In a recent blog post, my colleague wrote about the creation of the Baltimore-Towson University (BTU) framework, a priority that is aimed at elevating the work that TU faculty, students, and staff are already doing with our partners to better address the needs of Greater Baltimore. One of the five primary impact areas of BTU is creating a thriving and competitive economy.
TU’s faculty and staff work with partners in government and business throughout the region to grow Maryland’s economy and improve the quality of life for its citizens. Below are three examples of the work we are doing with our partners in regards to this impact area.
National Resource Defense Council
The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit international environmental advocacy group. Through a partnership with the Towson University Center for GIS, TU GIS professionals have assembled a GIS database to support mapping and analysis of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
The Center for GIS also supports NRDC’s annual “Testing the Waters” report, which tracks water quality at beaches around the United States. GIS professionals map closure data for all coastal states and have assembled a database model that enables querying the relationship between water quality samples and daily precipitation totals over a ten year period (2005–2014) at approximately 3,500 U.S. beaches.
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Community Health Resources Commission
Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) was created by the Maryland General Assembly to expand access to health care services in underserved communities throughout Maryland. Since 2005, the CHRC has awarded 169 grants totaling $55.8 million, supporting programs in every jurisdiction of the state. These programs have collectively served more than 260,000 Marylanders, and grants awarded by the CHRC have enabled grantees to leverage $19.1 million in additional federal and private/non-profit resources
A partnership with Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) ensures that public resources are used effectively. RESI’s staff of researchers provides overview of financial audits for possible grant recipients. Thus, supporting CHRC’s mission to provide access and health care for low-income, uninsured residents across our state.
Maryland Aviation Administration Workforce Training Support
The Maryland Aviation Administration is the owner and operator of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Martin State Airport. Recently, Towson University’s Continuing & Professional Studies (CPS) partnered with the Maryland Aviation Administration to provide critical training to their staff. The CPS team created customized training programs that addressed civility in the workplace, stress management, team building, and the usage of Microsoft. This partnership ensures that Maryland Aviation Administration employees can be more focused on their mission of promoting safe and efficient operations, economic viability, and environmental stewardship.