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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 the BetterU Construction Training in the building trades, which helps participants become licensed electricians, plumbers, or carpenters. The BetterU Construction Training is dedicated to training 60 low-wage residents for the 2022-2023 academic year for careers that can pay more than $24.00 per hour.

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

The Double Pandemic: Socioeconomic and Racial Inequality in the COVID-19 Era

The Double Pandemic: Socioeconomic and Racial Inequality in the COVID-19 Era      …

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2022 Public Policy Agenda

During the 90-day legislative session in Annapolis, JOTF will support the following public policy…

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5th Annual All Night Community Resource Clinic

October 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Check out JOTF CEO Caryn York talking about the 5th Annual All Night Community…

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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
Jan 31, 2022

The Double Pandemic: Socioeconomic and Racial Inequality in the COVID-19 Era

The Double Pandemic: Socioeconomic and Racial Inequality in the COVID-19 Era In the U.S., the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a societal magnifying glass, highlighting the powerful social, economic, and racial inequities that have existed here for generations, long before 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.

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