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City launches jobs training program funded by ARPA federal relief money

Two participants of the Chesapeake Bay Program receive workforce training.
Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr
Chesapeake Bay Program
Two participants of the Chesapeake Bay Program receive workforce training.

Baltimore officials kicked off Wednesday a new jobs training program, marking the launch of one of the first public-facing programs funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Train Up program will provide job training and access to wraparound services to more than 1,600 Baltimoreans who lost work due to the pandemic. Participants will receive training in industries including healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and technology. They will also receive access to free legal services, behavioral mental health services and financial counseling.

The latter resources make the program “more than training,” Mayor Brandon Scott said at a news conference at the Jane Addams Resource Corporation in Park Heights.

“Simply put, it offers a holistic approach to meet the needs of our residents by equipping them with the tools and resources that will not only help them obtain a job, but will help them keep that job and maximize the opportunity,” the Democrat said.

The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) will spend $5 million on Train Up this year; Scott has allocated a total of $9 million for the program from ARPA’s $641 million pot. He set aside another $21 million for other workforce development programs.

MOED will work with 17 organizations to administer the trainings: Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Health, BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Project Jumpstart, Byte Back, Catholic Charities of Baltimore, Center for Urban Families, Civic Works, Equality Equation, Goodwill, Hope Inc., Jane Addams Resource Center, Maryland New Directions, NPower, Open Works, Per Scholas, Unite Here and Vehicles for Change.

“All of these training options are aimed at the city's strongest industries in terms of wage growth and those most impacted by the pandemic,” MOED director Jason Perkins-Cohen said.

Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.