The Vantage Blog

Anco Inc. Moves Manufacturing Operations to Federalsburg

77 H Street, Washington, DC. Window walls fabricated by Anco Inc.

Caroline County Economic Development has announced that Anco Inc. is relocating part of its operations to Federalsburg. Anco is headquartered in Bowie. The company has purchased a property in the Caroline Industrial Park and is relocating its manufacturing operations from Delaware. Anco will be bringing at least 15 new jobs to Federalsburg.

Anco is a family-owned glazing contractor that has been in business for more than 25 years. The company fabricates, installs, and services glass facades for multistory commercial and residential buildings. It also provides interior glass systems. Anco has completed projects for many prominent construction companies and developers throughout Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.

“We’re very excited to welcome Anco to Caroline County,” said Rachel Barry, Economic Development Coordinator for Caroline County. “They are a well-run company with a great reputation and will be a great addition to our business community.”

Anco will be eligible for the manufacturing tax credit offered by the Town of Federalsburg, as well as the Enterprise Zone income tax credits offered by the State of Maryland.

Anco is the third manufacturer to expand or relocate to Federalsburg within the past eight months. Caroline County Economic Development and the Federalsburg Economic Development Commission worked closely to help Anco with their relocation plans.

To learn more about Anco Inc., please visit their website at www.ancoglass.com. Questions about their relocation may be directed to Rachel Barry at Caroline County Economic Development at 410-479-4188.

Caroline County Announces the Expansion of Eastern Shore Forest Products to Federalsburg; 45 New Jobs

 

Caroline County Economic Development has announced the expansion of Eastern Shore Forest Products to Federalsburg. Eastern Shore Forest Products is headquartered in Salisbury, MD and operates four other locations in Millington, Salisbury and Pocomoke, MD and Frankford, DE. The company purchased the former Kraft-Heinz property that ceased operations earlier this year. Eastern Shore Forest Products will be making a total investment of $5 million in the property and adding at least 45 new jobs.

Eastern Shore Forest Products is a family-owned business that has been operating for 37 years. It produces specialty consumer wood products, industrial wood fiber, mulch, fuel and specialty soil mixes. Its Federalsburg facility will produce animal bedding and fuel products that is distributed primarily through major national retailers. The company is making improvements to the facility to sound-proof its operations from outside the building. It is also in the process of building its own proprietary equipment used in the production process.

“We are excited to welcome another great company to our community,” said Rachel Barry, Economic Development Coordinator for Caroline County. “Eastern Shore Forest Products has won quality and service awards from its customers, and it has a very strong management team. We’re proud they chose to expand their business to Federalsburg and Caroline County.

Eastern Shore Forest Products may be utilizing the manufacturing tax credits offered by the Town of Federalsburg and Caroline County, as well as the Enterprise Zone tax credits offered by the State of Maryland.

Eastern Shore Forest Products is one of three manufacturers to expand to Federalsburg within the past eight months. Chuck Planner, Mayor of Federalsburg, credits the responsiveness of the Town’s staff, its dedicated economic development commission, and a strong relationship with County economic development for its recent success. “When businesses like Eastern Shore Forest Products visit our town, they see a team of people who are excited to help them.”

Dan Franklin, President of the Caroline County Commissioners, agrees. “We are privileged and excited to have Eastern Shore Forest Products coming to Caroline County. They are innovators in their field, and have been very successful. We welcome them with open arms into our business community. We look forward to seeing Eastern Shore Forest Products continue their success with the citizens of Caroline County.”

Eastern Shore Forest Products will begin hiring for several key positions immediately and has expressed interest in interviewing former Kraft-Heinz employees affected by the merger and plant consolidation. Tom Johnson, CEO of Eastern Shore Forest Products, said the availability of experienced manufacturing talent was one of the things that made Federalsburg an appealing location. “We’re looking for dedicated people who can grow with us. Most of our employees have been with us for years. I believe if you treat people right, they will treat you right and they will want to stay with you.”

Anyone interested in applying for a position with Eastern Shore Forest Products may complete an application on their website at www.esforest.com. Questions about economic development in Caroline County may be directed to 410-479-4188 or info@carolinebusiness.com

 

Caroline County Launches New Manufacturing Curriculum

The Caroline County Board of Education and Caroline County Commissioners have announced the launch of a new manufacturing curriculum for high school students. The Advanced Manufacturing Professionals (AMP) curriculum was developed to prepare Caroline County students for careers with local and regional manufacturers. The Maryland State Department of Education has approved the new curriculum, which will begin enrolling students for the 2017 – 2018 school year.

