County to launch Web site for jobs in high-tech firms

Companies hope to keep commuters in Howard

August 25, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

In Howard County this summer, rain isn't the only request on many people's wish list.

For companies such as Magellan Behavioral Health, there is a shrinking pool of qualified high-technology professionals.

Over the next six months, a Magellan official said, she expects about 80 of 400 information systems positions in its corporate headquarters in Columbia to be vacant.

"We're no different from any other employer," said Anita Gockel, Magellan's director of human resources for information systems technology and claims administration. "There is a great demand for information systems technologists, and we have to be creative in letting them know that we're here."

That's where the Howard County Economic Development Authority is stepping in. At an 11 a.m. news conference tomorrow at the Columbia Gateway Building, the agency and County Executive James N. Robey will kick off an effort promoting the Sept. 1 launch of a Web site designed to link companies to potential candidates.

The Web site (www.howard will allow visitors to search for jobs in the high-tech industry by company name, professional skills and job title.

Job listings will include a company profile and a link to that company's Web site.

Linda Wilson, the authority's executive vice president, said the need became increasingly apparent as more than 650 high-tech companies have come into the county. "We kept hearing over and over about how difficult it was in finding high-tech professionals," she said.

Wilson noted that about 84,000 Howard residents commute daily to jobs outside the county.

"We feel like this is a potential pool of employees for the companies to pull from," she said. "This is our chance to reach them and say, `Hey, did you know that there are jobs in Howard County? You don't have to commute every day.' "

Magellan, Corvis Corp. and Arbitron are among the companies participating in tomorrow's news conference.

Wendy Mello, a recruiting and communications specialist for Arbitron, said the company has 13 open positions in its Columbia office.

"The more resumes you get, the better chance you have of getting the set of skills you're looking for," she said.

Steve Chase, director of marketing and communications for Corvis, said the firm would usually place ads in local publications or attend recruiting fairs.

"This is a nice way to tap into the local talent," he said. "There is a lot of excellent talent in Howard County."

Pub Date: 8/25/99

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