Chronicle of Higher Ed Again Selects HCC as Great College to Work For
For the ninth consecutive year, Howard Community College (HCC) has been named a Great College to Work For, according to the results from a comprehensive workplace survey recently released by The Chronicle of Higher Education (TCHE). HCC is the only Maryland community college and one of 22 community colleges across the country to have achieved this year’s recognition. With the ninth consecutive year, HCC joins a prestigious group of three community colleges that have been recognized every year possible.
TCHE recognized HCC for success in the following categories: collaborative governance; confidence in senior leadership; facilities, workspace and security; professional/career development programs; respect and appreciation; teaching environment (faculty only). It also selected HCC for the Honor Roll, a special distinction given to the colleges and universities that received the greatest number of category citations in comparison to other institutions of the same size.
The survey is the largest and most comprehensive workplace study in higher education, consisting of a two-part assessment process: a survey administered to faculty, administrators and staff, and an institutional audit that captures demographics and workplace policies from each institution. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition is the employee feedback. For more information, visit www.chronicle.com//interactives/greatcolleges17.
Maryland Integrates New Technology Into School Bus Inspections
The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) has introduced an approach to school bus inspections that allows inspectors to complete the inspection electronically. The Maryland School Bus Safety Inspection System, implemented with a handheld tablet, replaces a manual paper-based inspection process and lets inspectors use mobile devices to inspect and report results electronically. Additionally, the system creates a database MDOT MVA can use to track all bus inspections.
The state of Maryland requires every one of its roughly 9,000 school buses to be inspected three times a year. After an inspection using a mobile device, the electronically recorded results either indicate the bus has passed inspection or requires a repair order for additional follow-up. The efficiency of the new reporting method has reduced the time it takes to complete inspection reports. In the month of May, 1,582 inspections were completed using the new system.
The Maryland School Bus Safety Inspection System was developed at no cost to MDOT MVA by NIC Inc., a Kansas-based information service provider, through the self-funded digital government services contract with the Maryland Department of Information Technology.
DOC Designates, Redesignates, Expands Five Enterprise Zones
The Maryland Department of Commerce (DOC) has approved the designation, redesignation and expansion of five enterprise zones in the state. They are the Brooklyn Park section of Anne Arundel County, Talbot County, the Town of Easton, and Montgomery County’s Burtonsville and Briggs Chaney areas.
The new Anne Arundel County enterprise zone designation covers 1,600 acres in the Brooklyn Park section of North County. This is the county’s first application for designation since the inception of the program. The goal is to incentivize commercial redevelopment by leveraging public incentives to address vacant properties, as well as encourage business retention, expansion and job creation.
“Along with our county community revitalization finance and tax credit programs, the enterprise zone tax credits give Brooklyn Park more tools to continue the momentum that started with last year’s implementation of the Greater Baybrook Vision and Action Plan,” said Julie Mussog, CEO of Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. “By accessing enterprise zone property and income tax credits, businesses will be more incentivized to participate in the revitalization of this community, strengthen local commerce and create jobs.”
MDOT MVA Announces Digital Driver’s License Pilot Program
The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) has announced the launch of a new, digital driver’s license pilot program. The digital driver’s license serves as a secure companion version of a physical card and features highly secure and easy-to-use technology.
In this pilot program, MDOT MVA is collaborating with Gemalto, a Maryland company that serves the digital security realm and is the manufacturer of Maryland Secure ID. This pilot program is a two-year effort funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. As part of this pilot, MDOT volunteers will be working with local institutions and businesses to test the digital driver’s license to determine its effectiveness and identify any need for improvements.
The digital license will enable new security features and provide electronic verification with MDOT MVA data. It will allow digital driver’s license holders to only display what information is required for the end user, without showing all the personal information that is located on the physical license. This feature of the digital driver’s license will create enhanced privacy for users through better control of personal information.
