Area Employers Celebrated for “Regionalism that Works”
City, County leaders honor employers whose innovative practices help build and strengthen their workforces.
Sheila Dixon, Mayor of Baltimore City, and Jim T. Smith, Jr., Baltimore County Executive, honored the inaugural recipients of the Baltimore Regional Employer Awards on September 17 at a breakfast at Martin’s West. They were joined in the event by the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board (BWIB) and Baltimore County Workforce Development Council (BCWDC).
Awards were presented to area businesses that, according to the event's organizers, "exemplify innovative approaches to workforce development." The following honorees were selected from nominations received in the following five categories:
The breakfast ceremony, according to its organizers, is to be the first of several steps to highlight the regional nature of the workforce from Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
- Looking Beyond Barriers and Hiring Smart—Acadia Windows and Doors, Inc. was recognized for its work in hiring individuals with developmental and physical disabilities and modifying its workplace to meet the needs of a physically disabled employee that, in turn, provided a safer workplace for all employees.
- Competitive Advantage—Marlin Steel Wire Products invested over a $1 million in a robotic system that enabled the company to produce precision baskets for industrial applications and compete in the global marketplace.
- Preparing Youth for the 21st Century Workplace—Lockheed Martin MS2 Littoral Ships & Systems conducted a comprehensive educational outreach program, “Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Today,” that encourages students from elementary through college to consider engineering, math, science and technology careers.
- Employee Retention—ARAMARK Healthcare implemented a flexible schedule initiative that allows its hourly employees to better balance their professional and personal commitments.
- Innovator—Shire Pharmaceuticals conducted a week-long intensive training camp for its entire Owings Mills facility, capitalizing on its existing technical talent while emphasizing the importance of creating "a learning organization" driving production advancements.
In prepared statements to the press, Mayor Sheila Dixon said, “Workforce development is critical to our region’s future economy,” while County Executive Jim Smith said, "We recognize these outstanding businesses for their role in not only keeping our economy strong, but also for their forward-thinking that a talented and skilled workforce crosses county and city lines."
The launch of the Baltimore Regional Employer Institute, an opportunity for each of the award-winning companies to share its best practice with other local industry leaders, was announced by University of Maryland Medical System’s Senior Vice President, Network Development John W. Ashworth III, chair of the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board, and Mark D. Habicht, president of the Kirk-Habicht Company and chair of the Baltimore County Workforce Development Council. Each winning company will lead a two-hour business-to-business forum beginning early in 2008 that will promote practices that enable employers to successfully engage and maintain a viable pool of talented employees.
Sponsors contributing to the Baltimore Regional Employer Awards included the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the Community College of Baltimore County, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Erickson Retirement Communities, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore City Community College, and the University of Maryland Medical System.
For more information, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov.
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This story was published on September 17, 2007.