Job explosion due at Fort Meade this month
BRAC expected to boost work force by 7,000 in 2011
Fort Meade has been rapidly adding employees, even before most of the Pentagon's base realignment program's impact is slated to be felt at the Anne Arundel County military base starting this month, officials say.
In the past year, Fort Meade added 7,000 employees, easily surpassing the University System of Maryland as the state's largest private or public employer, according to an annual list compiled by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
The fort's total work force of 41,000 includes employees with the National Security Agency. The list, which does not include state agencies, public school districts and other local government entities, is updated each October and November, said Karen Glenn Hood, a DBED spokeswoman.
At Fort Meade, some of the growth last year can be attributed to the base realignment and closure program, but the real BRAC growth isn't due to start until this month, said Chad Jones, director of public affairs for the base. Most of the growth last year was from existing agencies, he said.
"We are expected to be at approximately 48,000 employees" near the end of 2011, Jones said.
The new workers will include more than 4,000 employees transferred from the Defense Information Systems Agency in Arlington, Va., with initial transfers expected to start this month. The Department of Defense combat support agency's headquarters is moving to a 1.1 million-square-foot office campus at Fort Meade.
From 15 percent to 20 percent of Fort Meade's resident employees are private contractors, with the rest military or Pentagon civilians, Jones said.
Employment at Maryland's hospitals and other medical facilities also grew in the past year. Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System of Baltimore increased employment by almost 2,000 to reach 20,273, the second-largest total by a private employer behind only Johns Hopkins University.
Rockville's Adventist Healthcare was up by almost 1,700 workers to some 8,600. That was the fourth-largest total by a medical system behind Hopkins, the University of Maryland and MedStar Health.
The University System of Maryland, which includes universities in College Park, Baltimore and other cities, grew by 1,349 employees to 35,803, second overall behind Fort Meade.
Bethesda hotelier Marriott International was up by some 1,300 to 9,170. That was sixth among conventional private businesses private employers that are not a hospital or university system behind Wal-Mart, Giant Food, Verizon, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.
The list also showed a decline for Giant Food. However, Jamie Miller, a spokesman for Giant Food, said the grocer actually had seen its Maryland work force grow by about 400 in the past year to 14,754.
"We have been renovating stores and hiring people," Miller said.
Hood said there could be some differences in methodology in how employers count workers from year to year.