09/02/2021

Diana Geis

Bill Marker

Erica Sullivan

Paulette Carrol

Kris Hoellen

Kurt Sommer

Rachel Goodrich

Virginia Holley

Terrell Butcher

Nan Tuckett

Laura Dykes

Natalie Scott

Jacqueline Harris-Stevenson

NaToya Mitchell

Roger Wood

Tamala Burgess

Bif Browning

GorDon Baker

Scott Kashnow

Liberty Henderson

Reggie

Khandra Sears

Workforce Policy Presentation and Discussion

Kurt lead a discussion on the workforce development policy context in Baltimore and two readings:

Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore (Abell Foundation)

Pgs 59-63 The Criminalization of Poverty (Job Opportunities Task Force)

 

Workforce Development Context in Baltimore: how do we grow workforce development work in Baltimore? Why is scaling so important? There are a lot of people who want good paying jobs, but don’t necessarily have the skills and credentials to get them, and the workforce programs are a great way to bridge that gap. Employers need quality, dedicated workers–want to scale into a larger/more quality job.

 

The Committee discussed barriers–criminal records, outreach, transportation, technology, personal records. There are also many low quality programs that people have had poor experiences with and that discourages folks from engaging with the quality programs.

 

Youth can be especially important to work with but face many specific challenges–high schools don’t prepare them to be critical thinkers, they lack access to employment skills, needed to be engaged  differently than adults. Committee discussed the importance of giving them leadership opportunities

 

Older adults are also a focus demographic, as a formerly incarcerated folks, and people with childcare responsibilities

 

Geographically, there are a lot more jobs in the county rather than the City which can be challenging to get to via public transportation–can also encourage folks to bike and scoot to work where appropriate

 

Warehoursing, transportation jobs are areas of growth. Non-profit workforce development programs tend to focus on food service and hospitality, construction, healthcare, biotech, IT, administrative, landscaping. Healthcare is very lucrative but it can be very challenging to move into higher level positions like nursing

 

Quality workforce development programs need to have a lot of intentionality and think about how to think regionally 

 

Committee discussed the importance of green careers and jobs that deal with the impact of climate change

 

Wrap around services and support are essential to quality workforce programs as well as soft skills, hard skills, employers, job search assistance and interview support, employer developed curriculum, and has ongoing supports, data driven, advocate for clients

 

Barriers for scaling workforce development are in three categories–personal, organizational, systemic. The Committee discussed various examples and thought of solutions

 

The Committee discussed possible areas for the committee to advocate for changes or make interventions–the need for access to technology for job seekers, work place mentors, improved expungement processes, transportation allowances for folks in workforce development programs, adjusting the state tax code, and other policy changes