The recent expansion of a suburban label making plant has pushed the number of small manufacturing jobs in Harford County to just over 6,000, economic development officials there say.
The move in mid-March by Bizerba Label Solutions from a 25,000-square-foot facility to a 60,000-square-foot plant in Joppa has led to the hiring of three new employees to the 75-person workforce. It is a small glimmer of hope and part of a trend in the county for small companies, officials say.
Among its label offerings, Bizerba makes well over 1 billion stickers each year, some for food products like Pompeian Olive Oil and McCormick spice products.
The company also offers a combination scale and label printing machine that is used by deli counters in grocery stores to weigh salads, meats and cheeses and then print a price and product label.
Last year, Bizerba started looking to expand and purchase a digital printing machine, said James Richardson, director of the Harford County Office of Economic Development. Besides remaining in the suburban Baltimore location, Bizerba executives were looking at possibly moving to either Virginia or New Jersey, Richardson said.
A $100,000 low-interest loan from the county coupled with a $400,000 state economic development loan helped to seal the deal to remain local.
“Their main printing operation was already here and the employees were here, too,” Richardson said. “We had the space and they still had a lot of customers here in the mid-Atlantic region.”
Bizerba Controller Cheryl Ziemblicki said Monday the company’s new space on Fashion Court in Joppa holds the new digital label maker and three new employees. Five more are expected to be hired by the end of the year, she said.
“We have additional space for printing presses and more to grow,” she said.
In 2008, Bizerba had a workforce of 36 employees, Ziemblicki said, and the company, formerly Mid Atlantic Label based in Forest Hill, has plans to continue growing.
“We print billions of labels in a year,” she said. “For one customer in New Mexico, we print 50 million labels a month.”
Richardson said other small manufacturing companies in Harford County such as Alcore Inc. and Automated Coatings Inc. are also expanding.
Recently, a British restaurant catering equipment company, Nisbets, located its North American headquarters in Belcamp, he said.