The mission of JOTF is to develop and advocate policies and programs to increase the skills, job opportunities, and incomes of low-skill, low-income workers and job seekers.

 

Advocacy

JOTF is a leading voice on workforce issues in Maryland, supporting a wide range of public policy initiatives and budget decisions, including increased investment in adult education and training, expanding the Earned Income Credit, reducing barriers to work for ex-offenders, and unemployment insurance reform.

 

Program Development

JOTF designs programs that create career pathways for low-wage workers. Our programs help Marylanders reach higher-wage jobs in industries that need more skilled workers. We designed JumpStart, Baltimore's pre-apprenticeship program in the building trades, which helps participants become licensed electricians, plumbers, or carpenters. JumpStart trains 100 low-wage residents each year for careers that can pay more than $50,000 annually.

 

Public Education

One of JOTF's most important roles is to convene public meetings on a range of local and national topics related to employment and the workforce. These meetings attract employers, policymakers, interested citizens, and organizations that provide direct service to residents.

 

Research

JOTF conducts research to inform policymakers and the public, and to encourage the development of local programs based on best practices. Our research explores the impact of specific state and local policies on the workforce, and provides timely recommendations on how these policies can better serve Maryland's workers, families, employers, and the economy.

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