The Business Newspaper of Howard &
Anne Arundel Counties and the BWI Business District
wenty five yea
See Labor, page 12
By George Berkheimer, SENIOR WRITER
Vigorous residential and commercial
construction activity can currently be
seen up and down the Route 1 Corridor,
at Odenton Town Center, in downtown
Columbia, in Savage and in Maple Lawn.
Other major projects are set to begin shortly, among them the renovation of Long
Reach Village Center, and the initiation
of activity at Laurel Park Station and
Konterra Town Center East.
It’s a good time to be a developer or a
subcontractor, particularly after the long,
dry period of The Great Recession. But ask
around, and they’ll all confess to sharing
the same problem: a skilled labor shortage
that’s making it difficult to plan jobs, maintain pricing and finish projects on time.
It’s not a localized problem, and it’s also
not something that happened overnight.
The Associated General Contractors of
America’s (AGC) 2017 Workforce Survey,
released in August, indicates that 70% of respondents nationwide are having problems
filling some hourly craft positions. In fact,
50% or more of these respondents reported
difficulty finding plumbers, concrete workers, electricians, bricklayers and carpenters.
Only 14% rated the adequacy of the
pipeline for supplying well-trained craft
personnel as “good,” while the largest
contingents — 36% and 38%, respectively
— rated it “fair” or “poor.”
AGC’s analysis of the survey results
Inside This Issue
See Global, page 10
All Around Howard
State transportation funding includes
$10.7 million in Highway User Revenues for Howard County during the
next six years. Page 3
The annual economic impact of Maryland’s craft beer industry is $632 million, in spite of various impediments.
However, new legislation is coming.
How We Bank
The banking industry has been
disrupted by online financial services,
which has pushed traditional banks
to promote technology to keep pace.
BizRoundup ..................................... 6
Calendar of Events......................... 28
Business Briefs............................... 29
People in Business ......................... 31
Nonprofit & Charitable Giving ...... 31
All Around Town ..................... 34–35
By Mark R. Smith, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
There are various places for entrepreneurs to found a startup.
In their basements or in their garages
quickly (and almost famously) come to
mind; perhaps in their living rooms, or
if the founder is somewhat imprisoned at
home, Starbucks can work.
But when startups get traction and it’s
time to make a move, it still may not be
time to sign a long-term lease.
What’s the answer? Leasing a collaborative, or co-working, space and riding a
new-ish wave that offers access to huddle
spaces, kitchens, high-end tech options and
even a spot for Sparky to snooze while his
human aims for world domination.
However, while collaborative spaces
— which can also fall into the category
of incubators and accelerators — are
trending, there are questions about their
By Susan Kim, STAFF WRITER
Last month, Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA)
officials completed what they called a
“successful” trade mission to Europe,
and part of that success was securing a
new agreement with Fraunhofer, Europe’s
largest application-oriented research organization.
Headquartered in Munich, Germany,
Fraunhofer will work with the HCEDA to
open an office in Howard County. Fraunhofer develops technology for a variety
of industries, including communications,
health and environment, production and
supply of services, mobility and transportation, energy and security.
The overseas connection was all part
of the local effort to remain competitive.
“We must think globally to successfully
attract these new technologies,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.
From Fraunhofer’s perspective,
“working with Howard County’s rich
and diverse technology ecosystem is an
ideal way for us to meet our goals,” said
Adam Porter, executive director of the
Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental
‘Best and Brightest’
It’s not only European companies that
are looking in from the world beyond, but
Asian- and Indian-founded firms that tend
to locate in the Baltimore-Washington region, too, said Daraius Irani, vice president
See Collaborative Space, page 8
of the Division of Innovation and Applied
Research at Towson
“There are already
strong communities of
in the region, and there
is a strong education
system, both K– 12,
[and] through college
and graduate school,”
As this trend
grows, it bodes well for
continued growth and
job creation, he said,
since “startups are the
engine of economic
Just how quickly
ed businesses starting
in the U.S.? In 1996,
13.3% of all startup
owners were immi-
grants; by 2014, that
number had increased
to 28.5%, according
to the 2015 Kauffman
Index of Startup Ac-
tivity National Trends
report. And according to a May 17, 2016,
article in The Wall Street Journal, immi-
grants founded 51% of all startups valued
a $1 billion or more. About 16.1% of these
startups were founded by Indians.
Q&A With DLLR’s Antonio
“Tony” Salazar … Page 9
Focus on Rotary
International … Page 17
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman asked for more
information during a recent group visit to BTS Energy, a
foreign company that is opening an office in Columbia.
Thinking Globally Boosts
Local Business Prospects Possible Construction
Collaborative (or co-working) spaces, such as COPT’s CIRQL, in Columbia
Gateway Business Park, have become very popular — especially with millennials.