Stakeholders gather to discuss 'Barriers to Employment Opportunity' in the Baltimore Region and 'Scaling Workforce Programming in Baltimore' reports
BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, December, 16th, 2019) - The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) held a workforce policy briefing to announce the results of two critical research projects impacting workforce development in the Baltimore region on Monday, December 16th at 8:00AM. The event took place at BMC’s offices - 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230. The briefing included presentations on the Barriers to Employment Opportunity and Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore reports. Steuart Pittman, Anne Arundel County Executive and BMC board member, kicked off the morning with welcome remarks to a room of approximately 75 guests.
BMC’s Barriers to Employment Opportunity report tracks self-identified barriers to employment from job seekers in our local workforce area (Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, and Howard Counties), including current data and an analysis of how challenges have shifted over the last five years.
The report showed that some of the barriers identified were:
- Difficulties using technology and computers
- A need for new skills
- Affordability of professional clothes, transit fare, and other job-related costs
- Childcare costs
- Housing insecurity
“Barriers to employment opportunity continue to impact job seekers in the Baltimore region in complex and interconnected ways,” said Mike Kelly, Executive Director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. “We hope that this report helps our workforce development partners to develop programs that help jobseekers across the region find success.”
Many Workforce Development stakeholders in the Baltimore region attended the briefing to learn more about the latest barriers survey data. Many of the attendees were educators, employers and workforce development professionals dedicated to creating opportunities and solutions in the Baltimore region.
|Barriers to Employment Opportunity Report|
Linda Dworak, Director of the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative, also presented an overview of the Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore report recently released by the Abell Foundation. Dworak highighted recommendations on how to achieve scale in local workforce development programming while advancing equity and without compromising quality.
The report finds that there is both labor market demand and organizational disposition for the expansion of current workforce development efforts in Baltimore City, which could put more job seekers to work. This finding prompts a call for increased funding for effective industry-sector workforce development approaches, including the expansion of local public-sector resources and investments by employers in target industry sectors. Further, the report emphasizes a focus on equity as both a process and an outcome.
“Baltimore City has many successful workforce development programs that need additional investment in order to scale,” said Dworak. “I am confident that this report and the work of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council will help us grow our proven models in order to connect more people with in-demand careers.”
|Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore Report|
Following the presentations, local workforce development experts discussed the implications of the two reports. The panel included Kirkland Murray, President CEO of Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation; Adrea Turner, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Senior Policy Advisor at the Greater Baltimore Committee; and Tiffani Truss, Director of Training Services at Jane Addams Resource Corporation.