JOTF in the Media

We are making headlines and telling stories that matter.

JOTF focuses on providing potential solutions and engaging community members, providers, and employers in productive dialogue to address necessary systemic changes. We are often cited for our expertise and research. Here you will find articles, media and other highlights of our work.

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Mar 3, 2023

Jobs & Economic Justice Advocacy Day

  Join the Job Opportunities Task Force and Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle for Jobs & Economic Justice Advocacy Day! Join us in advocating for better jobs, higher wages, and economic stability for all! Learn about the legislative process, meet with legislators, take action by phone banking, march and rally for jobs and economic justice, and meet other community activists for a day of action! Schedule
  • 7:30 am Leave Baltimore
  • 8:30 am Breakfast & Orientation
  • 9:15 am March and Rally at Lawyers Mall
  • 10:15 am Legislative Meetings & Phone-Banking
  • 11:45 pm Lunch
  • 1:00 pm Legislative Hearings
  • 1:45 pm Leave for Baltimore
Register now! Buses will leave from and return to the Langston Hughes Community, Business & Resource Center, 5011 Arbutus Ave, Baltimore. If you are providing your own transportation, you are welcome to join us in Annapolis at 8:30am. The event ends at 1:45pm  
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Oct 17, 2022

Job Opportunities Task Force Names Debra Carr as New CEO

Baltimore, MD. – The Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF) is pleased to announce that Debra Carr has been appointed the new CEO of JOTF, effective October 17, 2022. An experienced leader with a passion for working in support of underserved communities, Debra will succeed Interim CEO Monique Boyd, who will resume her prior position as JOTF’s Chief Operating Officer. Debra has had an illustrious career of more than 30 years working in the federal government at leadership levels, most recently as Acting Director of the Office of Job Corps for the Department of Labor, a national job training program. Prior to that, Debra spent a number of years with the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance developing equal opportunity policies and programs covering the employment practices of some of the nation’s largest employers. Debra also spent a decade with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights researching civil rights issues and before that she spent several years with the U.S. Department of Justice enforcing civil rights laws. In these positions, Debra gained extensive experience across policy and advocacy, research, and programming – the three pillars that underpin JOTF’s work. “Debra is an excellent fit for JOTF,” says Keith Stone, JOTF’s Board president. “The breadth and depth of her expertise will be a real asset to JOTF, our partners and our constituents. We are thrilled to welcome Debra to JOTF and look forward to the next chapter under her leadership.” “I am looking forward to working with JOTF and its partners, and anyone interested in economic development and creating job opportunities for communities and individuals that have been voiceless or marginalized,” said Ms. Carr.


About JOTF Since 1996, JOTF has worked to develop and advocate policies and programs that increase the marketable skills, income, and economic opportunities of low-skill, low-income workers and job seekers in Maryland. To achieve this vision, JOTF leverages its efforts in three core pillars:   policy/advocacy, research, and on-the-ground job skills training. Funding sources include the Abell Foundation,  Annie E. Casey Foundation, Fund for Change,  Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund, Open Society Institute-Baltimore,  David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and the Working Poor Families Project, among other private and government sources.
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Oct 1, 2022

Launch of JOTF’s Podcast – “MoneyTalks”

“MoneyTalks” is a podcast examining how government laws, policies, and programs impact Maryland’s workforce and finances. Ep.1 is now LIVE!

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Mar 19, 2021

JOTF’s CEO Caryn York sits down with WYPR’s Sheilah Kast.

WYPR, a Maryland affiliate of NPR.

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 growth and evolution of JOTF's Community Bail Fund for Baltimore City.  Join our movement and visit to contribute.

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DYK: A recent Bloomberg report revealed that 60% of those incarcerated have not been convicted of a crime; they are jailed only b/c they cannot afford bail.  This discriminatory system unduly keeps low-income populations, especially Black and Brown communities, in the tentacular grip of poverty. See report:

JOTF’s Bail Fund seeks to dismantle this systemic criminalization of poverty and race by securing the release for low income residents incarcerated due to an unaffordable cash bail or costly home detention fees. But it doesn’t stop there.   We provide intensive, personalized case management to help the individuals we bail out find the right services - from support to address housing and food insecurity to setting them on the path to realizing their educational and career dreams.

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Feb 23, 2021

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

Baltimore Magazine
JOTF’s CEO Caryn York was named a “Game Changer,” by Baltimore Magazine! Thank you Corey McLaughlin for a holistic look at JOTF’s mission, policy work, programming and the communities that we serve.  As we reflect on JOTF’s 25th anniversary, we are humbled and grateful for the spotlight from our friends @baltimoremag. Read the profile at Here are two highlights: “Individuals are sitting in jail, for non-violent offenses, more often than not, simply because they’re poor, because they don’t have $100.” - Caryn York on JOTF’s Community Bail Fund, learn more about the Fund at

“There’s no way in the world you can do the work of economic justice in Baltimore City and not recognize the very incestuous intersection between race, criminality, and poverty here.”  Read our 2018 groundbreaking report, The Criminalization of Poverty: How to Break the Cycle Through Policy Reform in Maryland at

#BlackWoman #CEO #GameChanger #Baltimore #MyBmore#JOTF #AnniversaryYear #25thAnniversary #DecriminalizePovertyandRace #EconomicEquity #EconomicSecurity #EconomicMobility #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackHistory 
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