How Local Businesses Are Celebrating Maryland Day


By Jessica Fessler

What is Maryland Day?

According to MarylandDay.Org, “Maryland Day commemorates the formal founding of the colony of Maryland, when the newly-arrived colonists erected a cross on St. Clement’s Island. Marylanders began observing Maryland Day in 1903, when the State Board of Education designated it as a day to be devoted to the study of Maryland history. In 1916, the General Assembly authorized the celebration of Maryland Day as a legal state holiday.”

More recently, Maryland Day is a day of pride. Some local business owners showcase their pride through unique offerings that highlight their Maryland roots.

Susquehanna Workforce Network sat down with businesses and community members to discuss how they celebrate Maryland Day and how they celebrate Maryland Pride all day, every day.

Hopkins Farm Brewery, located in Havre De Grace is a local business that takes their pride seriously. According to Ali Hopkins, “Almost all of our beers feature our homegrown barley malt from Chesapeake malting company”. Hopkins Farm Brewery partners with other local businesses to feature them in their beers.

Orange Crush Hard Seltzer from Hopkins Farm Brewery

Synonymous with Maryland pride, is the Orange Crush. In honor of Maryland Day, Hopkins Farm will be releasing a orange crush hard seltzer.

Maryland Day also serves as a reminder about the importance of community and community partnerships.

Megan Myers, Mrs. Harford County 2022 has lived in Harford County her entire life. Today, she reflects on the importance of community. “There are many families and individuals in Maryland who need our help and we can work together as one community to spread kindness and gratitude.” She will be competing for the Mrs. Maryland America title on April 8th.

Even businesses that are new to the area are looking for ways to showcase their Maryland pride. Nikki from We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym in Forest Hill relocated to the area and started her business almost 2 years ago. While they didn’t have plans to celebrate this year, Nikki is already planning for next year.

Susquehanna Workforce Network celebrates Marylanders everyday by coordinating workforce development programs that targets businesses and individuals in Cecil and Harford Counties.

Building a stronger workforce in Maryland requires dedication and research. Some of our efforts include offering services that develop jobseekers into highly desirable candidates. No-cost job training and upskilling opportunities are funded by grants. SWN also offers job fairs curated to place jobseekers in front of sought-after employers


Help, Gas Prices Are Eating My Paycheck!

How to navigate your career with rising gas prices

By: Jessica Fessler

With gas prices soaring, your commute to work just got a lot more expensive. Susquehanna Workforce Network is here to help you navigate your career during this period of uncertainty.

In 2021, gas prices in the Susquehanna region were on average ~ $2.40/ Gallon. To fill up your average 12 gallon tank, it was costing consumers anywhere between $25-$30. Fast forward to now- the cost of commuting has doubled. If you fill up regularly, you’re well aware of how quickly that can add up and eat into your bottom line.

Commuters with salary ranges under $50,000 will be hurt the most by rising gas prices. Commuters in this salary range will see their bottom line drop more than 10%. So what’s a commuter to do?

If a cost of living adjustment is not possible, ask your employer for flexible working arrangements. However, the ability to work remotely may not be feasible when you consider other factors. If this is the case, it might be time to consider a career transition that will allow you to work closer to home.

First- Determine Your Budget

Take a deep dive into your finances. How much is it costing you, bi-weekly to commute to work? How much are you able to afford at your current salary? Use your current salary to gage the percentage of your income spent commuting, including tolls (We’re looking at you, EZ-Pass).

Know Your Worth

Now that you know how much you’re spending to get paid, evaluate your options. A career transition doesn’t have to be a lateral move. Look at salary ranges that include your current salary & magic gas number on the lower end of the salary range. This will help guarantee that the position(s) you invest your time applying to will meet your needs.

Review Your Job Function & Industry

All skills are transferable! Let’s use an administrative assistant as an example. While organizational skills and interpersonal skills may lead the charge in terms of ability, you might be lacking industry experience. Don’t let industry experience disqualify you. An admin assistant position in healthcare will require a different base knowledge than an admin position in construction. These details can be make or break your resume when compared with candidates who already work in that field.

Susquehanna Workforce Network works with a variety of education providers to design industry specific courses. These no-cost job training opportunities will provide you with the industry specific knowledge you need to bolster your resume.  

Are you a commuter effected by the recent increase in gas prices?

Our Career Coaches offer assistance to those with barriers to employment in addition to job placement services. 410-996-0550 or 410-272-5400

Get Hired On the Spot

10 Tips to Make Your Next Job Fair Successful

By: Jessica Fessler

If you’re planning to attend a job fair, PLAN. Don’t waste an opportunity due to lack of preparedness. Get hired on the spot with these tips, curated by our career coaches.

