Howard County is nationally recognized as the best place to live, work, play, and grow for all. Just recently, Columbia has been named 2023’s “Best Places to Raise a Family,” the “Best Places to Live in the U.S.,” “Best Cities for Jobs,” and “Best City for Summer Jobs.” Columbia has ranked at the top of each of these lists and is the only Maryland City to be ranked on these many lists. 

We’re extremely proud to have Columbia recognized as a vibrant job hub. This is only due to our collective efforts to support and engage with our local and small businesses. We’re excited to be noticed for how we are preparing our residents, including our youngest, to be workforce ready.  

The Howard County Office of Workforce Development has a wide range of programs tailored for both businesses and potential employees to ensure they’re meeting each other’s needs. 

I’m glad to work with OWD so that we can leverage its broad network of local and regional partnerships to connect employers with employees. Their affiliations include collaborations with Anne Arundel County, Fort Meade, Howard Community College, the Autism Society, and the Howard County Department of Corrections.

Throughout this summer, approximately 175 students are enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program and placed at numerous public and private worksites across the county. The program has grown considerably over the past five years with just 11 students enrolled at its inception. These students will gain invaluable experience and knowledge about the business world while making great contributions.

In addition to the Summer Youth Employment Program, we have worked with OWD to dramatically increase our outreach to grow our apprenticeship programs over the last five years. These are alternative development pipelines where employers can train skilled workers according to their specific needs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 91% of apprentices remain on the job one year after their employment. 

For job seekers of all ages, OWD offers on-the-job training programs, which allow workers to develop valuable skills while being employed with a portion of the training costs covered.

Whether you’re looking for a job, or are an employer looking for workers, OWD is a one-stop shop with resources to help you find what you’re looking for. OWD is just another resource available to Howard County to ensure our business and entire community continues to thrive.