City Receives $6.8 Million State ARPA Grant to Put Baltimoreans Back to Work
Wednesday Aug 11th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, August 11, 2021) — Baltimore is the recipient of $6.8 million in State American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which will be used to tackle unemployment caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The dollars, formally accepted at this morning’s Board of Estimates meeting, align with Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s priority of using relief to put Baltimoreans back to work and invest in communities that have historically been left behind.
The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) will use these funds to support occupational training, apprenticeships, and supportive services for unemployed and underemployed city residents impacted by COVID-19. The City will prioritize the most disadvantaged jobseekers, including people returning home from prison, opportunity youth, and recipients of public assistance.
“The ongoing pandemic exacerbated longstanding challenges in Baltimore and continues to plague working families across the city. I thank the State for making this critical investment in Baltimore residents and look forward to working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development to support our unemployed and underemployed residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This is one way my administration will focus on investing in our people and lifting our economy as a whole, all while building a more equitable Baltimore.”
The $6.8 million award will promote equity by bringing jobs, training, and support to residents in parts of the city that have been historically neglected in partnership with service providers and employers — with a goal of surpassing pre-pandemic employment levels. Baltimore City experienced high levels of poverty and unemployment before the pandemic, with Black residents facing unemployment rates triple those of white residents. These inequities were made worse with the economic fallout resulting from the public health emergency.
“This award will bring substantial opportunities to residents and businesses most impacted by the pandemic,” said Director Jason Perkins-Cohen of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. “It will increase access to vital workforce services by expanding partnerships with community-based organizations, offering training and apprenticeships to residents seeking to enhance their skills, and creating incentives for businesses to hire city residents.”
MOED will use the state grant to provide essential first-phase funding for workforce initiatives that the Office aims to later scale with City ARPA funds. This will bolster MOED’s Hire Up initiative, a transitional jobs program connecting vulnerable jobseekers to temporary positions and workforce support at city agencies and nonprofits. The state grant will also support continued occupational training for over 150 new high school graduates at risk of disconnection under Grads2Careers (G2C). A partnership of Baltimore City Public Schools, MOED, and the nonprofit Baltimore’s Promise, G2C was created to improve poor employment and earnings outcomes among new graduates.
For information about the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs, which is responsible for administering all aspects of ARPA funding, visit arp.baltimorecity.gov. To learn more about MOED’s workforce initiatives, visit moed.baltimorecity.gov or contact email@example.com.