gov or call 410-887-8096.

“This program is an excellent example of government working smarter by bringing agencies together to help people looking for a job. Library staff and career consultants bring different skills sets, helping us provide the best service to job seekers throughout the year,” said Will Anderson, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

“With 19 locations, each open 69 hours a week, our branches are gathering spaces that are accessible and trusted within the communities we serve. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff, along with public computers, loanable laptops and other essential resources, provide key tools job seekers need,” said Paula Miller, Director of the Baltimore County Public Library.

Job Connector

The Job Connector in Communities initiative is part of an innovative $2.5 million workforce program designed to assure employers have a workforce ready to fill high-demand jobs in high-demand fields. With over $5 billion in new economic development projects in the County, companies are hiring, but chronic shortages of qualified workers remain in many fields.


Job Connector starts by looking at the specific jobs and skills that are needed in the Baltimore region. This results in a better match between employer and job seeker, and more certain career paths for employees who want to know that their hard work and skills can lead to promotions and higher wage jobs.

“With low unemployment and a tight job market, companies are ready to hire today. Job Connector is helping to reduce the gap between the skills job seekers have and the skills employers need,” said Mohler.

High Demand Jobs

Research prepared for the Baltimore County Workforce Development Board identified nine key industries that will drive 75% of the job growth in Baltimore County over the next decade: Healthcare, Corporate Operations/Customer Service, Construction, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Federal Agencies, Port/Logistics/Distribution, Education, and Information Technology.

Baltimore County’s American Job Centers at Liberty Center, Hunt Valley and Eastpoint have deployed customized tool kits to help career consultants guide job seekers to training and job openings in these high-demand fields.

For more information go to baltimorecountymd.gov/jobconnector.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017