Business, Politics

Olszewski nominates former state labor secretary to lead Department of Economic and Workforce Development

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Thursday nominated Leonard J. Howie III to serve as the County’s Director of Economic and Workforce Development.

Howie, who formerly served as Maryland Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR), brings more than 30 years of management experience and more than a decade in senior leadership roles in state and federal government to Baltimore County.

“During these challenging times, we need experienced, team-oriented leaders, and Leonard brings an impressive track-record and the passion we need to support our families and businesses and continue building our economy,” Olszewski said. “Leonard’s vast experience in government and expertise in supporting our workforce will be critical as we recover from the pandemic and continue to build a better Baltimore County, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to our team.”

As the Director of Economic and Workforce Development, Howie will lead Baltimore County’s efforts to improve workforce development, attract and retain businesses, and expand the County’s economy. Coming to County Government amid the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis, he will be tasked with leading the County’s efforts to assist workers and businesses as we recover.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve the people of Baltimore County, and I look forward to working with the County’s team to help businesses and support working families during these unprecedented times,” Howie said.

As Secretary of DLLR, Howie oversaw an agency with over 1,600 employees and an operating budget of $360 million working to protect and empower Marylanders. Prior to his time as Secretary, Howie served as the Deputy Secretary of Operations for the Maryland Department of Human Resources, where he was a driving force towards increasing customer service delivery and results-oriented accountability, and as Deputy Secretary of DLLR from 2007 to 2011, where he was instrumental in integrating adult learning programs into the agency’s workforce development division.

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In 2015, Howie joined the Obama Administration and was appointed to serve as Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, where he led the Department’s fifth largest agency and helped the U.S. Secretary of Labor create strategies that supported workers following injuries and illnesses. He later served as Administrative Appeals Judge for the U.S. Department of Labor, worked in private practice focusing on labor and education issues, and most recently was the Acting CEO of WorkSource Montgomery.

Howie has also served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. He began his career in service as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University, a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, and has been a member of the Maryland Bar since 1994.

His nomination is subject to approval by the County Council.

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