Amazon, AAWDC, UMBC Partner to Train Military Vets

A new partnership between Amazon Web Services, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp (AAWDC) and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Training Centers will help train military veterans for jobs in Amazon web support services.

As reported by The Baltimore Business Journal:

Amazon Web Services is the cloud services technology of the online retail giant. The goal of the new program is to train transitioning military members and veterans at Fort Meade as Amazon cloud support associates. Training will include skills in relevant operating systems and software, cybersecurity fundamentals and programming in preparation for careers supporting Amazon Web Services.

UMBC Training Centers was selected to develop this program after a request for proposals process by the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp. in collaboration with Amazon. The initiative is a part of a $4.3 million grant through the U.S. Department of Labor called Military Corps Career Connect, or C3, which aims to assist service members transitioning from active duty, active duty spouses and veterans find jobs.

C3’s goal is to reduce unemployment and underemployment among veterans. The initiative offers training, certification, on‐the‐job experience and paid work placements to help service members transition to successful civilian careers.

Amazon has a goal of hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021.

Read The Baltimore Business Journal to learn more.

Veteran services will be discussed at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference session “Serving Those Who Served Our Country“.

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Baltimore Ranks Among Fastest Growing Cities for Tech Jobs

Baltimore City ranked no. 10 out of 20 on ZipRecruiter’s list of fastest growing tech markets. Time Magazine reports:

Job search site ZipRecruiter recently analyzed its database of more than 8 million active jobs, and ranked the 20 fastest-growing tech markets based on year-over-year data. Job growth for engineering, software, and IT roles may be losing steam in the Bay Area, but smaller cities are picking up the slack, the company says.

“The tech industry is no longer bound to the coast,” says ZipRecruiter’s Chief Economic Adviser, Cathy Barrera. “As a result, we’re seeing the tech industry expand out of the major metropolis areas, and into smaller regional cities that have since flown largely under the radar.”

Barrera credits government policies, like tax breaks that attract entrepreneurs and business startups for much of this growth. But the main impetus, she says, is the skyrocketing cost of living in coastal tech hubs like San Francisco and New York.

The Time’s article notes high rents and slowing markets as a reason tech jobs may be leaving Silicon Valley for smaller cities, but the Baltimore Business Journal shares some local insight on Baltimore City’s ranking:

Baltimore’s top tech jobs include project manager, software engineer, network engineer and software developer. Year-over-year growth in tech jobs here is 109 percent, along with $62,500 in early career median pay, $105,000 in mid-career median pay, $1,375 in median rent and a $196,900 median home price.

The city ranked just behind Jacksonville, Florida on Time’s list, and one spot ahead of Cincinnati. No other local cities made the list. The very top spot went to Huntsville, Alabama.

Baltimore has a growing tech community that has recently seen a number of co-working spaces and startup hubs open. By having various accelerators like Betamore, Spark Baltimore and City Garage to support tech entrepreneurs, more idea makers may feel confident about coming to Baltimore to build a company.

More information:

The 20 Hottest Cities for Tech Jobs Now (Time Magazine)

Baltimore ranks among 20 hottest cities for tech growth — and here’s why (Baltimore Business Journal)

Will You Throw the First Pitch?

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Step up and share your county’s IT needs at MACo’s Summer Conference.

This year’s MACo Conference offers attendees an opportunity to voice county government information technology interests directly to private sector providers in an informal, informational format.

Share challenges & discover capabilities in this new Tech Wednesday offering.

SWITCH PITCH” IGNITE! — Meet Your Match: Solutions to County IT Challenges

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Gain quick insight into what tech can do for county governments in this fast-paced session. County IT and management professionals will state their needs, and vendors in the Tech Expo Tradeshow will respond with their pitch for solving the top tech issues. Attendees will get a chance to learn a little about a lot of vendors in a short period of time. Listen and learn!

Example County Pitches

  1. How do I empower employees to work from home in a secure and productive manner at minimal cost to the County?
  2. There are so many mobile apps in the market. Other than reading through the reviews, how can one determine the overall quality of a mobile app?  Is there a standard to check an app’s quality? What is it?
  3. What and where have been some of the more successful public/private partnerships providing broadband to unserved rural areas?

SIGN UP HERE TO BE A PART OF THIS SESSION Space is limited – Reply by July 19.