The AMP curriculum was developed in response to Caroline County Economic Development’s five-year strategic plan, which identified workforce development for the manufacturing sector as a top priority. The Board of Education, economic development, and local manufacturers began working together to develop AMP nearly three years ago.

“We are very excited about the opportunities AMP will provide our students,” said Dr. Patricia Saelens, Interim Superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools. “The new curriculum is very robust. It will prepare students for modern manufacturing, which requires creativity, problem solving, and teamwork.”

The manufacturing sector employs more than 1,200 people in Caroline County, representing 12.2% of all jobs in the County, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation. There are more than 6,500 people employed in manufacturing in the broader Mid-Shore region. The Board of Education received fifteen letters of support for the AMP curriculum from manufacturers located in all five Mid-Shore counties. These companies expressed concern that it has become increasingly difficult to find skilled technical workers. They expect this trend to continue as their most experienced workers are aging and retiring out of the workforce.

The local shortage of skilled manufacturing labor reflects broader national trends. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the industry expects to add a total of 3.5 million manufacturing jobs over the next ten years. In a recent survey, 80% of manufacturers reported that they are already facing a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled or highly-skilled positions. This is despite the fact that the average manufacturing worker’s wages are $26.00 per hour, excluding benefits. This is higher than the average wages for workers in other sectors.

“The AMP program will begin developing the next generation of manufacturing talent, which is absolutely vital to Caroline County,” said Dan Franklin, president of the Caroline County Commissioners. “We’ve seen significant growth with new manufacturers moving to the County, and our existing companies growing and expanding. We are very fortunate to have a Board of Education that is so eager to work with our businesses. There’s a true partnership between the schools and our economic development office.”

The AMP curriculum will give students the opportunity to work on equipment like 3D printers, CNC machines, and state-of-the-art welding kits. Students will work on real-world projects provided by local manufacturers. Local manufacturers have also volunteered to help co-teach lessons, provide feedback to students on completed projects, and provide internship opportunities.

Josh Zimmerman, Business Liaison for Caroline County Public Schools, said the manufacturing community has helped make AMP a reality. “We have incredible business leaders who have already invested a tremendous amount of their time to support this curriculum. Tanglewood Conservatories has been part of this effort from the beginning, and has gone above and beyond what we could have ever asked. Other manufacturers like Dart Container and Crystal Steel have also been very generous with their support.”

Students enrolled in the AMP curriculum will begin taking classes in their sophomore year and will move through the program as a cohort. They will begin by learning the principles of safety, quality, measurements, and lean manufacturing. They will apply those concepts as they move through the curriculum, working on projects related to product design and development, process automation, and production management.

Gene Smith, Principal of the Caroline Career & Technology Center where AMP will be taught, says the curriculum will have a heavy emphasis on soft skills. “Businesses have told us that they’re looking for people who are good at problem solving and working in teams. We’ll be providing students with projects that challenge them. They’ll have to work together to figure out solutions, just like in a real manufacturing environment,” said Smith.

Students who complete the AMP curriculum will be prepared to go to work immediately, or to pursue further education. The Board of Education has secured articulation agreements with Chesapeake College and Delaware Technical Community College.

Smith said students and parents interested in AMP should contact their guidance counselors. Businesses interested in getting involved with AMP may contact Josh Zimmerman, Business Liaison for Caroline County Public Schools at 410-479-1460; or Rachel Barry, Economic Development Coordinator at 410-479-4188.

New Ag Business Hiring Management Positions

There will soon be a new agricultural business in Ridgely, and they are hiring!

BSD Farms is a large-scale hydroponic greenhouse operation. The company will be producing lettuce, herbs, and vegetables for sale to Kosher markets throughout the east coast. BSD Farms will be building their operation in the Mid-Shore Technology Park located in Ridgely, MD.

BSD Farms is currently seeking candidates for two important management positions. Please click the links below for the complete job descriptions:

Project Manager – BSD Farm

Chief Local Grower – BSD Farm

BSD Farms is tentatively scheduled to conduct initial interviews on March 16, 2017. Anyone who would like to be considered should submit a resume and cover letter as soon as possible to angela@carolinebusiness.com. Please do not mail your cover letter and resume; they should be sent via email only. Cover Letters may be addressed to:

Mr. Asaff Bagg

BSD Farms, Inc.