VAYA Pharma Relocates From UMD BioPark to Columbia
VAYA Pharma, a division of Enzymotec Ltd., and a maker of lipid-based medical foods, has announced the relocation of its global headquarters from the University of Maryland BioPark to new offices located at 10480 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. The move signals VAYA Pharma’s rapid growth as it graduates from the University of Maryland BioPark to larger corporate offices in the state.
With more than 70 employees in the U.S., including 15 employees at its Baltimore office, the company has grown more than 30% annually during the last three years.
“Our strategic location within the University of Maryland BioPark gave us access to a diverse group of biotech leaders and resources, which really helped propel our growth and drive success,” said Rob Crim, CEO of VAYA Pharma. “We are excited about the move to Columbia, as we are committed to staying in Maryland, which is a hotbed for biotech and life science innovation.”
Automated Fare Boxes Now Part of Annapolis Transit
Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides has announced that the Annapolis Department of Transportation (ADOT) will launch a new automated fare box system on its bus fleet. The fare boxes will provide a customer friendly, efficient and controlled method of handling and reporting fare revenue.
The new system will accept bills and coins, but no change will be provided. Exact cash for the fare is required. All cash transactions will be validated by the electronic fare box. Invalid bills and coins will be rejected. The system will also handle all types of passes, including the barcoded day pass, and smartcards for seven, 30, 90 and 365 days. These smartcards are good for the period specified on them from the day of first use.
The fare box system was purchased from TripSpark Technologies with a grant valued at $483,996. Eighty percent of the grant was provided by the Federal Transit Administration, with the Maryland Transit Administration providing 10% of the funding and local transportation funds make up the remainder of the funding.
ELTA to Open New Cyber Center in Annapolis Junction
ELTA North America, a designer and manufacturer of electronic systems, has selected Maryland for its new Cyber Innovation Center. The announcement follows the May 2017 grand opening of ELTA’s new headquarters in Annapolis Junction, when the company upgraded from a 7,500-square-foot facility to a 21,500-square-foot facility and announced plans to add as many as 50 new jobs.
ELTA North America’s decision to locate the center in Maryland is the direct result of discussions between Gov. Larry Hogan and company leadership, including a site visit to ELTA’s Israeli headquarters during the governor’s economic development and trade mission to Israel in September 2016. State and county incentives for which the project may be eligible include conditional loans, tax credits and training grants.
Exelon’s Merger with Pepco Affirmed by D.C. Court of Appeals
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia’s approval of Exelon’s merger with Pepco Holdings (PHI), which combined Exelon’s three electric and gas utilities — BGE, ComEd and PECO — with PHI’s three electric and gas utilities, Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and Pepco.
The court upheld the Public Service Commission’s order, resolving all legal challenges in the District of Columbia.
Historic Ellicott City Cited in
Main Street in Ellicott City is included in a list of 23 Best Small Town Main Streets in America that was recently published by Country Living magazine. The local entry was ranked No. 17; the online write-up reads as follows.
“After recovering from a massive flood, Ellicott City has rebounded and rebuilt their Main Street, reaching vibrant new heights. Running parallel to the Tiber River and cutting straight through the historic district, it’s hard to decide where to start. Here are our picks: First, get your flow on at Main Street Yoga, which places a strong emphasis on sustainable and green initiatives. Then drool over the loot at Sweet Elizabeth Jane, a vintage-inspired lifestyle store named for the owner’s grandmother. If you need a pick-me-up, delight in Tea on the Tiber, a Victorian tea room serving up a traditional high tea experience.”
Real Estate Brokerage of 78 Years Converts to RE/MAX
Real estate veteran and new CEO of RE/MAX Aspire Dan Iampieri announced that the Weichert, Realtors – Caton Properties brokerage in Ellicott City has joined the RE/MAX network. Now RE/MAX Aspire, the brokerage has served greater Ellicott City home buyers and sellers for more than 78 years and recorded more than $3 billion in transactions.
