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.
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 Matt Stubbs
Many of us take for granted having a readily available mode of transportation. We have no worries or doubts about how we are getting to work in the morning or how we are going to drop our kids off at school or daycare. For some, however, a reliable source of transportation is life changing. In March, a JumpStart graduate named Harold received a car from Vehicles for Change (VFC) with JOTF’s sponsorship.