Southwest Works Update
Lisa gave an update on Southwest Partnership and University of Maryland Baltimore workforce programs and initiatives. 29 community members have been referred to positions at UMB and the University of Maryland Medical Center through Workforce Wednesday, a drop-in workforce development service offered at the UMB Community Engagement Center, and five have been hired. The Roundtable discussed ways to assess the efficacy of the program, especially in terms of community members actually hired.
Lou asked about the relatively small numbers of community members actually accessing services, and Joanne asked if community members and groups had been approached directly. Outreach is being done, and the SWP does work very closely with the neighborhood associations.
Eric suggested looking into existing data to set targets, with the baseline of what the anchors’ current local hiring numbers look like.
Samantha Brannen is a social work intern working with Lisa on Workforce Wednesdays who will be following up with everyone who attended a Workforce Wednesday and doing case management.
UMB and UMMS are both willing to send a staff member to meet with the group monthly to provide updates on all community members who have been referred to positions. If confidentiality agreements are signed among meeting participants and if community members agree, meeting participants can discuss individual community members participating in the program and determine next steps. The Committee discussed how the meeting should be structured and whether it needed to be open or closed. Lou said that it sounded like the attendees should be folks working for workforce development and job training programs who were referring community members to the program and that in the interests of privacy it shouldn’t be open to the entire community. The Roundtable agreed.
The Southwest Partnership and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development have a partnership to hire a full time MOED employee to staff the Southwest Works program. This person will be at community locations three days a week, will connect Southwest Partnership area residents to workforce development programs, and will be the point of contact for hiring for positions at participating anchor institutions.
The SWP needs to agreements (MOUs) with workforce development programs that would like to participate in the program and the information sharing meetings. Elizabeth will connect with the appropriate people at NPower, Second Chance, Goodwill, Paul’s Place, and Bon Secours.
The next Workforce Roundtable meeting will include presentations from UMB and UMMC their local hiring commitments and programs. Elizabeth and Eric will work on having someone from Bon Secours there.
There will also be a discussion of money for training programs that is available for residents and programs in Pigtown through the Casino Impact Area.
The Roundtable also discussed Community Health Workers, an important position that many community members would be a good fit for that hospitals are working on being able to bill for.