Olszewski Jr., Galiazzo appointed to state commission
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 11:11

Objective: get manufacturing jobs into state

by Bill Gates

    The Task Force on Industrial Job Creation in Baltimore County was created a year ago to determine why jobs were lost in the county in the fields of industry, shipbuilding and repair, and business supply.
    Among the members of the task force were state legislators Sen. Norman R. Stone and Del. John Olszewski Jr., both from the 6th District.
    Among the task force’s actions was the revival of the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness.
    That commission was formed nearly 20 years ago, in 1994, but had been dormant for some time.

After the task force wrapped up, “we decided manufacturing would probably need some attention, so we made sure the commission is active and functioning,” Olszewski said.
    Which was probably how Olszewski found himself appointed to the commission by House of Delegates speaker Michael Busch.
    “The thrust is to get [the commission on manufacturing competitiveness] going again,” Olszewski said.
    Olszewski was one of 25 members of the re-activated commission.
    The 16 new commission members sworn in last week during a ceremony at MarquipWardUnited, a corrugated paperboard and folding carton manufacturer in Cockeysville, included Dundalk resident Dr. Michael Galiazzo, the executive director of the Regional Manufacturing Institute.
    Galiazzo, who had a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Education Administration from the University of Texas, served as Director of Admissions and later as director of retraining and community development at Dundalk Community College in the 1970s.
    His work with the Regional Manufacturing Institute focuses on workforce development systems involving alliances.
    While at Dundalk Community College, Galiazzo worked with local and state government leaders to create Maryland’s first retraining program for dislocated workers and he worked to change state policies to get dislocated workers training without loss of benefits.
    The Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness is charged with advising the Maryland Secretary of Business and Economic Development on ways to encourage new and expanding manufacturing enterprises in the state.
    It will also recommend ways in which to retrain and educate Maryland workers for manufacturing jobs, support research, and foster the growth and viability of manufacturing enterprises in Maryland.
    The panel’s 16 members include union representatives and executives from businesses like Northrup Grumman, Frito-Lay, Marlin Steel Wire, PRS Guitars and McCormick.
    “We have people with local manufacturing experience serving [on the commission],” Olszewski said. “It’s helpful to have people who know what they’re talking about.”
    Olszewski brings another important perspective, representing an area that once featured many manufacturing jobs and has experienced their loss.
    “It’s also helpful to have someone who has had these businesses in their district, and knows their benefits and the impact of losing them,” he said.
    Other members of the commission are senators David R. Brinkley and Katherine A. Klausmeier, and five state officials including Secretary of the Environment Robert M. Summers, State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery and Secretary of Business and Economic Development Christian S. Johansson.
    The Commission will have five directives:
    Encouraging the development of new manufacturing enterprises as well as expanding and retaining existing ones;
    Educate and train people to work at manufacturing jobs;
    Encourage the growth and viability of manufacturing businesses in Maryland;
    Support research that will evaluate, plan and execute the promotion of manufacturing enterprises;
    Coordinate local, regional and national public and private organizations that promote manufacturing.
    “In some areas, Maryland does not stack up very well compared to other states,” Olszewski said. “We want to improve how we do compared to other states, and make Maryland more attractive, appealing to people who want to start businesses here.”