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The Big Tent for Small Business
Smart Workers=Smart Companies®

October 2014

SmartWorkersWhat makes a company successful? How does it find skilled, job passionate workers? What motivates its workers to excel?

In Harford County and Baltimore County, a virtual organization called Smart Workers=Smart Companies® may have an answer to those questions. It is made up of local world-class companies that seek skilled workers, and it invites qualified Harford County and Baltimore County companies to connect under its “Big Tent.”

Its Tent is a web site, www. where local companies post their job openings for Harford County and Baltimore County job seekers. Smart Workers=Smart Companies® is the only Internet site that is specific to Harford and Baltimore counties, thus offering “in your backyard job opportunities.” The member companies focus on development of their workers through internships; continuing education, both credit and non-credit; and employee driven community activity.

Smart Workers=Smart Companies®

12 Company Charter Members:
• TIC Gums
• J.M. Huber Corporation
• Independent Can Company
• Jones Junction
• Smuckers Natural Foods
• Stella May
• RTR Technologies, LLC
• Citrus and Allied
Essences, LTD
• Vision Associates
• Chesapeake Spice Company
• SURVICE Engineering

Smart Workers=Smart Companies® is not about money. As a matter of fact, it is neither for-profit nor non-profit, but acts as a community service. A core of companies underwrites the cost to maintain the website. Admission is free for entry to this Tent; there is no financial obligation at any time for a company or a job seeker.

Presently, 12 charter companies are under the Smart Workers=Smart Companies® Tent and, collectively, they employ over 2,000 people. The member companies seek workers with diverse education and skills for many different industries. Member companies invite workers with education levels that range from associate’s degree to Ph.D. to use the website to go directly to their job postings.

Local community colleges, colleges and universities are under the Tent. The Smart Workers=Smart Companies® members routinely inform post-secondary schools about their educational needs. Schools then offer employable courses to students, and when students graduate, the school helps the Tent member companies match students with desired job skills.

To be under the Tent, companies must have a facility in Harford or Baltimore counties, but they can also have a home office or facilities in other locales.

Smart Workers=Smart Companies® invites “closely-held” companies with 35 or more employees under its Tent. “Closely-held” is defined as public or privately owned, but the owners/designated managers are close to the company’s day-to-day operations.

For this article, developers of the Smart Workers=Smart Companies® concept declined to be named or quoted because they want attention focused on the advantages to being under the Tent, the 12 charter member companies and their job openings.

Most important, the developers invite companies to join them under the Tent because they believe as Smart Companies join, they will attract Smart Workers who will then attract more Smart Companies, and the trend will continue as Smart Companies and Smart Workers attract each other.

Developers of the Smart Workers=Smart Companies® concept express gratitude for the presence of Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County; APG is the “Biggest Tent” in Harford County. It is the third-largest employer in Maryland and the largest employer in Harford County; many Baltimore Countians travel to APG for work.

According to the developers, there are enough jobs in the region for two tents. The APG Tent is established with community support and 15,842 workers under its cover. Harford County Economic Development statistics state that its commercial companies collectively employ 17,675 workers. The Smart Workers=Smart Companies® Tent functions like the APG Tent, but in support of commercial companies.

Skilled workers who do not land a job at APG look elsewhere because they either do not know about or forget the small, world-class companies located in their own back yard. Just like the APG Tent, the Smart Workers=Smart Companies® Tent builds visibility and community awareness for employment opportunity at small, world-class companies in Harford and Baltimore counties.

How did Smart Workers=Smart Companies® get its name? The developers say that workers who are respected as a valuable company resource will function as a smart, motivated, even passionate workers. As a result, they create Smart Companies.

In return, Smart Companies grow and reward their employees with real career jobs that include: opportunity for future growth and promotion; competitive salary; benefits; and continuing education, including internships, on-the-job training and college support.

The smart worker and the smart company help each other prosper and succeed. It is WIN/WIN/WIN for worker, company and the Harford/Baltimore County economy. I95