ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of new initiatives to spur job creation and economic growth in Maryland and further establish the state’s leadership in key STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) industries. The governor was joined by Commerce Secretary Mike Gill, Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver, and numerous officials from the counties benefiting from the governor’s expanded jobs initiative.
“For nearly three years, the focus of our administration has been on growing our private sector, putting more people to work, and turning our economy around – and that is exactly what we have done,” said Governor Hogan. “The initiatives we are announcing today will help us to create an environment of economic opportunity for every Marylander, and to accelerate growth in some of the sectors where Maryland already leads.”
The governor pledged to introduce new legislation in the upcoming session to expand on the already-successful More Jobs for Marylanders Act, which was passed in the 2017 session and went into effect on June 1st. The program incentivizes manufacturing companies to create jobs in areas with higher unemployment by providing a tax credit for each new job created. In less than six months, nearly 70 manufacturers have filed letters of intent with the Maryland Department of Commerce, with the potential to create thousands of jobs. Seventeen of those companies have filed official applications, which will create approximately 450 new jobs, including Marlin Steel and Tulkoff Foods in Baltimore City, Alertus Technologies in Prince George’s County, Lanco Dairy Farms in Washington County, and Sherwin-Williams in Somerset County.
“Governor Hogan’s program to create manufacturing jobs is paying off,” said Drew Greenblatt, CEO of Marlin Steel. “Marlin Steel is hiring engineers, welders, and robot technicians who all live locally in Baltimore City.”
The new legislation, the More Jobs for Marylanders Act 2.0, will build on that success by expanding the reach of the program to additional jurisdictions, including Garrett, Caroline, Kent, and Wicomico Counties, and allowing all eligible jurisdictions to select up to three industries or sectors in addition to manufacturing where the tax credits would be applicable. This will give jurisdictions the ability to leverage their unique economic development goals and strengths to create even more jobs. The expanded program will also increase the available funding for tax credits from $9 million to $15 million.
“I would like to thank Governor Hogan for his tireless efforts to bolster economic opportunity throughout the state, and especially on the Lower Shore,” said Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver. “Through the expanded More Jobs for Marylanders Act, local jurisdictions will have greater flexibility to identify their own individual economic development needs based on their local goals and strengths.”
“We are grateful and excited for the governor to include us in the More Jobs for Marylanders Act. As a small and economically depressed area, the need for state support through these types of incentives is paramount if we are going to have any opportunities for growth. This is big for us!” said Garrett County Commissioner Paul Edwards.
Governor Hogan also unveiled a series of new initiatives to maximize growth in Maryland’s leading industries, including cybersecurity and life sciences, based on recommendations from Excel Maryland, the administration’s comprehensive statewide economic development program launched earlier this year. He announced that the administration will launch a $33 million partnership with the University System of Maryland to increase degrees awarded in STEM-related fields. The degree program dovetails with the administration’s ACCESS Initiative, which targets STEM education to K-12 students.
In addition, the governor announced new legislation to incentivize cybersecurity companies to grow in Maryland, after the legislature failed to act on a bill proposed in 2016. Despite the legislature’s inaction, the administration was successful in securing an investment of $3 million in a cyber-specific grant through the state’s nationally-recognized Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) apprenticeship program.
Building on the administration’s commitment to workforce development, the governor announced that he will fund the Maryland Technology Internship Program for the first time in state history, which provides matching funds to companies for internship stipends. To support the program, the state will launch a social network technology platform called IN-MD to create a one-stop-shop for internships in STEM-related fields.
Finally, the governor announced a groundbreaking new partnership between the state, Johns Hopkins University, Cognate Bioservices, and Forest City to invest $17 million to establish the Maryland Center for Cell Therapy Manufacturing in Baltimore City. This critical infrastructure investment will leverage Maryland’s robust clinical and research base to become a world leader in the regenerative medicine industry.
“Investment to support cell therapy manufacturing is an exciting opportunity and an important initiative to support both research and treatment to benefit patients,” said Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels. “This crucial funding will ensure Johns Hopkins and Maryland remain a destination for cutting-edge patient therapies.”
“With all of these important announcements we are making today, we are continuing our focus on jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Governor Hogan. “We are providing the job training needed to increase the number of qualified and skilled job candidates right here in Maryland, and we are working to address current industry demand to help our businesses and our economy continue to grow. Most importantly, we are continuing our very successful efforts to create tens of thousands of new high-paying jobs for Marylanders.”