WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with U.S. Representatives Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John P. Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded $5 million to the City of Baltimore to support job training programs for youth and young adults. The grant will launch the One Baltimore for Jobs Initiative, which is focused on increasing access to key job sectors, reducing barriers to employment and training, and supporting community-based projects.
“This federal investment in Baltimore is a direct result of the Obama Administration working with members of Team Maryland over the last two months,” said Cardin, author of the BALTIMORE Act. “In the days and months since the unrest that gripped the city, I have consistently been asked by residents across Baltimore to take steps to ensure young people can find employment. This is a solid step towards making sure youth in Baltimore can enrich themselves and the city by earning a paycheck. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration and my colleagues in the Senate to bring more resources and jobs to Baltimore.”
“I believe that in America, if you’re ready to work and want a job, you should have one,” said Senator Mikulski, Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds the DOL. “Grants like these are investments in our young people to help them acquire the skills, training and education they need to succeed. These funds in the federal checkbook will help Marylanders get the on-the-job training and know-how they need.”
“This grant will not only help young people get jobs, it will also give them the training they need to succeed in careers with long-term growth potential,” Congressman Cummings said. “I am grateful to the Department of Labor and the Obama Administration for their commitment to Baltimore’s youth and for all of the assistance they have provided our City as we work to address our most urgent economic challenges.”
“This is exactly the type of investment we should be making as our economy continues to recover. Without a job, you can’t support your family, your community or your country,” Congressman Ruppersberger said.
“Decades of neglect and divestment in our urban communities have put well-paying jobs and educational opportunities out of reach for too many of our citizens,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “By providing job training and employment opportunities for young people, we can spur local economic activity and strengthen Baltimore’s communities.”
These federal funds will allow the City of Baltimore’s Office of Employment Development to enhance and expand services that help long-term unemployed and dislocated workers prepare for jobs in the fields of health care, construction, technology, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics. The program will serve youth and young adults between the ages of 16-29 who have been disconnected from the labor force by opening new dialogues with employers and building partnerships with local organizations to create new employment opportunities.
The Department of Labor has selected six other cities to receive similar grants based on high poverty and unemployment rates. The funds are available through the DOL’s Dislocated Worker National Reserve Account.