(Photo by Flickr user Jimmy Emerson, DVM, used under a Creative Commons license)
Want to see how a region works? Look at its biggest employers.
That’s what Baltimore County government makes available with its list of top employers. It gives a snapshot of the job magnets in the region, with strong showings from the federal government, household Baltimore brands and global firms with a strong local presence that you might’ve never expected to have a local office.
It also provides a look at what’s changed. Years ago, when Baltimore was known as a blue-collar town, this list probably had names like Bethlehem Steel and General Motors that shaped the region. Today, there are still plenty of county companies that make stuff, but a lot is medical and consumer-focused — and none come close to the 30,000 workers who once toiled at Sparrows Point.
So let’s get to it: Here’s the list, with data compiled by the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development. It’s based on self-reported employer numbers from 2019.
Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Employees: 15,415
- Given how close we are to D.C., it’s probably not surprising that the federal government has a big presence in this metro area, too. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies have a sprawling complex in Woodlawn, making it a health policy center.
Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)
- Employees: 4,184
- The public community college has three campuses in Catonsville, Essex and Dundalk. The employment number includes 1,388 full-time employees, and nearly 2,800 full-time and adjunct faculty.
MedStar Franklin Square Hospital
- Employees: 3,900
- The Rosedale hospital is part of a Columbia-based network that includes 120 centers around Maryland and D.C.
T. Rowe Price
- Employees: 3,764
- While it’s headquartered in downtown Baltimore, the investment management giant has a 72-acre suburban campus in Owings Mills that’s home to a variety of its business and support teams.
Greater Baltimore Medical Center
- Employees: 3,742
- Like the region as a whole, the County’s healthcare sector is a major employer. This Towson-based hospital is among the most prominent reasons.
- Employees: 3,433 (2,327 part-time)
- A public university that traces a long history as a teachers’ college, TU now has more than 23,000 students.
University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center
- Employees: 2,611
- The 238-bed acute care hospital is one of Towson’s connection links in the University of Maryland Medical System.
McCormick and Company, Inc.
- Employees: 2,455
- Long one of Baltimore’s iconic brands (Old Bay on everything, please), the spice company’s headquarters is based in Hunt Valley. Plenty of Baltimoreans have memories of downtown Baltimore’s harbor smelling like spices when the McCormick factory was located there.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
- Employees: 2,220
- The health insurance provider has a presence all over the region, with general administrative offices in Owings Mills.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Employees: 2,217
- The Catonsville university is a top engine for cyber and tech talent. It’s also a job creator in its own right.
Sheppard Pratt Health Systems
- Employees: 1,918
- Another of Towson’s healthcare centers, it’s one of the leading mental health providers in the U.S.
BD Life Sciences
- Employees: 1,900
- The diagnostic systems hub for global medical technology firm Becton, Dickinson and Company has been in the headlines recently for supplying COVID-19 tests to the county where it’s based.
LifeBridge Health/Northwest Hospital Center
- Employees: 1,695
- The Randallstown hospital has no nursing stations, allowing closer proximity to patients. (That’s called a Friesen-design hospital.)
Stanley Black and Decker
- Employees: 1,600
- With roots from Black & Decker starting in Baltimore, the hardware company’s local presence remains strong with its Global Tools and Storage Headquarters in Towson, which includes the base for power tool brand DeWalt.
- Employees: 1,519
- Tracing its roots to Middle River’s Martin Airport, the company maintains a big presence aerospace, defense and IT presence in the County, even as it cleans up the airport site of contamination.
- Employees: 1,500
- The maker of all sorts of combat vehicles and systems counts Hunt Valley operations as part of its sizable regional presence.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
- Employees: 1,140
- The freight and logistics company counts Timonium as a center of tech talent.
- Employees: 1,094
- With campuses in Stevenson and Owings Mills, the private higher education institution has expanded with more land and a new name so far in the first two decades of this century.
- Employees: 978
- The County plays home to the telecom company’s finance and billing hub for Maryland.
- Employees: 940
- Formerly Procter and Gamble until a 2015 merger deal, this beauty brand has a strong local presence in Hunt Valley that descends from a 10-acre Locust Point plant. With plenty of P&G chemists, it’s also a STEM hub.
Finally, a few notes:
- Where’s Under Armour? It’s in the city, not the County. For those who may have surfed in from the far-flung reaches of the internet, Baltimore City and Baltimore County are two different jurisdictions. The County is suburban Baltimore, which surrounds the city limits of about three sides.
- Ed, meds and feds: A strong presence of institutions in education, healthcare and federal government are three of the big drivers of regional employment, and you’ll find all three well represented among the County’s largest employers.
- Tech employers: When it comes to the County’s tech firms, it’s also worth noting that wireless communications company Tessco Technologies and General Dynamics Information Technology’s medical software division employ hundreds.
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