By JOTF on 5/9/2014
by Jason Perkins-Cohen
This blog post is part of a group blogging event hosted by Living Cities and Meeting of the Minds about how cities could better connect their residents to economic opportunity.

We all want our cities to be safe places to live and work, but plans to increase public safety in metropolitan areas are failing our citizens. In misguided attempts to grow urban areas and their respective tax bases, policy and business leaders are shutting out huge swaths of the labor market through employment standards that all but exclude workers with a criminal record.

Employers naturally want to develop businesses that are safe for workers and customers. They also want to make hiring decisions that protect their financial security and minimize liability and loss. While these ideals are worthwhile, in their attempts to guarantee safety, many employers are evaluating a potential employee based, not on their merits as a worker, but on assumptions of a person’s future behavior. When employers automatically say “no” to people with criminal convictions, even minor ones, they are excluding a number of potentially great employees without any regard to a person’s skill set, attempts to improve their behavior or record of community contribution.
By JOTF on 6/28/2013
by Sarah Breitenbach

So far 2013 has been a banner year for our construction training program, Project JumpStart. In just six short months we’ve marked some pretty significant milestones including the expansion of JumpStart to Baltimore’s west side, a graduation celebration for of our 20th class, and a new partnership with developers and the University of Maryland BioPark.

 

These achievements are huge feats for our seven-year-old program, which is designed to move Baltimore residents out of poverty and into high-wage jobs in the construction trades. Many of the people who come to our program are looking for a route out of low-skill, low-wage employment so they can support their families and be contributing members of our city society.

 

We’re always proud of our students, but our pride has been amplified this year by generous support from our partners, educators and the many, many folks who donated to JumpStart. In just a few short months our supporters have helped us raise nearly $5,000 through our first-ever online giving campaign.

By JOTF on 6/14/2013
by Sarah Breitenbach

In honor of Father’s Day, the Job Opportunities Task Force recently sat down with Joseph T.  Jones, Jr. president, founder and CEO, for the Center for Urban Families. JOTF works with CFUF to place Baltimore residents in Project JumpStart, our construction training program.

 

CFUF works with Baltimore fathers to strengthen urban communities by helping them reach stability and economic success. The organization recruits directly off Baltimore streets and works to ensure their clients are connected to opportunities for housing, employment and parenting resources.
By JOTF on 4/30/2013
by Andrea Roethke

Imagine a Baltimore where every resident who wants a job has the skills to go get one. Imagine a workforce system where there are no dead-end jobs; just entry-level jobs that mark the first step on a career ladder. Imagine a community where nonprofits, government agencies, and employers are seamlessly aligned to connect residents to services to jobs.


Making this vision a reality is no small task, but every year we make strides in the right direction. Two years ago, the Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) was formed with the goal of connecting residents to economic opportunity and revitalizing underserved neighborhoods. Since then, the collaborative of public, private, and nonprofit leaders have worked together to make investments in both human and physical capital, while at the same time advancing policy and systems change.

By JOTF on 1/7/2013

by Sarah Breitenbach

 

With the New Year comes cause for JOTF to celebrate. We are happy to announce, that for the first time, a developer is financing seats in our Project JumpStart construction training program.

 

Through a new partnership, the Maryland Proton Treatment Center Development Team (Advanced Particle Therapy, Signet Enterprises and Haskell) and the University of Maryland BioPark have graciously sponsored four seats in JumpStart’s 20th class, which begins Jan. 7 in east Baltimore.  

By JOTF on 10/10/2012
by Matt Stubbs

At the Job Opportunities Task Force we take a lot of pride in our JumpStart program, a construction training course designed to improve the skills and employability of Baltimoreans who lack the necessary abilities to land high-wage jobs. Each year dozens of residents graduate from the program, but we’ve recently realized there are significant numbers of people who are not afforded this opportunity because they lack basic math skills and cannot pass our screening exam. 

By JOTF on 7/5/2012
by Matt Stubbs

At some point in most of our lives we get an urge or a call to service. Most of us satisfy the urge with a day of volunteering at the local food pantry or a weekend building a house for a needy family. Some go a step further and volunteer regularly or hold annual fundraisers.  A smaller group goes above and beyond the conventional means of service. This group’s involvement can include (but is not limited to) starting their own community association, developing after-school programs, or providing skill training. JumpStart’s instructor, Jack Diehl, fits in that smaller group.

By JOTF on 6/3/2012

by Andrea Roethke
In 2005, Pennsylvania created a network of Industry Partnerships. The system brings employers together to strategize around common workforce needs and develop collaborative training initiatives. The state provides support for training, with matching dollars from employers. According to the Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions, over 6,300 employers have contributed over $75 million in matching funds to train more than 100,000 Pennsylvania workers through the system. In 2011, the state passed legislation formally writing Industry Partnerships into state law.

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