“I looked at several brand names when I considered making a change from Weichert Realtors,” said Iampieri. “I was attracted to the entrepreneurial spirit, the winning culture and the strong brand name, and decided it was time to take advantage of the visibility, support and unrivalled benefits of being a part of the RE/MAX network.”
Merkle Acquires Aquila Insight
Columbia-based Merkle has acquired Aquila Insight, one of the largest independent data analytics organizations in the United Kingdom. This marks Merkle’s second European acquisition of 2017, following that of Spain-based, digital analytics consultancy DIVISADERO, in April. These strategic acquisitions are designed to strengthen Merkle’s status as a global, people-based marketing leader.
Founded in 2012, Aquila Insight’s skills in data analytics and the technology used to support the delivery of insight will boost Merkle’s capabilities and scale in the U.K. and European market. Headquartered in Edinburgh and London, with an additional office in Derby, Aquila Insight specializes in predictive analytics, media mix optimization, digital analytics and CRM strategy.
Cory Home Delivery Expands Operations With New Home Center
Cory Home Delivery has opened a 42,000-square-foot distribution center in Jessup to service Bob’s Discount Furniture in the mid-Atlantic region. Cory has experienced 30% growth so far this year, and the new location is part of a strategic expansion plan for Cory as it continues to expand throughout the country.
“This journey began many months ago with the search for a building that could provide a cross-dock operation for Bob’s Discount Furniture. In spite of a few setbacks and challenges, we have been able to provide our client with a great delivery center with quality and execution second to none in our industry,” said retired Cory COO Bob Alter.
State’s Big Three Casinos Report $130M in Revenue
Maryland Lottery and Gaming has announced June 2017 revenue numbers for the state’s six casinos, including Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Baltimore City, Live! Casino in Hanover, and MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County, and Maryland’s casinos totaled $130,480,062 in revenue during June 2017 — an increase of $37,114,143, or 39.8%, compared to the June 2016 figure of $93,365,919.
In a year-to-year comparison (not including MGM National Harbor, which opened on Dec. 8, 2016), statewide casino revenue in June 2017 decreased by $13,021,491, or 13.9%; in the region, MGM National Harbor generated $50,135,634 from slot machines and table games, Live! Casino totaled $41,840,229 from slot machines and table games and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore generated $22,096,012 from slot machines and table games in June.
Kupcakes & Co. Opens at
Michelle and Bill Kupiec, owners of Kupcakes & Co., have opened their second location at Clarksville Commons, at 12250 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville. The couple opened their first location in Elkridge in 2011.
After starting out their business by supplying food trucks with cupcakes, the demand for their desserts rose to the point that opening a bakery near their home in Elkridge was a natural next step. Kupcakes & Co. also offers made-to-order cakes and has baked more than 450 wedding cakes.
New App Service Introduced at
Airport Sherpa, the only app that offers on-demand food and retail mobile ordering for pickup and delivery inside BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, is now available for free in the Apple App Store for passengers traveling through BWI Marshall. Airport Sherpa allows travelers to order food and retail items from anywhere inside the airport and have them delivered to their gate.
After launching at BWI Marshall, Airport Sherpa will roll-out to other airports nationwide. “We created Airport Sherpa to enhance the travel experience for passengers by providing them with an on-demand delivery service, something users have grown accustomed to for services outside of the airport,” said Patrick DellaValle, co-founder of the business. “This app will give travelers access to hundreds of stores across terminals right at their fingertips.”
DocPoint Solutions Wins Third Consecutive Nintex Partner Award
Fulton-based DocPoint Solutions has announced that it was a winner in the 6th Annual Nintex Partner Awards within the Business Excellence category for the Americas for the third consecutive year. DocPoint’s recognition stems from driving strong revenue growth by promoting and integrating Nintex Workflows, Forms and suite of products to support customer success.
As the world’s largest Nintex reseller and integrator, DocPoint can provide customers with enterprise content management systems that include Nintex’s Workflow and Forms solutions. In addition, as a Nintex certified trainer, DocPoint is able to develop and deliver customized in-depth training to customers.