By Dominic Rosetti
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Gov. Larry Hogan spent Tuesday visiting frontline workers, manufacturers and building trade officials around the state to highlight the state’s ongoing health and economic recovery.
Hogan celebrated the grand opening of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Greater Baltimore’s new Construction Education Academy in East Baltimore.
“Since its founding in Baltimore in 1950, ABC has been setting the standard for safety, quality, and integrity in the construction industry,” Hogan said. “Just as importantly, as we see here today, ABC continues to invest in the future of our skilled workforce.”
The new training facility will hold the largest apprenticeship programs for building trade in the State of Maryland, as well as doubling the current capacity of skilled workers to be trained, officials said.
Hogan stressed the need for “a steady pipeline of talented, well-trained workers to meet the increasing demand for these skilled jobs” and praised ABC for its role in helping “our state and nation continue our economic recovery.”
Unlike other states that have suffered the loss of apprentices during this pandemic, Hogan said Maryland has a notable expansion. Since the beginning of March, the state has a record-breaking 11,000 registered apprentices currently working, earning, and learning in the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program, which represents the highest participation rate in state history. He said that ABC Greater Baltimore has been a registered apprenticeship sponsor for more than 52 years, offering apprenticeship programs in more than 20 occupations, and currently has about 500 registered apprentices.
Hogan’s first stop of the day was at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, where he thanked the frontline healthcare workers. He presented a proclamation to the workers in recognition of National Respiratory Care Week.
Later, he toured Berry Global, which is a sponsor of registered apprenticeships that produce plastic packaging products, engineered materials, nonwoven specialty materials, and consumer packaging. The company has three facilities in Maryland with plants in Baltimore, Hanover, and Cumberland.
Construction workers at the new I-895 bridge site north of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel greeted the governor too. The $189 million bridge project will replace the 60-year-old I-895 bridge and the Holabird Avenue exit ramp which is north of the Harbor Tunnel.
In addition, the governor traveled to Hunt Valley to tour Textron Systems, a global manufacturing company that focuses on unmanned air, surface, and land products, as well as aerospace and defense customer services and support.