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Keyword: workforce

FY21 Budget Released Amid Significant Economic Uncertainty Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic

Amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today submitted to the County Council a $3.9 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 that prioritizes fundamental commitments to providing quality education, keeping neighborhoods safe and supporting the County’s workforce to ensure residents can continue to receive essential government services.

The proposed budget for FY21 reflects an approximate $40 million write-down from earlier revenue estimates, due to the growing economic impact of the pandemic, while also providing funds for key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward, including economic opportunity, sustainability, healthy and safe communities, and transparent and accountable government.

“This is not the budget I hoped to present, but it is the one that meets the moment. We are laser-focused on responding to the immediate needs of this crisis even as we prepare our County for the long-term economic recovery.” Olszewski said. “We will get through this together, continuing to build toward our vision for a better Baltimore County for us all.”

Budget Highlights

In a virtual address to the County Council, Olszewski highlighted record investments in education and support for key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward. The total proposed Operating Budget is $3.9 billion.

Below are highlights of the FY21 budget County Executive Olszewski submitted to the Baltimore County Council.

Education

  • Provides record funding for education for the second year in a row. Total proposed education budget is more than $2 billion. The proposed BCPS budget is nearly $36 million above FY20 funding levels and $20 million over Maintenance of Effort (MOE).
  • Provides a one percent cost-of-living increase for all Baltimore County Public Schools employees, effective July 1, 2020.
  • Provides more than $1 million to hire additional school counselors and support staff to help address the mental health, social and emotional needs of our students.
  • Provides funding to support the Early College High School program at Woodlawn High School and the Pathways in Technology program at Dundalk High School.
  • Protects Baltimore County’s portion of capital funding for all remaining Schools for our Future projects, which cannot move forward until the state provides its share of funding from the Built to Learn Act.

Healthy and Safe Communities

  • Provides funding to realize critical components of County Executive Olszewski’s public safety plan, including support for the Real Time Crime Center and focused enforcement initiatives.
  • Provides the first phase of funding for a second set of turnout gear for firefighters.
  • Provides capital funding for two, new school-based Police Athletic League (PAL) Centers through the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Transparent, Accountable Government

  • Retains a 10.3 percent fund balance—critical for maintaining the County’s bond ratings.
  • Provides funding for full implementation of Baltimore County’s newly operational 311 program.
  • Expands the Baltimore County Office of Ethics and Accountability.
  • Creates an Audit Compliance Unit to ensure that audit findings are effectively deployed to improve County operations and help track tens of millions of dollars in COVID-related expenditures.

Vibrant, Livable Communities

  • Provides a previously announced, two percent cost-of-living increase for all County employees effective June 30, 2020. The proposed budget also includes a previously negotiated two percent cost‐of‐living increase for County employees, effective January 1, 2021.
  • Provides funds for planning and implementation of the Towson Circulator pilot program, leveraging a $1.6 million federal grant.
  • Provides funding to resume glass recycling, which the prior administration suspended.
  • Adds $1 million to support volunteer fire companies.
  • Provides new funding for park acquisition and a more equitable distribution of park and recreational infrastructure.

Economic Opportunity

  • Provides funding to expand employer-driven workforce strategies.
  • Freezes in-County tuition at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).
  • Ensures stability of College Promise Program, enabling CCBC to accept approximately 300 additional students.

Commitment to Critical Investments

Under state enabling legislation, the administration will introduce a bill to allow the placement of enforcement cameras on our school buses to more effectively catch drivers who continue to disregard the prohibition on passing stopped school buses. All revenue collected from this effort will be dedicated to support public safety efforts.

As the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to shift, the Office of Budget and Finance will continue to work with the legislative branch during their budget review as the latest information and projections are available.

The County Council is scheduled to vote on the budget on May 21.

View the full text of the County Executive’s FY21 budget message.


“Our workers are second to none” 

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler released the following statement in response to General Motors’ announcement that the GM Baltimore plant in White Marsh will not have any products allocated in 2019:

Baltimore County stands with the workers and their families who are part of a decades-long GM manufacturing legacy in Baltimore, from advanced hybrid motors in White Marsh to vehicle production at Broening Highway. Our workers are second to none.

The county’s workforce development team is available immediately to assist with job and career counseling services for the 300 GM workers whose jobs will be affected next year. The Eastpoint Career Center will help match GM workers with other employers looking for their skills in advanced manufacturing and connect them to training and job search workshops.” 


