Baltimore BioWorks Inc.
, a company that provides on-the-job vocational training, hired its first employee from its minority-focused training and employment program last month.
Located at the University of Maryland BioPark, BioWorks plans to hire a total of 12 people in 2013 to add to its staff of four. The vocational employees get a salary and benefits during the year-long training program for biotechnicians.
The company’s training program is intended to be self-sustaining and depends on BioWorks’ sales, says John Powers, vice president of marketing and co-founder with president Louise Dalton. The company manufactures and distributes biomedical products for others and under its own brand. It also offers toxicology testing services. Powers says BioWorks' annual revenue is expected to clip $1 million this year, thanks to two new contracts.
Powers says the company anticipates closing a contract with the University of Maryland Medical System within the next few months to manufacture and distribute latex gloves and other products. Last year, Baltimore Bioworks contracted with the National Institute of Health to manufacture and distribute products, for about $30,000 in sales per month.
Powers says the company has $350,000 in annual revenue as of this month. With both the University of Maryland and National Institute contracts, sales will increase to $80,000 to $100,000 per month.
While the company’s training program is open to all qualified candidates, Baltimore BioWorks last year signed an agreement with Baltimore City Community College to write the program’s training material in conjunction with it.
“If we follow their format on classroom work, vocational employees will earn BCCC college credit as well as a salary,” says Powers.
Powers is in talks with the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland Inc. — a scientific training program for entry-level biotechnicians — for the same arrangement.
In the fall, the company leased a 14,000-square foot space at 1100 Wicomico St., for manufacturing and distribution.
Powers expects to hear this summer about the company’s application for state certification as a minority business enterprise. If approved as an MBE, Baltimore BioWorks would qualify to bid on state contracts that require a set-aside of up to 25 percent for minority- and women-owned companies.
“With MBE status, the potential is to be a $5 million company,” says Powers.
Source: John Powers, Baltimore BioWorks Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash