Skip Navigation

Image of the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: jobs

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.

Economic and Jobs Impact

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.

The impact of an innovative workforce initiative led by Baltimore County is drawing attention across the country. New data from a five year program demonstrates that low-skilled job seekers can improve their employment potential and earnings through dynamic programs that go beyond the normal technical training. Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE) incorporated employability training, financial literacy and computer literacy with occupational certification training to improve the marketability of job seekers.

ACE program participants included individuals with limited English proficiency and job seekers with low reading, writing and math skills.

“The ACE jobs innovation program has changed lives for job seekers who need a little extra support as they prepare for a new career. Baltimore County is proud to have lead the national team that clearly delivered results in getting people back to work in family-supporting jobs,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Baltimore County led the multi-state ACE collaboration, funded through a $11.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund.

In Baltimore County, the Department of Economic and Workforce Development delivered the local program in partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County.

“The ACE program not only gave us job skills and prepared us for the job of utility installer, but also gave us life skills to better our future. As a class we bounced back stronger, wiser and, personally, more powerful,” said Kevin Boyd, a Baltimore County ACE graduate who is currently working for American Airlines.

ACE delivered evidence-based results

An independent evaluation firm concluded that after graduating from the program, ACE participants worked more hours in a week, earned higher wages, and were more likely to achieve occupational credentials than those not participating in the program.

Below are key findings from the program evaluation:

  • On average, ACE participants in Baltimore County earned more than the control group after the end of the training program, and these differences appear to increase over time.
  • ACE participants were less likely to receive public assistance than non-ACE participants. 
  • ACE participants were more likely to hold occupational credentials than non-ACE participants.
  • Two years after the training, ACE participants were more likely to work 35 hours a week or more than the non-ACE participants.
  • ACE program participants were on average more likely to receive a promotion or raise than non-ACE participants. For example, eight quarters after the program end date, ACE participants made an average of $5,262.80 more than non-ACE participants.

“It is remarkable to see the results, with three quarters of our ACE graduates successfully employed. Putting people who lack skills back on track, getting them hired and keeping them employed is a challenge. With the gold-standard of evaluation, random control trial, running in the background, it was doubly difficult,” said Will Anderson, Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic & Workforce Development.  

Results for the workforce field

Results from ACE program also provided insights for the workforce field.

  • Evaluation results demonstrate that the ACE model can be replicated in a variety of geographic areas and with a range of career training options.
  • Random control program evaluations are not conducted on a regular basis and many do not show positive results at the same level as ACE.
  • ACE made a difference in the lives of citizens and employers, enabling participants to complete training, achieve credentials, and become employed at a higher rate and at a greater wage than similar people who didn’t take part in ACE.

ACE served 1,258 low-skilled individuals in nine sites across four states: Maryland, Connecticut, Georgia and Texas. The individuals who received ACE services were randomly selected from a group of potential participants, ensuring that results were due to the impact of ACE services.

The Random Control Trial (RCT) evaluation was conducted by ICF, an independent, international research, evaluation, and technical assistance firm.

Baltimore County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development administered the five-year initiative in five Maryland jurisdictions [Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Upper Shore] and cities in three other states.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, headquartered in Baltimore, provided the genesis for the ACE grant, encouraging workforce areas to combine efforts with local community colleges, providing technical assistance, and convening support for the program.

“Baltimore County’s leadership helped demonstrate how ACE can be an effective, evidence-based workforce development model for the entire country,” added Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz.   

by Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive

There’s a lot of talk about how things are not made in the U.S.A. any more. I offer some Baltimore County numbers in response: 15,000 manufacturing jobs. 506 manufacturing companies. More than $1.18 billion total annual wages.

We have large manufacturers like McCormick, BD Diagnostic Systems and Textron -- each of these companies employs over one thousand workers in Baltimore County. But most manufacturers are smaller companies, with fewer than 500 workers each.  

Baltimore County manufacturers all benefit from a strategic location, integrated supply chain and distribution networks and a workforce steeped in the tradition of “a good day’s pay for a good day’s work.”

In celebration of Manufacturing Day, the first Friday in October, here is a small sample of Baltimore County’s 506 makers.

Synthetic athletic surfaces are made at Beynon; lacrosse equipment at East Coast Dyes. Windshield wipers are made by Saver Automotive in Halethorpe. In Rosedale, Acadia produces windows and doors and Victory Racing Plate makes custom horse shoes. Vulcan makes Viking kitchen equipment in Dundalk and Dap makes caulk in Edgemere. Green Bay Packaging manufactures cardboard boxes; Marquip Ward United and Sun Automation make the machines that make the boxes.

Lots of great food and beverage products are made in Baltimore County -- small batches from Michelle’s Granola and large batches of Old Bay and seasonings from McCormick; hand crafted chocolate from Kirchmayr Chocolatier and Mary Sue, Naron and Glauber’s candies from Ruxton Chocolates. Our beverages come from wineries named Boordy, Basignani, Royal Rabbit and DeJon and craft breweries DuClaw, Key Brewing, Heavy Seas, and soon, Guinness.

Even the thin brown paper that helps seal in the freshness of Hershey’s Reece’s Peanut Butter cups is made by Mann-Pak, a packaging company in Middle River.

Today’s industrial revolution is also a technology revolution

Some call it precision manufacturing, additive manufacturing or advanced manufacturing. Regardless of the description, technology now allows manufacturers to achieve levels of precision and productivity we could not imagine even just a few years ago.  

Robotics, computer aided design and advanced engineering have revolutionized production lines. You can see the changes at the GM electric vehicle motors and transmission plant in White Marsh, the Coty facility in Cockeysville where Cover Girl and Max Factor cosmetics are made, the complex vertical launch systems designed and built at Lockheed Martin in Middle River and unmanned aircraft systems at Textron in Hunt Valley.

Potomac Photonics at bwtech @ UMBC uses lasers, 3D printers and other technologies to alter and develop products with extreme precision, to the scale of one micron, smaller than a particle of dust. Pharmaceutics International (PII), a custom drug manufacturer in Hunt Valley, develops small molecules into custom drug formulations.

Innovate, design, engineer, build

Baltimore County companies have the expertise to not only make things, but to use the innovation of our well-educated workforce to design, engineer, test and come up with the next great thing. We see this at Stanley Black & Decker in Towson, where over 1,200 people develop and test new consumer products. Chemists at the TIC Gums R&D center in White Marsh are discovering new ways to improve foods. Fresh ideas are born in the test kitchens at McCormick’s Innovation Center and in the R&D labs at Lockheed and Middle River Aircraft Systems. SAFT long-life batteries have traveled from Cockeysville to Mars.

From caulk and cosmetics to Old Bay and beer, great things are made in Baltimore County. And we have 506 manufacturers and 15,000 jobs to prove it.

Revised September 11, 2017