Jobs Half-Day Forum

The Jobs half-day forum was held on October 29 at the War Memorial Building. The Planning Group (listed below) developed a white paper in advance of the forum that included 20 potential solutions focused on economic development and employer engagement; education and training; managing barriers and worker protections; and coordinating city-wide systems that were voted on by participants using mobile technology. Access the paper here.

Below are the 10 recommendations that resulted and will be considered at the full-day Solutions Summit on December 10th. (Register for free here)

Jobs Recommendations Ballot – WINNERS

Economic Development and Employer Engagement

  1. Develop economic development plan premised on values of equity and inclusion, targeting emerging sectors, and engages employers to support local jobs.
  2. Educate employers about implicit and explicit biases, non-diverse workforces, inflexible hiring rules, and hostile work environments, and encourage employers to build cultural competence.
  3. Use local government jobs and contracts to generate economic opportunities for residents and businesses, including minority-owned businesses and small businesses and microenterprises, and explore innovative financial models.
  4. Develop strategies that support independent workers and entrepreneurs and other alternative models such as social enterprises and worker-owned cooperatives, especially those that target returning citizens and other jobseekers who face barriers to work.

Education, Training, and Other Job-Driven Strategies

  1. Expand community-based literacy programs and ESL programs and use vocational and basic skills curricula tied to employers’ needs.
  2. Connect youth, young adults, returning citizens and others who have limited work experience to apprenticeships, paid work experience, and entrepreneurship training.

Managing Barriers and Worker Protections

  1. Provide intensive support services to jobseekers and workers to reduce barriers to work, including trauma, criminal records, immigration status, substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, and barriers related to housing, transportation, food access, childcare, and legal issues.

Coordination of City-Wide Systems

  1. Develop a map of the systems and sub-systems that affect economic and employment outcomes.
  2. Establish inclusive citywide benchmarks related to jobs and use funding strategies, performance measures, and other mechanisms to hold public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations accountable for shared outcomes.
  3. Create centralized database that aligns data collection practices and processes, captures economic and labor market information, includes program descriptions, and tracks performance measures and outcomes.


Jobs Planning Group

Joe Jones-sqJoseph T. Jones, Jr. (co-chair) is founder of the Center for Urban Families, a nonprofit service organization in Baltimore, Maryland, that empowers low-income families by enhancing the ability of men to fulfill their roles as fathers and improving the ability of both women and men to contribute to their families as wage earners. Jones is a Weinberg Fellow and a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is also a member of the OSI-Baltimore Advisory Board.


Tracy_Brown-sqTracy Brown (co-chair) is the deputy director of OSI-Baltimore. She is a longtime Maryland attorney, advocate and leader. Before joining OSI-Baltimore, Brown was executive director of the Women’s Law Center of Maryland, which promotes the legal rights of women through advocacy and direct services. During her 13-year tenure, Brown helped the nonprofit expand services to individuals and increase efforts to achieve systemic change while working collaboratively with partners to promote the center’s mission and broaden its impact.


Elisabeth Sachs, Executive Director, Job Opportunities Task Force

Diane Bell-McKoy, President and CEO, Associated Black Charities

James Piper Bond, President and CEO, Living Classrooms

Elizabeth Alex, Regional Director, CASA Baltimore

Ben Seigel, Executive Director, 21st Century Cities Initiative at Johns Hopkins University

Rodney Foxworth, CEO, Invested Impact; Co-Founder, Impact Hub

Barry Lancaster, community member

Rev. Ramelle McCall, Rector, St. Michael and All Angels

Michael Middleton, Cherry Hill Development Corporation

Christopher Rockey, Market Manager for Greater Maryland, Community Development Banking at PNC Bank

Melanie Styles, Program Officer for Workforce Development, Abell Foundation

Danielle Torain, Senior Associate for Baltimore Civic Site, Annie E. Casey Foundation

John Brothers, President, T. Rowe Price Foundation; President, T. Rowe Price Program for Charitable Giving