Have a pitch, but you are not attending this session?  Contact Robin Clark Eilenberg at MACo.

Tech Wednesday Vendor List

  • AVI-SPL, Inc
  • CDW-G
  • Comcast
  • Commvault
  • Cybersecurity Association of Maryland, Inc.
  • Data Networks of America
  • ePlus Technology Inc.
  • Esri
  • Freedom Broadband
  • Fujitsu America, Inc.
  • GovDeals, Inc.
  • Juniper Networks
  • Lenovo
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Maryland Libraries
  • Maryland Relay
  • Motorola Solutions, Inc.
  • Musco Sports Lighting
  • NIC Maryland
  • Phillips Office Solutions
  • Presidio
  • Prosys Information Systems
  • Regent Development Consulting, Inc. (RDC)
  • Ricoh USA, Inc.
  • Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
  • Rudolph’s Office & Computer Supply, Inc.
  • SAIC
  • ShoreScan Solutions
  • Splunk
  • Sprint
  • Supply Solutions, LLC
  • Tomi Environmental Solutions

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Ideas Add Up to a 10% Reduction in County School Construction Costs

Frederick County School Construction Work Group Presents Cost Savings in Final Report.

As reported by Frederick County, a work group appointed by County Executive Gardner has met its charge by identifying means to reduce school construction costs by 8-10%.

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A report on school construction from Frederick County considers possible savings of new HVAC technology.

Some items identified in the report include changes to the construction of schools, such as:

  • reducing the overall size of schools ($2 million in potential savings)
  • changing ceiling tiles ($300,000 in potential savings)
  • altering the height of roof parapets ($45,000 in potential savings)
  • employing Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Technology for school HVAC systems

From Frederick County:

The report contains over 40 recommendations ranging from legislative solutions, site acquisition and preparation, delivery methods, construction technologies and other general cost savings.

For more information, see the full report, Reducing School Construction Costs While Preserving Excellence in Education.

Harford Awards Grants to Boost Local Tourism

Twenty nine nonprofits in Harford County were awarded competitive grants to promote tourism in the county. This is the third year that the Glassman administration has awarded grants, funded by the county’s hotel lodging fee, in order to help stimulate tourism and economic activity. From The Baltimore Sun:

In a news release, County Executive Barry Glassman announced that 29 local nonprofits will receive a total of $1.5 million in funding to plan and implement a variety of tourism related activities including historical, cultural, agricultural, heritage and eco-tourism operations.

The grants are funded competitively to spur economic activity and promote attractions enjoyed by visitors and Harford County citizens alike,the news release states.

“I am committed to moving Harford County forward as a premier tourism destination and supporting opportunities that enhance our quality of life,” Glassman said in a statement. “My administration’s competitive award process provides accountability for how funds are used while assisting nonprofits in sustaining and enhancing tourism-related programs and activities. This funding also indirectly boosts local businesses, including restaurants and shops, when visitors come to Harford County.”

To learn more read the full article in The Baltimore Sun or the county news release.

Webinar: National Flood Insurance Reauthorization Update

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) on Monday, June 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM for a webinar and update on the National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization.

NACo to host webinar on National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization

From NACo:

“National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization: What Counties Need to Know” will provide participants with an overview of the NFIP and how it works. Additionally, the webinar will provide an update on legislation that both the House and Senate have developed to reauthorize the program before it expires on September 30, 2017.

Monday’s webinar will be moderated by NACo Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman, Commissioner Bill Truex, from Charlotte County, Florida. Other special guests include:

  • Caitlin Berni, Vice President for Policy and Communications at Greater New Orleans, Inc.
  • Jason Tuber, Senior Advisor, Office of Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
  • John Steitz, Legislative Assistant, Office of Senator John N. Kennedy (R-La.)
  • Jacob Terrell, Associate Legislative Director, National Association of Counties

NACo encourages local leaders from communities that participate in the NFIP to register for the webinar by clicking here.

Anne Arundel Councilman, MACo Board Member Jerry Walker Discusses County Issues on Local News Program

Anne Arundel Councilman Jerry Walker was recently featured on Comcast Newsmakers, a short-form news platform where leaders and innovators exchange ideas and tackle the issues facing communities across Maryland.

Councilman Walker discussed the role of MACo in Annapolis, his role within the organization, and a variety of issues affecting county governments.

