We are changing the economic landscape of our state by partnering with public, private and philanthropic organizations to identify and address critical employment needs. Our partnerships focus on creating job readiness, retention and advancement opportunities for historically marginalized workforce groups. Our workforce development goals are to:
- Support organizations that have a track record of success and can cultivate relationships with businesses that are receptive to hiring low and/or middle-skilled people.
- Fund training opportunities that offer living wage jobs with benefits in industry or skill specific positions that have a variety of career advancement tracks.
- Fund coaching, mentoring, and apprenticeship employment models to support the goal of keeping people employed for longer periods of time while building skills that strengthen their earning potential.
- Provide technical assistance to employers on these issues by delivering customized products and services to employers who are committed to growing, retaining and up-skilling a diverse workforce.
We believe the following elements are essential to being successful in our workforce development and career advancement efforts:
- Exposure - We gather and share information related to workforce development, whether by examining research and/or data or commissioning studies that capture trends and/or hidden opportunities (see our latest study, “STEM Middle Skilled Career Pathways in the Baltimore Region”). We also share real career opportunities with community partners, who in turn, pass the information on to their workforce clients. For example, we enhanced BGE’s recruiting strategy by highlighting the benefits associated with utility workers positions among our partner network.
- Access - We aim to provide basic literacy, job training, employment opportunities and supportive services through EARN Maryland initiative (Employment Advancement Right Now), Empowerment Baltimore MC training and apprenticeship grants, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s Job Access Resource Fair and Tech Hire planning committee work.
- Retention - We provide resources and supports that keep employees, especially low-wage workers, attached to work through programs such as our Volunteer Career Mentoring program and our behavioral competencies training curriculum.
- Advancement - We pursue sector-based initiatives that facilitate promotions and career ladders, instead of basic job placement. We have awarded funds to support incumbent low-wage workers to obtain new credentials and/or certifications in their field, making them more eligible for promotions.