A focus on the state’s aerospace industry could help create many Maryland science jobs.
Gov. Martin O’Malley recently announced a strategic vision for expanding the space industry throughout Maryland. This comes only days after the state unveiled a multi-year plan to expand its biotech industry. The new vision is designed to take advantage of the innovation and uniqueness of the state’s federal institutions.
Maryland is home to 16 of the country’s top 25 space industry manufacturing and service companies, including the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute. The state also has attracted private sector space industry companies like CSC, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, ATK, ARINC, Orbital Services, SAIC, Battelle, General Dynamics, Hughes Network Systems and Honeywell.
Maryland also is known for having important labs, such as Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, which employs 400 workers. In addition, Morgan State University, Bowie State and the University of Maryland’s College Park, Eastern Shore and Baltimore County campuses are all currently conducting aeronautics research.
“Maryland’s space industry has been, in many ways, an unsung economic hero for our state, and it is an important part of our strategy for growing Maryland’s high-tech sector,” O’Malley said. “Space missions launched from Maryland have revolutionized what we know about our universe, and helped to unlock mysteries about our own planet. Maryland has a tremendous advantage to grow this industry, particularly given our proximity to the nation’s top federal facilities and institutions.”
Nearly 50 federal facilities are located in Maryland, and those employ more than 100,000 well-education, highly skilled government workers and contractors in such areas as space exploration, research and development and scientific, medical and technological innovations. The state’s federal facilities contribute about $16 billion to the state’s economy.
On top of that, Maryland’s 12 military installations employ 90,000 civilian and military workers throughout the state. That’s not counting the estimated 60,000 jobs the state is expecting will be created as a result of the upcoming base realignment and closure process.