#1 Dress Professionally

This is your first opportunity to make a good impression. If you’re not sure what attire is appropriate, it is always safe to overdress. While business casual is recommended, keep in mind the positions you’re applying for. If styled appropriately, jeans are an acceptable option for a job fair. Pair with a blazer for a modern business casual look, sure to impress your future employer.

#2 Plan to Attend Early

The early bird gets the worm. Meet with employers first before other candidates have the opportunity to meet with them. This could give you the competitive advantage. Some employers choose to leave job fairs early, or put forth little effort after they’ve met with candidates that they feel are a good fit. Don’t jeopardize your chance by underestimating the competition.

#3 Prepare Your Elevator Pitch

Employers will only have a few minutes to talk with you. Prepare what you plan to say in advance. Mention your occupation / industry or start with the title of the position that you’re looking for. Provide a brief synopsis of your experience and skills and demonstrate the value you bring to the table. How do you demonstrate value?

Answer these questions- What can you provide to employers that will benefit them? Are you a self-starter that requires little supervision to complete tasks? Do you have specialized training? Are you a creative thinker, able to solve problems quickly?

#4 Do Your Research

Research the company in advance. Scour their website and appear knowledgeable about the company. Recruiters are looking to hire someone who has done their research.

#5 Ask Questions

While it’s important to answer a recruiter’s questions, it’s equally important to ask your own. A common mistake is not asking follow up questions. Follow up questions show that you’re an active listener and are engaged. Nobody likes a one-sided conversation. Prepare your questions in advance. A great way to get to know employers is to ask about company culture.

#6 Apply for the Position in Advance

Applying to the position before attending a job fair is a great way to get your application reviewed quicker. Make it easy for employers to hire you. Provide them with everything they need to make a decision or grant you an interview in advance. Use the job fair as an opportunity to put a face to a name.

#7 Bring Multiple Copies of Your Resume

It’s a great idea to bring multiple copies of your resume, even if you’re only interested in one particular employer. Having a digital copy on hand is a must-do! You never know what you might come across at a job fair. Be open to all opportunities.

#8 Ask About the Hiring Process

Ask the recruiter about the next steps. All companies hire differently. Some may have extensive interview processes. Ask about their hiring process so that you can align your expectations.

#9 Thank the Recruiter

Thank the recruiter for their time. Show genuine appreciation for their effort. Provide a compliment and restate your intentions. Your exit is as important as your entrance, leave them with a great impression.

#10 Follow-Up

A strong follow up can make or break a recruiter’s decision. Those who engage with the recruiter and show continued interest overshadow candidates who don’t follow up. Send a thank you email within 24 hours of meeting with a recruiter. In that email, reiterate why you’re a great candidate for the position. As you navigate the hiring process, remember to send thank you emails to anyone who helps facilitate the process. It can be short and sweet, but the administrative assistant who coordinated your interview will appreciate you thanking them for their efforts and your extra effort will be noticed.

Industry Spotlight: Manufacturing, Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Industry Spotlight: Manufacturing, Logistics & Supply Chain Management

By: Jessica Fessler

internal structure of car. Modern automobile production line, automated production equipment. Shop for Assembly of new modern cars. way of Assembly of the car on Assembly line at plant

Supply Chain Issues = Career Opportunities

Two years ago “The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020” shed light on our supply chain in ways most of us had not experienced. The obvious items came up short first- toilet paper, medical supplies and canned goods. Panic buying initially contributed to a fair share of these shortages. Now, two years later our supply chain is in disarray with shortages across industries.

So, what do empty shelves and hard to find items have to do with your career?

Opportunity lies within manufacturing, logistics and supply chain management for critical thinkers looking to break into an industry projected to grow 30% by 2030 (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Entry level positions are typically located within the production and transportation sectors of supply chain management. In other words, a great way to break into supply chain management is through trucking and warehousing positions.

These positions typically require little to no experience. Some positions however, do require certifications. A detailed list of entry level positions can be found here . Susquehanna Workforce Network provides no-cost training opportunities for those looking to break into manufacturing, logistics and supply chain management.

Courtesy of Susquehanna Workforce Innovation Partnership

In the supply chain, nothing happens in a straight line. The flexibility of supply chain management career paths and day-to-day responsibilities opens opportunities across many different functions. More opportunities are available to those willing to pursue a four year degree. Some mid-level management positions require a bachelor’s degree.

According to David Litterello, Director of Workforce Development for Harford Community College, “There’s a lot more to supply chain management than picking and packing”. Mid-level management positions look for candidates who have “knowledge of warehousing strategies relative to the supply chain” and who have “understanding of how warehousing plays a role in overall company strategy”.  

For additional industry information, wage information and open positions, contact your local workforce center.