Mid-Shore Technology Park

Ridgely, MD 21660

Candidates selected for consideration will be contacted to schedule an interview. Please share this post with anyone you know who may be interested.

Caroline County Commissioners Hire Rachel Barry as Economic Development Coordinator

Rachel HeadshotThe Caroline County Commissioners are pleased to announce the selection of Rachel Barry as Economic Development Coordinator.

Barry comes to the County with three years’ experience in economic development. Prior to being hired by the County, she served as the Manager of Small Business Services for Caroline Economic Development Corporation, where she was responsible for all aspects of the organization’s small business strategy and outreach.  This included managing the Caroline County Small Business Loan Program, business plan review, site selection, troubleshooting permitting and regulatory issues, and assistance securing project financing.

In her new role, Barry will be responsible for implementing the County’s strategic plan for economic development. Her duties include working with the County Commissioners and the Economic Development Advisory Board to establish objectives in business retention and expansion, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and marketing and business attraction.

County Commission President Dan Franklin stated, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Rachel in her former position with CEDC, where I was on the Board of Directors. I am excited to have her aboard as Caroline County’s Economic Development Coordinator, and have no doubt that she will continue to provide outstanding service to our business community and citizens. We’re proud to have Rachel on our team.”

A native of Caroline County, Barry holds an A.S. in Business Administration from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  She moved back to Denton with her husband after he completed military service in 2012.  Barry previously worked in the logistics and financial sectors and is active in several local organizations, including Caroline Imagination Library Partnership.  She has also served on the Board of Directors for SCORE Mid-Shore, a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed, since 2013.

Barry began her position effective March 1, 2017.

Caroline Economic Development Corporation Launches New Brand

“You Belong Here” brand will attract businesses, talent, and visitors to Caroline County

Caroline Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) has launched a new brand to attract businesses, talent, and visitors to Caroline County. The new brand will be implemented by both Economic Development and the Office of Tourism. Establishing a strong brand for the County was identified as a top priority in CEDC’s five-year strategic plan for economic development.

The new brand was built around the tagline “You Belong Here,” which was chosen after extensive community input. CEDC hired Choptank Communications, a marketing firm based on the Eastern Shore, to conduct focus groups, a public survey, and one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders throughout Caroline County. Participants were asked to provide their insight into the culture and characteristics that best define the County. In total, nearly 400 people who live and/or work in Caroline County provided input that helped shape the brand.

“It was interesting to see how consistent feedback was across demographic groups and industries,” said Angela Visintainer, Director of Economic Development. “There were very clear themes that emerged. Almost everyone talked about how warm and down-to-earth Caroline County is, and how it just feels like home. Many people also spoke about how collaborative and close relationships are in the County. There are a lot of very strong partnerships.”

Based on the input from the community, Choptank Communications proposed the tagline “You Belong Here” to serve as the foundation of the new brand. This was reflected back to many of the same people who participated in the focus groups and interviews to get their feedback on the concept. There was overwhelming consensus that “You Belong Here” accurately captures the character of Caroline County.

Community feedback was also used to guide the design of the logo for the new brand. “There was again a lot of consistency from the focus groups and survey results,” said Visintainer. “People talked about how much they love the rural landscapes in Caroline County, including the farmland, rivers, and parks. There were very vivid descriptions of the green in the fields, the yellow of the corn that grows throughout the county, and the blue of the rivers and open sky.”

CEDC contracted Christina Lippincott Designs to incorporate this imagery into a logo design that is both modern and versatile. The resulting logo includes an icon of graceful arches in blue, green, and yellow to represent the County’s landscape. The “You Belong Here” tagline is presented in a bright green, casual script that feels friendly and welcoming.

“We wanted a logo that is bright and cheerful to appeal to visitors coming to the County,” said Kathy Mackel, Director of Tourism. “The logo looks friendly and welcoming, and I think it really sends the message that when you visit Caroline County, we’ll make you feel right at home.”

Both Economic Development and Tourism will be incorporating the new “You Belong Here” brand into all future marketing efforts. CEDC will also offer to share the tagline with other County agencies, departments, and non-profits, as well as the various municipalities throughout the County.

“We’re developing guidelines for other organizations that would like to incorporate the ‘You Belong Here’ tagline into their own marketing and communications efforts,” said Visintainer. “Our hope is that the brand will be widely adopted, which will create a consistent message and experience for everyone visiting, living, or working in the County.”