Toolkit helps job seekers, businesses

By Carol Brooks, Senior Workforce Analyst, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

The data is in. According to the Jobs of the Future report, nine key industries drive 50 percent of Baltimore County’s employment, and will account for 75 percent of the County’s job growth through 2024.

Our local economy is vibrant, balanced by both stability and dynamic growth across a broad range of industry sectors:

  • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Financial Services
  • Professional and Business Services
  • Information Technology

Baltimore County’s jobs future looks bright over the next decade

More than 17,000 jobs are coming with the redevelopment of Sparrows Point. According to a 2016 study by Sage Policy Group, Tradepoint Atlantic’s redevelopment at Sparrows Point will create 10,000 direct jobs, and 7,000 indirect jobs by 2025, primarily in transportation, distribution and logistics.

With over 60,000 healthcare workers, Baltimore County’s healthcare industry generates $3 billion in worker income.  Baltimore County is home to more than 2,700 healthcare employers including five major medical centers.

Baltimore County serves as a major location for corporate headquarters and branch office operations, with a strong base of 4,500 professional and business services companies. Employment growth in the professional and business services sector has generally outpaced overall employment growth in the County and is expected to continue through 2024.

The Information Technology (IT) industry is the fastest growing of Baltimore County’s nine priority industries.  Overall employment in IT occupations increased by 46 percent (2001-2015) and is projected to increase by 19 percent through 2024.

The construction industry is one of Baltimore County’s leading industries – accounting for six percent of the County’s overall employment.  Although hit by the recession, construction is projected to continue to grow through 2024. Employment projections indicate a bright outlook, spurred by strong job growth from major construction and development projects throughout the Greater Baltimore region.

Baltimore County accounts for 14 percent of Maryland’s manufacturing jobs and is home to 36 percent of the Baltimore Region’s top 25 manufacturers.  More than 500 manufacturing employers benefit from Baltimore County’s strategic location and integrated supply chain with distribution networks.

Office and Administrative Support occupations account for 11 percent of all Baltimore County employment.  Support Service Occupations across all industries are critical to the daily operation, administration, and management of business, and can be an entry-point to any of the industries.

This is all great news for Baltimore County…but what does it all mean for the average job seeker? The recent graduate? A business owner who needs to hire and train their workforce?

Introducing the Job Connector Toolkit

Baltimore County has projected growth across its industries, but jobs have changed and there’s greater employer demand for advanced professional skills and technical credentials. The Baltimore County Job Connector Toolkit helps align anticipated business needs with the local workforce and education systems to build a skilled talent pipeline.

The toolkit features “at-a-glance” reference sheets highlighting economic and occupational data on nine targeted industry sectors.

Industry Overview   Key economic and labor market data on the local, regional and state levels.

Occupational Overview    A look at career clusters within each industry and summaries of in-demand occupations. 

Spotlight Jobs     Featured middle-skill jobs with projected high growth.

In-Demand Occupations    A detailed list of employment and wage data for leading entry- and middle-skill occupations within the industry.

“This toolkit serves to guide Baltimore County’s workforce system with a framework and resources to develop and sustain effective career pathways systems and programs,” said Will Anderson, director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.                

Using the Job Connector Toolkit

Job Seekers

Job seekers need to keep their skills and credentials up-to-date to meet the demands of today’s employers. It’s equally important to understand local economic trends when researching opportunities that fit one’s career goals. Individuals at any career phase can use the Toolkit to identify how to translate knowledge and expertise into in-demand occupations in Baltimore County.

Workforce Professionals

Workforce and education professionals can use these resources to better assist students, adult-learners, job-seekers, and people making career transitions in making informed decisions about their employment and training goals. Using this data in tandem with comprehensive career counseling resources can give job seekers a competitive advantage and help them understand how to maximize their earning potential over the course of a career.

Employers

Identifying and closing skill gaps in the workforce means businesses can be more productive and competitive. Employers can use the data to understand current trends and the economic impact of Baltimore County’s business communities when considering starting, expanding or maintaining a business in Baltimore County.

With the Job Connector Toolkit, we can learn more about where job growth will occur in Baltimore County and how businesses, workers, and our overall economy can benefit from the jobs of the future.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017