Cardin high­lights man­u­fac­tur­ing dur­ing visit to Blue­print Robotics

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By CHAR­LENE MAYO cmayo@ches­pub.com

U.S Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), brought his “Made in Mary­land” job tour to Broen­ing High­way’s Blue­print Robotics on Nov. 3.

The aim, ac­cord­ing to Cardin’s press sec­re­tary Tim Zink, is to high­light man­u­fac­tur­ing across the state.

“For five years, Sen. Cardin has been work­ing to draw at­ten­tion to Mary­land com­pa­nies, specif­i­cally those in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, to show­case that there is still a wide va­ri­ety of com­pa­nies in Mary­land that are still ac­tu­ally mak­ing items,” Zink said.

In light of 21st cen­tury ad­vance­ments, Cardin is aim­ing to shed light on Mary­land’s role in pro­duc­ing prod­ucts the old-fash­ioned way.

While want­ing to ac­knowl­edge com­pa­nies that do things the tra­di­tional way, Cardin also seeks to find com­pa­nies that are do­ing things dif­fer­ently.

Es­tab­lished in 2015, Blue­print Robotics was co­founded by for­mer Rouse Com­pany ex­ec­u­tive Jerome Smal­ley, for­mer Crate & Bar­rell CEO Sascha Bopp and con­sul­tant Karim Sahy­oun.

The start-up opened a 200,000 square-foot fa­cil­ity near the Ama­zon dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter on Broen­ing High­way in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Blue­print Robotics uses a cut­ting-edge tech­nique that of­fers cus­tom-built wood- framed con­struc­tions.

Co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive Jerome Smal­ley, as well as co-founder and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Sascha Bopp, greeted the se­na­tor as he ar­rived and started the tour shortly af­ter.

While tak­ing the tour, Zink noted, it was Cardin’s aim to get into the heads of the ex­ec­u­tives and learn as much as pos­si­ble about the com­pany.

“The se­na­tor will ask a whole bunch a ques­tions that sur­prise peo­ple be­cause he wants to get down into how they really do busi­ness” Zink ex­plained.

Af­ter 25 min­utes of tour- ing the com­pany, Cardin, Blue­print ex­ec­u­tives and mem­bers of “Turn Around Tues­days,” a pro­gram that helps in­di­vid­u­als who have been con­victed of crimes get jobs, met in the con­fer­ence room for fur­ther dis­cus­sion.

As the se­na­tor lis­tened, Smal­ley dis­cussed as­pects of the busi­ness such as train­ing and en­gi­neer­ing core. Cardin learned that it takes six months to train an op­er­a­tor and he replied, “that’s a long time.”

Cardin ex­pressed a de­sire to see more gov­ern­ment part­ner­ship with train­ing pro­grams.

For unique busi­nesses like Blue­print Robotics, it can be hard to find com­pa­nies in the United States that can of­fer them ser­vices they need.

As the dis­cus­sion con­tin- ued, em­ploy­ment came up. Com­pany of­fi­cials dis­cussed the suc­cess Blue­print has had with the em­ploy­ees hired from Turn Around Tues­days.

“The em­ploy­ees hired from Turn Around Tues­days are some of out top rank­ing em­ploy­ees,” Smal­ley said.

The se­na­tor ex­pressed a de­sire to work with more com­pa­nies to get em­ploy­ees hired that come from the pe­nal sys­tem.

As the meet­ing came to an end, Sen. Cardin in­formed the ex­ec­u­tives and lead­ers that he is glad to help where he can. He vowed to speak to gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to solve is­sues re­lat­ing to cap­i­tal, train­ing and soft­ware con­cerns.

PHOTO BY CHAR­LENE MAYO

Cardin toured the state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties at Blue­print Robotics.

PHO­TOS BY CHAR­LENE MAYO

Join­ing U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) (sec­ond from right) on his tour of Blue­print Robotics last week were (from) Jon Veld­man, Sascha Bopp, Jerome “Jerry” Smal­ley, Dou­glas Miles, the Rec. Jerome Stephens and Arnie Gaff.

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