Baltimore County Launches $2.5M Workforce Initiative

Job Connector will help workers get “job ready” to fill vacancies

Baltimore County has launched Job Connector, 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.

According to a press release:

“We are bringing an employer-focused, supply-and-demand strategy to workforce development,” said [County Executive Kevin] Kamenetz.

The Job Connector Difference

Most government workforce development systems start with the job seeker. This often leads to people completing training and getting certifications in fields where there are no local job openings.

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 can reduce the gap between the skills job seekers have and the skills employers need,” said Kamenetz.

The County-funded initiative will start with programs in healthcare, corporate operations/customer service, and trade apprenticeships in fields allied with business growth at Tradepoint Atlantic on Sparrows Point.

Baltimore County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development is partnering with employers, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), business, union and trade groups to develop flexible, rapid response training and expanded apprenticeship programs.

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 will deploy customized tool kits to help career counselors guide job seekers to training and job openings in these high-demand fields.

“As Job Connector moves forward, we will be expanding our work with Baltimore County Public Schools and higher education partners, as well as reaching out to trade associations, the faith community and other partners to multiply our efforts,” said Will Anderson, director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

Read the full press release for more information.