Archives For Maryland Economy

Jiffy Lube

Jiffy Lube owner John Way is participating in Governor Martin O’Malley’s Operation Hire program, Maryland’s 100-day veteran hiring challenge.

It was Veterans Day 2013, a chilly November morning, when John Way was approached by a young job seeker. The applicant was a veteran and Way, who owns two Jiffy Lube locations in the Baltimore area, immediately identified with him.

“I have a sign on my building that says ‘Veteran Owned and Operated.’ He felt that he would get a chance from me,” Way said. “I wasn’t going to create bad karma by not hiring a veteran on Veteran’s Day. He told me his story and absolutely, I helped him out.”

This experience led Way to launch a goal in January 2014, that at least 50 percent of his new hires would be veterans by the end of the year.

As Way continues to move toward his goal, he has joined forces with over 100 other businesses participating in Governor Martin O’Malley’s Operation Hire program, Maryland’s 100-day veteran hiring challenge. The challenge is working to raise awareness of veteran unemployment and available resources for companies and job seekers.

“If an average business owner like me can work harder to hire veterans, then anyone can do it. They just need the confidence to take that chance,” Way said.

Of course, according to Way’s employees, he is anything but “average.”

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omalley education

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has continued to invest in programs that support teachers, students, job training and academic research.

What do a highly skilled workforce, higher wages, decreased income inequality, stronger family-friendly communities and increased public safety have in common? All are associated with the presence of strong educational institutions.

Maryland’s education system—from preschool to Ph.D. programs, both public and private—plays an important role in preserving the State’s high quality of life.

Recognizing the importance of fostering excellence in education in Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley has continued to invest in programs that support teachers, students, job training and academic research.

For example, despite overall budget cuts, the FY 2015 budget includes a record $6.05 billion in K-12 education, $4.3 million in pre-kindergarten opportunities and $275 million in school construction. The budget also includes an initiative to cap or freeze tuition increases at a number of public universities.

During the most recent legislative session, Governor O’Malley approved expanded pre-kindergarten services to 1,600 more children across Maryland and laid the groundwork for further expansion. In addition, the State invested $1.4 million for the Early College Innovation Fund to help create and expand early college access programs and $3.5 million for the Digital Learning Innovation Fund to help accelerate digital learning.

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The Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem could be Baltimore’s largest-ever tourism event.

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EARN Bill

Leisure and hospitality saw the biggest gains in job growth

The beginning of summer marked a hot month for job gains in Maryland. The State added 7,700 jobs in June, according to preliminary data reported by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) on Friday.

The economy has sustained a positive growth trend through the beginning of 2014, with job gains in four out of the past six months. Since June 2013, the State has added a total of 24,100 jobs, with nearly 95 percent of that growth in the private sector.

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Business owners celebrate receiving the Maryland Green Registry Leadership Awards.

Business owners celebrate receiving the Maryland Green Registry Leadership Awards.

Companies in Maryland’s energy and sustainability sector are experiencing rapid growth. Now totaling roughly 1,300, these businesses pay their employees an average of $71,000 annually, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) reports. Many of these companies are already taking advantage of special incentives for green business practices.

Regardless of your industry, are you also interested in the benefits of growing a more sustainable company? Perhaps you’re looking to save on energy costs or you’re concerned about air quality and climate change. Opportunities that protect the planet, reduce your business expenses and elevate your reputation in the community abound throughout the State.

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The Cecil Technology Center at Principio Park is offering new opportunities for startups in the county.

The Cecil Technology Center at Principio Park is offering new opportunities for startups in the county.

Maryland’s only county sharing its borders with both Pennsylvania and Delaware is committed to showcasing the State’s innovative economy. 

According to Lisa Webb, Director of the Cecil County Office of Economic Development (OED), “We are capitalizing on our location, becoming known as the Gateway to Innovation for the State of Maryland and gaining recognition for our proactive support of new and expanding industries.”

Rural sensibilities, tourism, high-tech technologies and corporate industries blend together across Cecil County’s versatile landscape.

The county boasts a vibrant agricultural industry, including nurseries, orchards, creameries and a number of family-owned farming operations. Hollywood Casino Perryville, one of the State’s four casinos, is growing in popularity and helping to fund Maryland’s Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business loan fund, with a focus on investing in businesses within a 10-mile radius of the casino.

Cecil County is also home to a growing number of distribution centers, high-tech bases and startups.

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Jobs are fueling Maryland’s ongoing recovery, Governor Martin O’Malley explained during a stop on his “Governing for Results” tour, Tuesday in Baltimore City.

The State recently reached its goal of recovering 100 percent of all jobs lost due to the Great Recession by the end of FY 2014. Over the last year, Maryland has created more than 22,000 jobs, over 85 percent in the private sector.

Among these job-generating businesses is high-tech Baltimore-based cybersecurity firm RedOwl Analytics. Governor O’Malley, speaking from its Federal Hill headquarters, praised RedOwl for its contribution to the State’s economy.

“I want to thank RedOwl for growing jobs. We have 16 strategic goals as this corporation known as your State of Maryland. Strategic goal No. 1 is jobs. Without jobs there is no progress. For all of our diversity as a State and as a people, there is one yearning … that is for jobs and better jobs for the next generation,” Governor O’Malley said.

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Did you know that Maryland has a reputation for supporting women in business?

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the State ranks first in the percentage of women-owned firms as a share of all firms, 32.6 percent; and sixth in the percent of women-owned firms with employees, 7.4 percent.

These female business owners and entrepreneurs have several business resources available through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Among the most valuable is the Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund, funded with 1.5 percent of video lottery terminal revenue from Maryland casinos. Since it began operating in 2013, the program has approved 77 loans totaling $7.8 million.

A recent study also found that the number of women in board rooms across the State is growing. The Network 2000 Inc.’s 2014 Census of Women Board Directors in Maryland shows that women filled 86 board of director positions in 2013, up from 73 in 2012.

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Mikra Krasniqi is an economist at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) recently published The 2014 State New Economy Index, which attempts to capture the evolving nature of state economies in the face of increasing global competition.

In broad terms, during the past 20 years, the world economy has undergone major changes driven by dynamic forces of digital technology, trade and movements of capital and labor, which have shifted means of production and services internationally while disrupting industries and markets domestically.

Against the backdrop of these global economic forces, entire industries, markets, governments and labor have had to adapt and innovate in order to cope with the magnitude of change. Coupled with the long-term changes and the economic crisis of 2008, states across the country have greatly intensified their efforts to restructure their economies and support innovative markets and industries.

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