Mayor Scott Announces $55 Million Investment to Put Baltimore Back to Work and Ensure Equitable Economic Recovery from COVID-19

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425



$30 Million to Expand Workforce Development and Job Placements for Youth and Disadvantaged Job Seekers; $25 Million Economic Recovery Fund to Support Nonprofits, Artists, Small Businesses, and Childcare Providers 

BALTIMORE, MD (Tuesday, November 16, 2021) - Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced the next two priority investments that will be made with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds: a combined $55 million to put Baltimoreans back to work and ensure an equitable economic recovery from COVID-19. The public health emergency has disproportionately affected small businesses, local artists, families and children, and the tourism and hospitality industries. Baltimore is using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide relief to these communities and help Baltimoreans hit hardest by the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

“I am focused on investing Baltimore’s American Rescue Plan Act dollars in an equitable, community-focused way. The investment announced today is all about how we will put Baltimoreans back to work, while offering a lifeline to our most vulnerable small and local businesses,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This package will directly benefit disadvantaged job seekers, including those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and our young people through quality workforce development and job opportunities. Our Economic Recovery Fund will make much-needed capital available to Baltimore businesses, artists, creators, and caretakers — all through a lens of equity.” 

The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) will receive $30 million dollars over four fiscal years to expand workforce development efforts and job placements for young people and disadvantaged job seekers. Today’s investment announcement also includes the creation of a $25 million Economic Recovery Fund, which will provide a lifeline to the city’s small, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and artists and creators through a lens of equity.  

$30 Million to Expand Workforce Development for Youth and Disadvantaged Job Seekers 
This investment with the Mayor's Office of Employment Development (MOED) will prioritize unemployed and underemployed residents with a focus on Baltimore’s most disadvantaged jobseekers. This includes residents returning home from incarceration, opportunity youth, and recipients of public assistance.  

This historic workforce development investment will fund four programs through MOED: Hire Up, Train Up, YouthWorks, and workforce supports for participants in those programs: 

  • Hire Up ($5.2 Million) — A transitional jobs program with City and quasi-government agencies. These $15 per hour, 6-month positions will enable at least 220 low-income residents to earn wages and support the economic recovery of their households, while also delivering public services that will support a cleaner, safer, more welcoming City; 
  • Train Up ($8.9 Million) — This program will offer occupational skills training, industry-recognized credentials, and $100/week stipends for nearly 1,000 residents to upskill and obtain jobs in high-demand industries in the region, such as biotechnology, business services, healthcare, and information technology; 
  • YouthWorks ($8.4 Million) — This investment will allow the City to serve 4,000 youth over two summers and provide employment opportunities for 100 youth during the school year through the first-ever, year-round YouthWorks Academy. MOED has operated the summer YouthWorks program for over 30 years, providing valuable work experience for city residents ages 14 to 21;  
  • Workforce Supports Programming and Wage Subsidies ($2.9 Million) — This programming will provide behavioral health, legal services, adult education, financial empowerment counseling, and career navigation to residents participating in Hire Up or Train Up. In addition, this investment will support wage subsidies for small, minority- and women-owned businesses that hire residents impacted by the pandemic. 

These programs will increase access to opportunity, promote local job growth, support low-income households, benefit historically underinvested neighborhoods, and create wealth in Black and Brown communities. Combined, these projects will improve chances of economic success for those who were systematically disadvantaged even before the COVID-19 public health emergency and then disproportionately impacted by it. 

“Each of these strategies could be considered a stand-alone initiative to serve a distinct population, but they are meant to work in concert together to advance our mission to bring economic justice to Baltimore City,” said Jason Perkins-Cohen, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. “That means creating an equitable workforce system that responds to the needs of all residents and provides viable economic opportunities to all residents — especially those who have been generationally and systemically disadvantaged.” 

“Addressing the negative economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency is one of the primary goals of the American Rescue Plan Act,” said Shamiah Kerney, Baltimore’s Chief Recovery Officer and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs. “These workforce development investments will directly address the economic well-being of low-income households in the city and provide needed job experience, skill-building, and career opportunities to young people and adults, supporting their long-term success and economic recovery.” 

$25 Million for the Creation of an Economic Recovery Fund  
The $25 million Economic Recovery Fund supports Baltimore nonprofits, artists, small businesses, and childcare providers. Five organizations have been selected to serve as fiscal agents to facilitate recovery, technical assistance, and capacity building associated with the Economic Recovery Fund: the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), Baltimore Civic Fund (BCF), Visit Baltimore, Family League of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts (BOPA).  

This investment demonstrates the partnership the Mayor's Office wants to continue building with city agencies, quasi-city agencies, and nonprofit organizations across the City through ARPA funding, and will prioritize minority-owned/led, women-owned/led, local, and small businesses, nonprofits, and entities. 

The Economic Recovery Fund will support some of the communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 public health emergency: 

  • Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) will receive $11.7 million to support small business relief, with a focus on providing a lifeline to the City’s local, small business – particularly Black, Brown, and women-owned businesses; 
  • Baltimore Civic Fund (BCF) will receive $8.3 million to provide aid to over 300 Baltimore nonprofit organizations, extending the reach of previous rounds of Nonprofit Relief funding; 
  • Family League of Baltimore will receive $2 million to support Baltimore's childcare industry; 
  • Baltimore's Office of Promotion and Arts (BOPA) will receive $500,000 to support local artists and creators, both in direct grants and capacity building; 
  • Visit Baltimore will receive $2.5 million to aid the hospitality industry, more specifically Baltimore hotels. 

Each organization will announce upcoming application windows and are committed to providing needed aid to awardees as quickly as possible.  

“Today’s ARPA investment represents a major down payment on Mayor Scott’s economic agenda, which tackles our top two economic priorities of addressing COVID’s negative business impact through an equity lens and setting the stage for long-term growth in the areas of workforce talent and minority small business formation and expansion,” said Ted Carter, Deputy Mayor for Community and Economic Development

“This investment in the Economic Recovery Fund comes at a critical time for Baltimore City. Through the American Rescue Plan Act and a lens of equity, the Administration will provide much needed relief to small businesses, nonprofits, childcare providers, the hospitality industry, and individual artists, prioritizing those that have not had access to this kind of federal funding in the past,” said Shamiah Kerney, Chief Recovery Officer. “We look forward to coordinating with our Economic Recovery Fund partners to ensure that Baltimore’s underserved residents and communities are the primary beneficiaries of this relief funding.” 

About the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs  

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $641 million to the City of Baltimore in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts. Mayor Brandon M. Scott has established the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs to transparently and effectively administer this funding on behalf of the City. 

The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs continues to collect information from their public feedback form on their website. For additional information, visit the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs website at This page is updated frequently with the latest ARPA-related information.   

As a reminder, Baltimore nonprofits can apply to receive American Rescue Plan Act funds. Review resources and complete the application, which closes on December 31st, at

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