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Protecting manufacturing jobs produces job growth

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Published on: Friday, August 10, 2012

By Gov. Martin O'Malley

In Maryland, the most important job we create is the next one. In our work to create jobs, save jobs and expand opportunity, we’re choosing to invest in the job-creating power of manufacturing.

Strengthening and growing our manufacturing sector is one of the ways we’re accelerating our progress forward. On average, Maryland manufacturing jobs pay $14,500 more per year than non-manufacturing jobs. Every dollar of manufactured goods we produce creates another $1.40 of activity in other sectors — that is twice the multiplier effect for the services industry.

We’ve already created more than 800 manufacturing jobs in partnership with GM in Baltimore County. We’ve created 50 new jobs in Pocomoke City in partnership with Vorbeck Materials, with the help of state incentive-based financing. And together with VT Industries, we’ve helped bring 60 jobs to our state from Indiana.

But we want to do even more. To build on our progress, we’re leveraging our state’s strengths to keep our manufacturing sector thriving, growing and creating jobs.

Our state tax laws don’t penalize Maryland’s manufacturing companies for expanding their operations. In Maryland, we pay the third-lowest state and local taxes in America as a percentage of income, along with America’s ninth lowest sales tax, the eighth lowest tax burden on mature firms, and the 12th lowest burden on new investment. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks our state No. 1 in America for entrepreneurship and innovation, up from No. 7 last year. The Chamber also ranks us in the Top 5 for economic performance.

Maryland also ranks No. 1 in research and development dollars per capita. And with record investments, we’ve built what Education Week magazine says are America’s No. 1 public schools for an unprecedented four years in a row.

We therefore have one of America’s most highly skilled workforces. We also have all the advantages of our geography, from the Port of Baltimore to the access we have to Maryland’s 61 federal facilities.

We’ve worked together to contain the damage to the manufacturing sector during the recession — creating and saving nearly 19,000 jobs — without which, the hits we’ve taken would have been almost double.

Together, we’ve taken some significant actions to make our state a better place for manufacturing. We’ve extended our research and development tax credit for a decade. We’ve invested $84 million in venture capital dollars into our economy through InvestMaryland. And we have reinvigorated education in the STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and math — so our workers have the skills to compete in the changing global economy.

We have already sent hundreds of pages of regulations to the General Assembly to be reformed and, where possible, removed from the books. And through our Maryland Made Easy initiative, we’re working to reform and streamline the regulatory process so our businesses can more easily create jobs and grow our economy.

We’re moving forward, but we still have a long way to go. Together, we will continue to make the right choices that help us advance manufacturing, create jobs and help build a better future for all of us.

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