Navigating Your Opportunities During Quarantine and COVID-19

JOTF understands the challenges facing us all during this time, particularly the low-wage workers identified as “essential” who must travel outside of their homes for work

Indeed, we share your apprehension, as we navigate how best to serve our constituencies, neighbors, and communities during quarantined times.

For the past 25 years, JOTF has been recognized as a leading voice for low-skill, low-wage workers in Maryland.  Through Project JumpStart, our pre-apprenticeship construction training program, our public policy advocacy and research and public education efforts, JOTF remains dedicated to our mission of eliminating barriers and increasing access to skills, higher wages, and job opportunities for low-income workers in Maryland. During these extraordinary times, our team remains steadfast in our work of aggressive advocacy on behalf of those struggling to make ends meet.

We live in a time where the majority of news is read online, and social media is the primary host for public policy debates.  One has access to all kinds of information, which, many times, is quickly shared and accepted as truth without any further research and analysis.

During this global health pandemic, JOTF remains committed to our role as a credible source of information for workers, businesses, and policymakers, including the debunking of myths that can lead to harmful, or worse deadly, outcomes. We hope you find the following #MythBusters helpful as we safely navigate these times where our collective health and wealth is at stake.

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Facts are Facts. We live in a city divided in many ways. Roughly 47,690 households of the 238,500 or 1 in 5 here in Charm City do not have access to high speed, broadband internet. While they may have the technology to get online, they do not have the infrastructure and much needed resources to connect to the information super high way and are being left behind.Facts are facts. We live in a city divided in many ways. Roughly 47,690 households of the 238,500 or 1 in 5 here in Charm City do not have access to high speed, broadband internet. While they may have the technology to get online, they do not have the infrastructure and resources to connect to the information on the super highway and are being left behind.

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown how important it is for folks to have access to reliable and cost effective technology; and digital resources. Just think about it, with public gatherings being limited and physical distancing still being encouraged, how are you accessing and applying for your benefits? How are you able to work remotely, attend school and training programs, etc…?  Do you have access to the resources that will allow you to work from home?  How are your children dialing into their classrooms?

The Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF) is working diligently to provide pressure to our policy makers to address this disparity.  JOTF is conducting research to identify community partners who are able to assist individuals in need of these digital resources. As such, we will continue to lead the charge by connecting our constituency with the digital resources that will decrease the digital divide in urban and rural areas in Maryland.

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To ensure the flow of information remains accessible to all, JOTF is pleased to share the following information on available federal and state resources aimed to support low-income workers in Maryland during the Coronavirus pandemic:

Worker Supports During COVID

UNEMPLOYED BECAUSE OF COVID-19?

The Maryland Department of Labor recently launched a new one-stop unemployment website for all newly eligible Marylanders to file claims entirely online. This includes those who are self employed, gig workers, and who previously had to file by phone (federal employees, military members, those who have worked in more than 1 state, and those with more than 3 employers in the last 18 months).

Get Your Stimulus Benefits

The IRS has opened the Get My Payment link where you can :
• Check your payment status,
• Confirm if you want a check or direct deposit, and
• Enter your bank or credit union information (routing number and account number)

CARES Act Breakdown

Understand how this stimulus package from the federal government will support employers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What You Need to Know: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Learn how to know if you're eligible, how to apply, the max benefit amount, and what's new for COVID-19.

What You Need to Know: Paid Sick & Safe Leave

Understand the MD Healthy Working Families Act, how many hours are covered, what the federal law provides, and as an employer what you should know.

Get Real Time Up to Date Data from Baltimore City about COVID-19

JOTF values the important role our regional and local businesses play in providing economic opportunities for our Maryland workers. Visit our Business Resources Page for more details regarding benefits and programs available to help businesses during the current pandemic.

We encourage you to share the information with your family, friends, and networks.

You can also follow JOTF on social media – FacebookInstagram & Twitter – for continued updates.

These truly are extraordinary times. JOTF is thankful to have you as a valued member of our community and look forward to our continued partnership, now and in the future.

Please stay safe, healthy, and distant.

Have Questions, Ideas, or Need Support?

Please don't hesitate to contact our staff for support.

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