I don’t think there is any doubt that were we able to create more jobs, not only in the area but also throughout the state, the need for tax increases or other revenue measures would diminish.
During the previous legislative session, I introduced Senate Bill 746 to create a Task Force to work with the Department of Business and Economic Development and look at the loss of employment opportunities within Baltimore County in industry, ship building and repair, and businesses that supply various industries. That bill, and the cross-filed house bill passed, and was signed by the Governor.
Under the new law, the Task Force – of which I am a member – will consist of representatives from the Senate of Maryland, the House of Delegates, the Secretary of Business and Economic Development, the Secretary of Labor, Licenses, and Regulations, as well as three representative each from private business and organized labor. Reports will be made to the Governor and available to members of the General Assembly beginning on Dec. 3. The Task Force should conclude its business by June 1, 2012.
This is merely an opportunity for the Task Force to consider findings from the Maryland Economic Development Commission and the Governor’s Commission on Small Business. The Task Force will be charged with determining the causes of the loss of employment opportunities in specified industries and businesses in Baltimore County and make recommendations, including legislative and policy proposals.
The Task Force will begin meeting within the next two weeks. I know that we are always studying issues and we need to be prepared to take some sort of action to create employment. This is an opportunity to bring the powers to be together with business and labor and hopefully find some solutions.
Needless to say that all of us are extremely concerned with the loss of jobs and lack of new employment opportunities and have spent countless hours looking for solutions. I think all agree that we must push forward in an effort to come up with solutions.
An additional concern of great importance is the potential loss of skilled employees. The loss of many manufacturing jobs can be largely attributed to unfair competition overseas and from other countries. Our manufacturing superiority succeeded because we always had skilled individuals around to teach the trades.
The labor groups have outstanding apprenticeship programs that instill confidence, pride, and hone the skills of future craftsman. Without opportunities for employment for those individuals we run the risk of losing those programs.
We need to do all that we can to provide employment opportunities asap and hopefully this task force will be of some help.
State Sen. Norman R. Stone, Jr. can be reached via email at: email@example.com. His district office is located at 6905 Dunmanway, Baltimore, MD 21222. Phone: (410) 288-5270; fax: (410) 284-2864