Thursday, May 28, 2015

Maryland Has Busiest Hiring Month in Five Years

The Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation announced yesterday that Maryland added 16,400 jobs in April, the largest number of new jobs in five years.
Private sector jobs accounted for 91% of the total and most of the jobs were created in the Professional & Business Services Sector with 7,800 jobs. 
The unemployment rate also fell in April to 5.3%, down from 5.4% last month. Locally, the unemployment rate for Frederick County was 4.8% in March (April figures at the County level not available yet).  Read the full press release here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

GROW: Volume 2

This series is part of a new blog series about Frederick County businesses that grow and expand. It is a snapshot of Frederick County business success stories. Check back each month for more businesses that grow in Frederick County or read last month's business stories here.

AstraZeneca (formerly known as MedImmune)
MedImmune was established in Frederick in 1996 with 90,500 SF and then expanded to 150,00 SF in 2001. In October 2005, MedImmune announced a multi-phase expansion of its biologics manufacturing facility a $250M expansion to an existing 225 employee operation and increased the manufacturing floor space to 710,000 SF. In April 2007, AstraZeneca purchased MedImmune for $15B. MedImmune is best known for its production of FluMist, a nasal-spray flu vaccine and Synagis a treatment that prevents RSV in babies, which is manufactured at the Frederick site. In 2006, MedImmune was given a $170M contract from the US Dept of HHS to develop culture-based seasonal and pandemic vaccines and then in 2009, the HHS awarded them a $90M contract for the manufacturing of a vaccine for Influenza A(H1N1).

Most recently in 2014, a 40,000 SF expansion at $200M was announced with 300 additional employees. They currently have 595 employees. AstraZeneca’s Frederick manufacturing center is the largest biologics manufacturing facility within the company’s global network and portfolio of assets, and a worldwide industry leader in cell culture manufacturing.

Richard B. Rudy, Inc
Founded in 1938 by Mr. Richard B. Rudy, the company began using a single truck and stainless steel cans to provide milk transportation services to dairies for local area farms in Frederick County. They incorporated in 1960 and remained in the dairy industry until 2002. Diversification into liquid sugars and finished food-grade items came along in the mid 1970’s. In the mid 1980’s, they moved from their Linden Ave location and bought 11-1/2 acres and now their office complex includes a five bay, full service shop, an automated tank wash facility with three pull-through bays, as well as dry storage and cold storage warehousing. Now 73 plus years and three generations later, they employ 80 people and hire new people each year. Today they serve the food industry throughout the east coast to the mid west and beyond and have had many major clients such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hershey Chocolates, Domino Sugar and Thomas English Muffins for over 40 years.

Launched as a residential home builder in 1955 by Ralph Morgan and Lawrence Keller in Wolfsville, MD privately held Morgan-Keller Construction Co. is the area’s largest commercial construction company with some 185 employees.

In the early days, Morgan-Keller was responsible for the residential construction of College Estates in Frederick and Woodlea and Woodmere in Middletown. By 1965, Morgan-Keller had started performing commercial work, including pre-engineered metal buildings. In the mid-1970’s, Morgan-Keller began building retirement communities like Homewood in Williamsport, MD. In 1980, they decided to move away from custom residential construction and focus on commercial, industrial, management and multi-family. About 9 years ago, they opened a satellite office in Columbia as they expanded their reach in MD.

The company touts a range of deliveries including Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Center at the Riverside Business Center, Carroll Creek Linear Park, the Frederick Memorial Hospital renovation and the Frederick National Cancer Laboratory as examples of its work. Their portfolio of projects is throughout MD, PA, VA and WV. The company reports they are in a hiring upswing and currently hiring for the field.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the nation's largest mortgage lender and the County’s 5th largest employer.

