Lockheed begins hunt for deadbeat parents

Maryland Watch

March 08, 1997

It was an odd combination: the forlorn hulk of the old Hutzler's department store on Howard Street in downtown Baltimore, the logo of aerospace titan Lockheed Martin Corp. and a cake decorated with the faces of children.

The occasion was the ceremonial opening yesterday of Baltimore's new Office of Child Support Enforcement. Lockheed Martin IMS, a New Jersey unit of the Bethesda-based company, won a contract last fall to operate the facility. The office's 280 employees moved into a renovated, 45,000-square-foot section of the abandoned store in January. Cake, finger foods, a children's choir and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke all helped provide the official welcome yesterday.

The operation is the largest privatized child support collection effort in the country. Lockheed Martin, which uses computer might developed for defense work, expects to more than double the state's efficiency in tracking down deadbeat Baltimore parents.

That wasn't the only reason that Schmoke proclaimed the occasion "a great day for the city." He said the new office will help spark the rebirth of the Howard Street corridor.

Pub Date: 3/08/97

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