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About Us

Curious about what it takes to get low-wage workers access to high paying jobs? So are we.

See how we do it

JOTF works to eliminate educational and employment barriers for low-wage workers by transforming the systems and policies that create and perpetuate those barriers.

Policy & Advocacy

JOTF is a leading voice on workforce issues in Maryland, supporting a wide range of public policy initiatives and budget decisions, including increased investment in adult education and training, expanding the Earned Income Credit, reducing barriers to work for individuals with criminal justice involvement, and unemployment insurance reform.

Our Programs

JOTF designs programs that create career pathways for low-wage workers. Our programs help Marylanders reach higher-wage jobs in industries that need more skilled workers. We designed Project JumpStart, Baltimore's pre-apprenticeship program in the building trades, which helps participants become licensed electricians, plumbers, or carpenters. JumpStart trains 120 low-wage residents each year for careers that can pay more than $50,000 annually.

Research & Reports

JOTF conducts research to inform policymakers and the public, and to encourage the development of local programs based on best practices. Our research explores the impact of specific state and local policies on the workforce, and provides timely recommendations on how these policies can better serve Maryland's workers, families, employers, and the economy.

What's new at JOTF

2021 Legislative Wrap-Up

JOTF advocates for legislative and budget proposals that improve the economic opportunities of Maryland's…

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The Criminalization of Poverty: How to Break the Cycle Through Policy Reform in Maryland

In August 2016, the United States Department of Justice issued a report following its…

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The Color of Wealth: Race, Wealth, and the Criminal Justice System in Baltimore City

October 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Spurred by developing research from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, this convening…

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JOTF’s CEO Caryn York was named a “Game Changer,” by Baltimore Magazine!

JOTF’s CEO Caryn York was named a “Game Changer,” by Baltimore Magazine! Thank you…

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From Our Blog
More Articles
Mar 19, 2021

JOTF’s CEO sits down with WYPR’s Sheila Kast

Our CEO Caryn York was featured on WYPR, a Maryland affiliate of NPR.  She was a guest on the popular morning show, On the Record with Sheilah Kast.  Listen to her compelling and wide-ranging conversation in which she discusses the… Read More

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Stay Up to Date

Stay up to date on policy issues and the latest research and reports.

Our Mission

About Job Opportunities Task Force

The road to meaningful employment is fraught with obstacles. When one seems to be conquered, another appears in its place. This is the incessant struggle for the low-wage workers in our communities.

Each day, JOTF works relentlessly to eliminate those obstacles to meaningful and stable employment through educational opportunities and effective policy reform and systems change. By doing so, we’re able to consistently help low-wage workers advance to high-paying jobs and create paths for workers from every possible background to thrive and prosper.

JOTF in the Media
Mar 19, 2021
JOTF’s CEO Caryn York sits down with WYPR’s Sheilah Kast.

WYPR, a Maryland affiliate of NPR.

Feb 23, 2021
JOTF’s CEO Caryn York was named a “Game Changer,” by Baltimore Magazine!

Baltimore Magazine

Feb 18, 2021
Check out CEO Caryn York’s recent Opinion Piece in the Daily Record

The Daily Record

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Resources for those affected by COVID-19

JOTF understands the challenges facing us all during this time. We're here for you.