In 1989, Prudential Home Mortgage moved to 270 Technology Park and in 1996 was acquired by Norwest Mortgage. In 2000, Wells Fargo acquired Norwest and moved into the location, expanding to five buildings. The company had as many as 1,900 employees during the refinance boom of 2003 to 2004 where they stated at the time that 80% of their business then was refinancing. When that died down, the staff level fell to about 1,200. In 2007, employees were back up to about 1,700 when they moved into a brand new $30 million dollar 310,000 SF facility. Prior to moving into the building at 8480 Stagecoach Cir off Monocacy Blvd, operations were scattered throughout six buildings.

In 2013, Wells Fargo added 60K SF to their operations in Frederick and today, they employ nearly 1,900 people in Frederick County.

Orases, an information technology company, was established in Frederick County in 2002 with 3 employees. Since that time, they have grown to 14 employees and gone from 750 SF in the City to 3000 of space in Frederick County. They are a recipient of the Best Places to Work in Frederick County last year and have major national clients such as: National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball and Johns Hopkins.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Frederick's KamTek one of 12 ExportMD grant award winners

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced yesterday the recipients of 12 ExportMD grants which included KamTek, Inc, a Frederick-based bioscience company.

KamTek, Inc expanded into a 10,910 SF facility on International Blvd in 2012 and work with genomics, proteomics and glycomic solutions. Their staff has over 25 years of experience in biomedical and biotech research.

The Export MD grant program assists companies with promoting their products and services globally by financing the costs of marketing internationally, including trade show fees, brochures and travel expenses.  In an effort to increase the number of Maryland companies that export, the program provides matching grants that are capped at $5,000 as well as up to 40 hours of marketing consulting from DBED’s Office of International Trade and Investment.

Applications are accepted bi-monthly and the eligibility requirements can be found here. Companies that don't qualify for assistance may still be eligible for exporting assistance from DBED. Frederick County companies can also benefit from a complimentary membership to the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) and receive connections to 330 World Trade Centers, 155 World Banks, Embassies and international/regional exporting leads. Contact our office at 301-600-1058 to learn more about exporting assistance.

Have you signed up for the 1st Frederick County Minority Business Forum yet?

The 1st Frederick County Minority Business Forum will be held Tuesday, May 26th from 7:30am to 10:00am at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce located at 8420-B Gas House Pike, Frederick. This event is the first event to kick off a series of outreach efforts to minority business owners and potential minority business owners by the Frederick County Office of Economic Development.

The Frederick County Miniority Business Forum Vision Statement

To bring the Frederick County minority business community together by providing a forum for networking, sharing of information, lessons learned and successful growth business strategies that inspire creativity and innovation leading to expanded business growth opportunities.

7:30am Networking
8:00am Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:15am  Entreprenuerial Lessons Learned
8:45am  County Business Support Services
9:00am  State Business Support Services
9:15am  Q&A
9:50am  Closing Remarks

This event is free. Please register by May 22nd by clicking here or call Sherman Coleman at 301-600-2137.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Farmers Market Season Has Arrived

A recent University of  Maryland at Baltimore County found that 78% of Maryland residents prefer to buy locally grown products. Farmers markets in Frederick County are a great way to promote the Home Grown Here movement and there are many resources available to increase access to local products.

Frederick County is home to 13 farmers markets as well as the Frederick County Virtual Farmers Market which is open 24/7. Several have already opened for the spring and summer selling season and more are planning to open soon. The West Frederick Farmers Market at 800 Oak St  (new location this year) is the County's largest market but markets exist all over the county from Emmitsburg to Urbana. The Frederick Farm Fresh website maintains a listing of markets, locations and hours as well as a local harvest schedule to plan for fresh produce. 

Our Homegrown Frederick publication, in partnership with Frederick Magazine, provides a complete directory of our available agricultural products and information about this historic industry in Frederick County. The publication also includes a listing of Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) enterprises where consumers can share in whatever bounties the farmer produces.

The Maryland's Best website connects Maryland farmers with consumers all over the State and the Maryland Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Directory provides a listing of farmers markets in Maryland.

For questions about Frederick County's Farmers Markets, please contact our office at 301-600-1058.