Large No. 3: Aerotek banks on diversity and inclusion

For The Baltimore Sun

Aerotek began in 1983 as a staffing company that specialized in providing engineers for the aerospace and defense industries.

Co-founded by current Ravens owner Steve Biscottii, it has expanded well beyond that in the decades since, becoming a global firm with around 8,000 internal employees, including nearly 900 around Baltimore. When you include the contractors it places to work for other companies, Aerotek puts approximately 300,000 people to work over the course of a year.

“Our jobs start with warehouse positions all the way up to putting nuclear engineers to work,” said chief finance officer Tom Kelly.

Aerotek’s internal staffers take pride in helping two groups — companies looking for workers and people looking for work. Companies come to Aerotek because they believe it has the talent pool to find the right people for assignments ranging from weeks to years. Aerotek’s recruits, meanwhile, want a job, whether to help pay their bills or advance their careers.

It’s fitting, then, that much of Aerotek’s internal staff entered the company at entry-level positions — including Kelly and company president Todd Mohr. They are well aware of what kind of growth can come when people are given opportunities and then rise by working hard.

“There’s this ladder that you can continuously climb with Aerotek,” said Janean Gardner, a practice lead overseeing the company’s commercial division. She began as a recruiter in New Jersey, then became an account manager in Delaware before moving to Aerotek’s headquarters in Hanover.

“We all have the same opportunity,” she said. “We just have to put our best foot forward every day.

Aerotek strives to ensure that opportunity is offered to everyone. Its diversity and inclusion program partners with organizations such as the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, Association for Women in Science, Operation Homefront, and historically black colleges and universities, among other organizations, to recruit for both internal and contract positions.

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