OED Resources, Experienced Team Net Results for Local Businesses
Retain. Grow. Attract. This is both mantra and mission of the Harford County Office of Economic Development (OED) team. As a result of site visits, working with prospects and promoting awareness of available economic development resources, the County has added over 1,730 new jobs, more than $309 million in capital investments, and gained over 3.5 million additional square feet of commercial and industrial leased space since the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman took office in December 2014.
Karen Holt, Director of OED, says her team is dedicated to developing and maintaining a robust ecosystem that retains, grows and attracts business. “We want to enhance the quality of life for those who, live, work, invest and play in Harford County. Our goals of retain, grow and attract address all levels of business development – from start-ups to international companies.”
Eileen Frado, Senior Business Development Associate and liaison to Harford County’s industrial sector, emphasized OED’s efforts to pair resources with a company’s growth needs. “OED has a variety of tools to aid companies in reaching their business goals. Whether it’s training, energy incentives, potential tax credits or workforce transportation solutions, we focus on making those connections for our business customers.”
The three companies below spotlight the “Retain, Grow and Attract” efforts in Harford County.
RETAIN: BSC America
BSC America, better known as Bel Air Auto Auction, has been doing business in Harford County since 1980. Today, BSC America hosts
the largest independent auto auction in Maryland and offers solutions designed to manage every stage of a vehicle’s recovery and disposition. The family-owned company recently began the consolidation of its facilities on a 188-acre parcel in the Riverside Business Park in Belcamp with better proximity to I-95 for its clients. The property is now within the Enterprise Zone, a designation that offers multiple advantages to businesses, including tax credits. “We had a very short window of opportunity to apply for this status, and the synergy between BSC’s business and the County was critical,” says Jacqueline Delisle, local counsel for BSC America. “OED spearheaded the application and supported BSC through the process.”
Delisle says OED also connected BSC America to the BGE Seed Program and to the Workforce Training Grant program to help defray the cost of training 200 new employees in jobs that will be available at the new site this year. BSC America wanted to stay in Harford County, according to Delisle. “It’s a great place to do business, and OED and the Harford County Fast Track Program have been instrumental in connecting BSC to the appropriate county resources and getting the project from plan to completion.”
Frito-Lay has doubled its employee population in the last three years at its Aberdeen location, according to Scott Sobka, site director at the facility. The company selected the site in 1993 based on proximity to I-95 and the tri-city area, the transportation infrastructure and the ability to draw qualified team members from the region.
“During startup, OED helped us develop a good working relationship with the City of Aberdeen and the County, and they continue to assist by making the necessary connections to expand our buildings and our workforce,” Sobka explains.
Frado explains that OED has provided assistance to Frito-Lay through the years. Sobka says, “OED helped us to gain all the advantages we could and get the endorsements necessary to expand.”
The company continues to grow in Harford County. Frito-Lay has made a significant capital investment locally, adding to both its manufacturing lines
and warehouse facility. The company was also awarded a Workforce Technical Training Grant.
ATTRACT: Man Crates
Man Crates chose Maryland over neighboring states to open its doors in November 2016 because OED made the process easy and
Harford County had the best lead times for shipping, explains Alvin Woods, operations manager at Man Crates. Man Crates, a company that specializes in packaging and shipping “brag-worthy gifts for guys,” offers a variety of themed gifts and even offers personalization with laser engraving. Contents are packed and shipped in a wooden crate complete with a crowbar for opening the crate upon receipt.
“We were starting at the new site during our peak period, and OED helped to get us up and running on time,” says Woods. “We were looking for a place where we could better service our customers, and Maryland made it easy to attract a skilled supply chain workforce.” Woods says shipping times and access to transportation were best in Maryland. The customer service by OED and Harford County was also critical. During the construction phase, Woods says OED helped them meet critical deadlines. Man Crates employs 15 full-time people, but Woods says it brings in 150 temporary workers during its peak season.
For more information on how OED can help your business do business, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/OED. I95 Content Marketing