Workforce Development Committee
June 7 2017
- Introductions and Welcome
- Review of Committee
- Discussion on Community Outreach/Fact Finding
- Review of Employment Data
- Next Steps
Ashley Coston (Baltimore Housing Authority)
Committee Purpose the Committee reviewed the purpose and structure of the Committee. There will be an election in September for a Committee Chair who will represent the Committee on the Southwest Partnership Board.
Community Outreach Discussion
How can we find out who’s looking for work in the community?
Rick: Central Baltimore Partnership went to the individual neighborhood associations and asked them to canvas door to door to collect demographic information. Information collected included numbers of single mothers looking for work and other information collected. Thinks it will be incumbent on us to get the word out to the different neighborhood associations to collect data.
What is the capacity of the neighborhood associations to do this?
Kristine: if it went to a general meeting that we wanted to take a census it could be accomplished in Union Square.
Ebony: Union Square is one of the smallest and has some of the most active members. It would be hard for Hollins Roundhouse, for example to cover the whole area.
Gabe: we should figure out if we want to do door to door before we decide how we do it.
Does the University of Maryland have data on the area? The census has a lot of data, there is a challenge in analysis, but a lot of data already exists.
Lou: there isn’t a committee in the area that couldn’t benefit from the type of information that could be collected from a door to door survey of the entire area. He knows of a church in St Louis that had success in their community development efforts when they hired a listener whose role was to meet with community members in their homes to learn about their needs etc. Lou thinks that we could start with each neighborhood to see if they could identify someone to serve as a listener.
Gabe: agrees that it is something that would be valuable for the SWP as a whole. Elizabeth: absolutely, but would require a large scale shift in priorities.
Elizabeth: Would an event be somewhat as effective as going door to door?
Ebony: big fan of ongoing community building events
Kristine: community members would probably not go to events in different neighborhoods.
Ebony: thinks that people would come out to events if they provided resources or services that they need.
Lou: trips to First Fruit Farms and produce giveaways and these events can be used to help share and collect information from community members.
Ebony: rotating events is a good way for people to get involved.
Could plug question asking and relationship building into previously planned events, and the neighborhood associations could provide resources around outreach to encourage community members to attend.
Elizabeth: our fundamental goal is develop positive relationships with community members so that they want to access resources and opportunities that are offered to them.
Ashley: goal is to gather data to do what?
Gabe: figure out what folks need, and how to bring resources to the folks
Ashley: HABC is having similar problems–it’s really about building trust and continuity.
Gabe: what Ebony’s talking about is if we could have events where it’s not the same folks that usually come, and use these events to create access points to connect folks to resources. Neighborhood associations could sponsor events that would provide resources and help us connect with community members.
Ebony: also need to identify barriers to employment so that folks and have a variety of events.
The Committee discussed how there could be regular community events where community members could engage with each other in a fun way, access resources, and build relationships.
Need to set things up so that we have resources ready to go for people and so community members can also participate and feel comfortable.
Kristine: do we need a resource book?
Committee decided that it would be most effective to verbally refer people to existing services and share information in person and more informally.
Ellen: community members also know that there are some resources out there that just don’t work for them–need to know what those are and why they don’t work.
Rick: sometimes there are a lot of hoops and steps that communities need to jump through to access some resources. Thinks that there needs to be a way to actually connect people with jobs so that community members with a lot of barriers can access resources.
Ellen: there needs to be a better way to connect folks with entry level jobs.
Advocacy is a role of the Committee.
Ebony: Should think about what the priorities are and organize them into action steps so that the Committee knows what the priorities and action steps are. Ebony can do a draft in terms of priorities and action steps. Elizabeth will follow up with Ebony to provide support in this effort.
Committee members will come with a list of events that they know about in their communities. Elizabeth will send out a reminder.
Dan: tried to offer free expungements with their events. Is that something we can provide?
Expungement is available all over the place, the issue is connecting people to the resources that make it easier for them. How do we connect them to the high quality expungement services?
HABC is having a free expungement June 21st on the east side.
Kristine: how big a problem is drug screening? It’s been a problem for her students.
Gabe will represent the Committee at the next Southwest Board Meeting.
Maryland New Directions is looking for another job coach doing case management and conducting employment workshops, maintaining clients on a database. Salary range probably around $35,000.