February 7 // Maryland transportation chief pledges 'blank check' to clinch Amazon's HQ2

Maryland's transportation chief said Tuesday that he has promised Amazon a "blank check" for any transportation improvements the retail giant would want if it chooses the state's Washington suburbs for a second headquarters. Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn said that amount "could be more or could be less" than the $2 billion in unspecified transportation upgrades the state has already committed to as part of its $5 billion pitch for Amazon to choose the White Flint area of North Bethesda in Montgomery County. (Wash. Post)

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NAACP calls on Greater Baltimore's public companies to help address economic inequality

An NAACP official said the region's public companies need to do more to help address the systemic racism and poverty that plagues Baltimore City. A report released by the NAACP on Tuesday analyzed the impact of historical racism and segregation in Baltimore and identified ways to address problems in the areas of housing, education, employment, business and criminal justice. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Attorneys general in several states oppose federal tips plan

Attorneys general in over a dozen states, including in Maryland, oppose a federal Department of Labor proposal to let employers control the tips of some hourly employees. The attorneys general filed comments in opposition with federal officials on Monday. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called the proposal that rescinds a 2011 rule “outrageous” and likened it to wage theft. (AP)

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Stanley Black & Decker to expand, add 400 jobs in White Marsh

Stanley Black & Decker is expanding its presence in Maryland by adding 400 jobs to the new Greenleigh at Crossroads complex in White Marsh. The international toolmaker said Tuesday it is planning to invest $8.5 million in a 92,000-square-foot building recently completed at Greenleigh at Crossroads, a $750 million, 1,000-acre residential, commercial and retail development off Route 43 and Interstate 95 developed by St. John Properties. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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New Baltimore County program aims to match trainees to available jobs

Baltimore County launched a job-training program Tuesday that focuses on which jobs need filling, rather than which type of jobs that workers seek. Called the “Job Connector Initiative,” the program is located at the county government’s three job-training centers in Randallstown, Hunt Valley and Dundalk. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said job-training programs have traditionally focused on which type of jobs that workers wanted. But sometimes workers might go through training and earn certifications, only to find that there are no jobs available in their field, he said. (Balt. Sun)

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Lockheed teams with German defense company for heavy-lift helicopter competition

Lockheed Martin Corp. and a German defense company are teaming up in bid to win a contract worth 4 billion euros, or almost $5 billion, to supply helicopters to the German military. Bethesda-based Lockheed's Sikorsky subsidiary has selected Düsseldorf, Germany-based Rheinmetall to compete for the German Air Force "Schwerer Transporthubschrauber" (STH) program. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Baltimore-area companies feel the effects of stock market plunge

Greater Baltimore's biggest public companies are feeling the effect of the biggest drop in the stock market since Donald Trump became president. In 2017, it seemed like the stock market was setting a new record almost every day, and as the new year began, the Dow Jones industrial average broke 25,000 points for the first time. But in the last week the market erased its 2018 gains. The market's fall was seen in the stock prices of companies like Under Armour Inc., T. Rowe Price and Legg Mason Inc. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Pepco plans to reduce recent rate increase request due to federal tax law

The power utility Pepco announced Monday that expected savings resulting from the new federal tax law will allow the company to reduce the amount of the rate increase it is requesting from state regulators. The utility was seeking to raise power rates this year by $41.4 million, which would have raised rates for the average customer by about $5.14 per month if approved. Any increase must be approved by Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC), the state regulator that oversees utilities. (Bethesda)

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