WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) applauded the Biden Administration’s launch of a new workforce hub in Baltimore to train workers to step into good-paying jobs and build out our region’s skilled workforce as its clean energy and infrastructure industries grow. This announcement stems from the lawmakers’ efforts to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act to catalyze investments in American infrastructure and clean energy in the region.
With the launch of this new workforce hub, Baltimoreans will have equitable access to high-quality training, apprenticeship programs, technical education programs, and supportive services that can provide paths to good careers in their community, particularly for underrepresented students and workers.
“To keep up the momentum of our historic infrastructure investments, we need a diverse and deep talent pool,” said Senator Cardin. “By recognizing Baltimore as one of these premiere places and populations, the Biden administration is expanding pathways to successful and fulfilling careers. Baltimore is ready to set the tone and fill in labor gaps.”
“Providing Marylanders access to critical skills training and good-paying, union job opportunities is key to supporting our workers and growing our economy. That’s why we fought to pass the infrastructure modernization bill, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. Now these investments are heading to Baltimore. This announcement is a win-win for our workers and employers alike as we continue to modernize our state’s infrastructure, build out our offshore wind industry, and so much more,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“The policies we are advancing in Washington are helping to rebuild Baltimore’s aging infrastructure, reduce its carbon footprint and lower the costs of goods – and they also create an untold number of quality jobs for Baltimoreans,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Projects like constructing new rail tunnels and manufacturing wind turbines remind us that our best days are ahead. This designation will ensure we have the local workforce in place to take advantage of the unlimited opportunities already coming our way thanks to these investments.”
“Maryland is well positioned to take the lead in rebuilding our nation’s rail infrastructure and advancing our clean energy economy. As we recognize Infrastructure Week, this announcement delivers on the historic legislation we worked to pass with President Biden and invests in our state’s workforce,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Creating new good-paying jobs and expanding access to training programs will build a better future for Maryland and our country.”
“It is an honor to be selected by the White House for this opportunity, because it puts Baltimore in the unique position of leading America on historic legislative priorities for the nation. We thank the President and Vice President for recognizing our leadership ability. It is another once-in-a-lifetime chance for us,” said Congressman Mfume.
“I am thrilled that the City of Baltimore was chosen as one of five Workforce Hubs in the country, and I am a proud supporter of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to level the playing field for American workers from all backgrounds and income levels when it comes to quality employment opportunities. Access to high-paying jobs is paramount in that work, and that is how we are closing the wealth gap in our city and across our country. Through President Biden’s Investing in American agenda, we are able to equitably position our residents to thrive and establish wealth for themselves and their families. It is great to have an Administration that believes in Baltimore,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott.
The Baltimore region is at the forefront of new clean-energy developments and infrastructure modernization efforts. Baltimore’s position in the Northeast Corridor makes it essential to upgrade and improve the nation’s rail service. The replacement of the 150-year-old Frederick Douglass Tunnel is estimated to create 30,000 jobs that will be built with a project-labor agreement between Amtrak and local building trades unions. The Baltimore region also has a burgeoning offshore wind industry, and the Maryland Department of Labor won a Good Jobs Challenge award to support the industry’s growth by implementing a new apprenticeship model in partnership with multiple employers and seven unions. The city is also using $30 million in American Rescue Plan funds to expand many workforce efforts, including credential programs to help workers get jobs in in-demand fields.
Baltimore was selected as one of five locations for a workforce hub in addition to Phoenix, Columbus, Augusta, and Pittsburgh.