Walker currently serves as First Vice President on the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Board of Directors and serves on MACo’s Legislative Committee.

Click on the image above to view the video.

Calvert Commissioners Approve FY 2018 Budget

From Calvert County, Maryland:

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a $282.8 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 general fund operating budget by a vote of 4 to 1. It is a balanced budget with no tax rate increase and no use of fund balance.

The county expects to receive the first payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) payment from the Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG Terminal in FY 2018, which will add approximately $25 million to general fund revenues.

“This budget clearly reflects our priorities while addressing the issues facing Calvert County,” said board President Tom Hejl. “In FY 2018, we will continue to exercise conservative financial management for the good of our citizens. This budget puts Calvert County in a strong fiscal position.”

The FY 2018 budget features an additional $36 million more for the operating budget than in the prior fiscal year. This increased spending is largely due to the fact that staffing needs, equipment purchases, pay increases and payments toward retiree benefits were deferred during the recession years. Some of the specifics are:

  • $1.4 million more for health insurance
  • $2 million more for county road paving
  • $2 million more for vehicles and equipment
  • $2.5 million for employee salary increases
  • $3.4 million more for new staffing, new equipment and new initiatives
  • $6 million additional for Calvert County Public Schools
  • $17.9 million for Other Post Employment Benefit costs (OPEB)

About 49.9 percent, or $141 million, of the county’s general operating budget is committed to public school operations, infrastructure costs and the schools’ OPEB, which represents an increase of 16.3 percent, or $19.8 million.

In addition, the six-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) lays out the county’s capital program for FY 2018-2023, totaling $273.7 million. School construction and renovations account for $103.6 million of the CIP budget, with significant resources focused on the replacements of Northern High and Beach Elementary schools.

Review the budget in its entirety online

NACo Issues Call to Action on Health Bill

From NACo:

Senate Health Bill Spells Massive Costs for Counties

On June 22, the U.S. Senate released a draft health care reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. This is the Senate version of the House-passed American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628). The legislation substantially alters the federal-state-local partnership for Medicaid and would shift significant health care costs to counties.

Senate Republicans are expected to discuss key provisions in the bill over the coming days and are planning a vote prior to the July 4th recess.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) opposes the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” because it would:
• Adversely alter the federal-state-local partnership for Medicaid;

• Shift significant costs to county taxpayers; and

• Negatively impact counties as health providers, payors, administrators and employers.

Here is NACo’s CALL TO ACTION: Urge your senators to oppose this legislation.

To provide you with the latest information on activity in the Senate, NACo will host a national conference call:

Monday, June 26
4:30 p.m. EDT
Dial: 1.888.394.8197
Passcode: 166189

NACo’s Annual Conference is coming up!

The NACo Annual Conference & Exposition is the only meeting that draws a cross section of elected officials and county staff from across the country. Attendees from rural and urban counties, large and small budgets and staff – all come together for four days of education, networking and sessions aimed to help improve residents’ lives and the efficiency of county government.

Register for the NACo Annual Conference & Exposition in Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio here

Anne Arundel Joins 287(g) Inmate Immigration Violation Screening Program

Anne Arundel County has signed a memorandum of agreement with the federal government making it the latest county in Maryland to join the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program. Under the program counties help screen inmates in jail for immigration violations using federal databases.

As reported in The Capital Gazette:

Federal officials finalized a 287(g) contract with the county on Monday, according to a memorandum of agreement released by County Executive Steve Schuh’s office.

Under the deal, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, will train county correctional officers to use federal databases that screen new inmates for immigration violations, warrants and prior crimes.

A Schuh spokesman framed the agreement earlier this year as part of a “moderate and measured approach” to immigration enforcement.

“We’re here to help the federal government enforce federal law,” spokesman Owen McEvoy reiterated Thursday. “That’s an appropriate role for the county.”

Anne Arundel joins two other Maryland counties, Frederick and Harford, that signed 287(g) agreements last year. Nationwide, 42 jurisdictions in 17 states have joined the program, according to ICE’s website.

Though the deal takes effect immediately, county officials predicted it would take months to train corrections officers and install new technology necessary for the screening.

The contract, which lasts through June 30, 2019, and is eligible for renewal, can be terminated at any time by either ICE or Anne Arundel County.

Read the full article in The Capital Gazette to learn more.