Center Maryland: Investing in young workers – the future of our economy

Originally published in Center Maryland on May 16, 2014 By Donald C. Fry Remember as a teenager being excited not only for the end of the school year, but for the chance to start making your own money during the summer working on the local college’s landscaping crew or greeting customers at a Greek diner? The skills you learned in those first jobs became a foundation for entering the workforce … Continue reading

Center Maryland: The cost of deteriorating rail infrastructure

Column originally published in Center Maryland on May 2, 2014 By Donald C. Fry When you have a rail transportation system that relies on bridges and tunnels that are more than a century old, problems tend to arise. When that transportation system is the 427-mile Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington, D.C. – the nation’s busiest rail corridor serving Amtrak, eight rail commuter operators, 2,200 daily trains, 260 million passengers … Continue reading

The Daily Record: David Cote’s formula for competitiveness

The Daily Record column, published April 25, 2014 By Donald C. Fry Seeking a national champion for making our business climate more competitive? Consider David Cote, CEO of Honeywell. Cote, who was Chief Executive Magazine’s 2013 CEO of the Year, knows a thing or two about innovation and global competitiveness. Since he took the helm as chairman and CEO of Honeywell in 2002, he coached the international corporate giant through … Continue reading

Wanted: Candidates’ thoughts on redistricting reform

CENTER MARYLAND column April 25, 2014 By Donald C. Fry As the election season shifts into high gear, voters are hearing from candidates on many issues relating to Maryland’s competitiveness for business growth and job creation. For example, candidates for governor are talking about topics ranging from the state’s tax structure and regulatory reform to strengthening its workforce. But candidates have not talked as much about a fundamental competitiveness issue … Continue reading

Center Maryland: Annapolis recognizing the need to strengthen business climate

By Donald C. Fry This year, lawmakers in the Maryland General Assembly signaled a growing awareness of the reality that, despite Maryland’s many strengths as a place to do business; there is work to do on the issue of competitiveness if our state is to convert its significant advantages into strong economic growth. In January, I attended the announcement by Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch of … Continue reading

State House Update: GBC’s 2014 Sine Die Report

In the years following the recession, Maryland has fared better than many states. Today, the state’s median household income remains the highest in the country; the unemployment rate is lower than two-thirds of the nation, and nearly 135,000 jobs have been recovered since the Mid-Atlantic region hit rock bottom in February 2010. However, as outlined in the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 2013 report, “A Compact for Competitiveness,” in order for Maryland … Continue reading

Center Maryland: Maryland’s job-growth competition intensifies

Guess what northeast state just eliminated its corporate income tax for manufacturers. Would you believe New York? The Empire State’s legislature eliminated its 5.9 percent corporate income tax on manufacturers late Tuesday night. Why did New York do this?  To better compete as a location for manufacturers and to help stem the erosion of manufacturing jobs in the state, according to published reports. Other corporations in New York will continue … Continue reading

State House Update: As Sine Die nears, major issues still on the table

STATE HOUSE UPDATE As the General Assembly moves closer to the final day of the 2014 Legislative Session a few key issues remain unresolved, chief among them the state’s Operating Budget. While both the House and the Senate have passed the state’s $39 billion budget plan, neither has yet passed the other chambers’ version – a mandatory step before the legislation becomes law. A conference committee has been established to … Continue reading

Center Maryland: Grasping job-growth reality in Annapolis

Maryland had a disappointing year for job growth in 2013, when employment in our state grew at a rate of less than 1 percent. A recent interactive map of job growth projections published by Pew Charitable Trusts, using data from Moody’s Analytics, projects a better year for Maryland in 2014, forecasting a 1.55 percent job-growth rate in our state this year. This would rank Maryland’s employment growth 29th in the … Continue reading