By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun
2:06 PM EST, February 27, 2014
Gubernatorial candidate Douglas Gansler unveiled his jobs plan Thursday with a focus on bringing back manufacturing jobs, establishing a portal were academics and business workers can exchange ideas and offering incentives for small business owners to create jobs.
"It's a plan built around one core truth: Maryland needs more jobs, entry-level jobs, mid-level jobs, high-tech jobs, construction jobs, engineering jobs — you name it, Maryland needs it," said Gansler, the state's Democratic attorney general.
His announcement was held on the waterfront in Fort Armistead Park with the shuttered Bethlehem Steel plant in the background. Gansler used the opportunity to take a dig at his opponent Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, reminding those gathered that the plant closed about two years ago under the current administration.
Gansler said the state needs to help employees save for their education through saving accounts that would allow employers to voluntarily match their contributions. He also wants out-of-work individuals to receive unemployment benefits for on-the-job training with potential employers.
A third prong to Gansler's plan involves "re-manufacturing," restoring old, non-functional products for new uses. He said the industry could focus on reuse and shipment of hospital equipment and medical devices, electronic equipment and automotive parts to other states or countries that have a use for the materials.
Gansler's 30-point plan calls for the creation of a statewide faculty-business portal to allow industry leaders to tap into research and a new Governor's Business Recruitment Council to draw more companies to the state.
Maryland should also discount tuition for high-demand occupations and bolster efforts to promote the state's exports, he said.
Gansler was flanked by out-of-work and retired steelworkers and small business owners, including Guido and Tina DeFranco, who owned the now-closed Little Italy restaurant, Caesar's Den. They retired after more than 40 years.
"Through all the years, the hard work that we put in, there were some rough moments, and some of the initiatives that Mr. Gansler is presenting here today would really help the businesses to prosper," Guido DeFranco.
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