JOTF E-Newsletter

October 2007

The Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF) is pleased to bring you the latest edition of its electronic newsletter. The JOTF E-Newsletter includes news, announcements, and information about upcoming events in the Baltimore area that we hope will be of interest to you. If your organization would like to publicize an event, job announcement, or other information, please e-mail: jessica[@]jotf.org.

In this issue:

JOTF NEWS

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: Governor O’Malley Calls for Special Session
JOTF Holds “Overpriced & Underserved” Release Event
Press Related to JOTF's Report “Overpriced & Underserved”
JOTF Initiates its FY2008 Development Campaign

 

OTHER NEWS

Baltimore City Gets its Own Construction Apprenticeship Training Class
Associated Press, "Living Paycheck to Paycheck Gets Harder" (10/19/2007)
New York Times, "BASIC INSTINCTS; Paid Leave For Maternity Is the Norm, Except In ..." (10/06/2007)
The Working Poor Families Project, "Strengthening State Adult Education Policies for Low-Skilled Workers" (Summer 2007)

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Launch of the Skills2Compete Campaign: A National Webinar (11/12/2007)
Welfare Advocates 28th Annual Conference (11/15/2007)

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Open Society Institute - Baltimore Seeks Program Associate - National Initiative to Close the Drug Addiction Treatment Gap
Open Society Institute - Baltimore Seeks Development Campaign Director
Open Society Institute - Baltimore Seeks Program Director for its Criminal Justice Program
Catholic Charities Seeks Assistant Director, Social Concerns
Washington/Pigtown Village Neighborhood Planning Council (WPNP) Seeks Main Street Director
Washington/Pigtown Village Neighborhood Planning Council (WPNP) Seeks Vocational Counselor/Employment Case Manager
Primo Electric Company / Primenet Inc Job Opportunities

 

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JOTF NEWS

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: Governor O’Malley Calls for Special Session.

A special session of the Maryland General Assembly will begin on Monday, October 29th in an effort to close Maryland’s $1.7 billion budget gap.

Governor O’Malley’s current package includes an increase in the state’s refundable earned income credit, which is a tax credit for low-income working families. This component of the plan is critical to low-wage workers. Such an increase will help offset the impact of proposed regressive tax increases, such as the increase in sales tax, which disproportionately affects low-income families. The earned income credit rewards work and increases the income of households struggling to make ends meet.

In addition to the Governor’s proposed package, major decisions regarding funding for other programs are likely to be made during the special session, including funding for adult education. Nearly one million Marylanders are in need of such services, yet funding continues to lag far behind most other states.

Now is the time to make your voice heard. Please urge legislators to support the proposed increase to the earned income credit, and to consider the tremendous need for state funding for adult education.

Specifically, contact Senator Currie and Delegate Hixson to ask for support from their committees for an increase in the state’s refundable earned income credit. Senator Currie can be reached at (410) 841-3127, and Delegate Hixson can be reached at (410) 841-3469.

Contact adult education bill sponsors, Senator Kasemeyer and Delegate Hixson, and ask them to champion the need for increased funding. Senator Kasemeyer can be reached at (410) 841-3653, and Delegate Hixson can be reached at (410) 841-3469.

For more information, contact Melissa Chalmers Broome at 410-234-8046.

 

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JOTF Holds “Overpriced & Underserved” Release Event

On Tuesday, October 16th JOTF held a forum to share the findings of its latest report, Overpriced & Underserved: How the Market is Failing Low-Wage Baltimoreans. The report reveals that low-wage Baltimoreans pay more than their wealthier neighbors for everything from automobiles to zucchini. Each year, they spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars more on everyday goods and services.

At the event, JOTF explained how high costs impact consumers in four keys areas: financial services, housing, transportation, and groceries. The fact that lower-wage families pay higher prices just to meet their basic needs makes it more difficult for them to save, invest, and achieve economic security. Fortunately, there are best practices and policy strategies to reduce the poverty premium. These include attracting mainstream businesses into underserved markets, cracking down on predatory business practices, and empowering consumers with better market information.

A panel of local experts shared their thoughts on why the poverty premium exists, how it impacts local families, and how we can make the market work better for low-wage consumers. Panelists included John Godwin, Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Alliances at MECU; Carol Gilbert, Assistant Secretary of Neighborhood Revitalization at the Department of Housing & Community Development; and Anne Palmer, Program Director at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

For an overview of the findings shared at the event, click here for the forum PowerPoint presentation.

For more information, or to request a hard copy, please contact Andrea Payne at 410-234-8303.

 

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Press Related to JOTF's Report “Overpriced & Underserved”

Baltimore Sun, Editorial: Scoring Credit (10/29/2007)

JOTF's report "Overpriced and Underserved" is referenced in a recent Baltimore Sun editorial that reports on the all-too-common experience for the city's low-income people being turned down for a loan, or being offered loans at higher interest rates, because of low credit scores.

Read "Scoring Credit" (10/29/2007)

 

Baltimore Examiner, "City’s poor pay $3,000 ‘poverty premium’" (10/17/2007)

The Baltimore Examiner discusses the release of JOTF's report "Overpriced and Underserved" and describes how Baltimore's low-income residents pay as much as $3,000 more per year than other residents in additional costs for basic needs like food and shelter.

Read "City’s poor pay $3,000 ‘poverty premium’" (10/17/2007)

 

Baltimore Times Online, "JOTF confirms low income Baltimoreans pay more for basic living costs" (10/12/2007)

The Baltimore Times Online reports on JOTF's findings that the most marginalized Baltimoreans paying more than their wealthier neighbors for everything from financial transactions, to housing, to transportation, to groceries."

Read "JOTF confirms low income Baltimoreans pay more for basic living costs" (10/12/2007)

 

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JOTF Initiates its FY2008 Development Campaign

JOTF asks for your help in reaching our goal that will allow us to continue to advocate for policies and programs that help low-wage workers advance to high wage jobs.

For information with regards to making a financial contribution please contact Jessica Traskey at (410) 234-8040.

 

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OTHER NEWS

Baltimore City Gets its Own Construction Apprenticeship Training Class

On October 2nd, the Associated Builders and Contractors held its first apprenticeship class at Mergenthaler Vocational High School. There were 21 students who attended the apprenticeship class. Of this number 12 of the students are graduates of JOTF’s Jumpstart program.

Jumpstart trains residents of Baltimore to become apprentices in electrical, carpentry and plumbing. In order to become licensed in any of these fields, state law requires the individual to serve as an apprentice in which they work during the day in their chosen trade and receive additional training several nights a week. Apprenticeship continues for four years. In the past, anyone wishing to attend apprenticeship school had to travel into other counties or even out of state. With classes now offered in the city, it will be much easier for city residents to complete their apprenticeship.

For more information about apprenticeship school in Baltimore City, please contact Mike Henderson of the Associated Builders and Contractors at 410-821-0351.

 

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Associated Press, "Living Paycheck to Paycheck Gets Harder" (10/19/2007)

The Associated Press reports on families who are increasingly facing the struggle of deciding how to stretch their dollars from one payday to the next due to higher rent, food and energy bills.

Read "Living Paycheck to Paycheck Gets Harder" (10/19/2007)

 

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New York Times, "BASIC INSTINCTS; Paid Leave For Maternity Is the Norm, Except In ..." (10/06/2007)

The New York Times reports that 170 countries offer some paid maternity leave, and 98 of them offer at least 14 weeks off with pay. The United States is not one of them.

Read "BASIC INSTINCTS; Paid Leave For Maternity Is the Norm, Except In ..." (10/06/2007)

 

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The Working Poor Families Project, "Strengthening State Adult Education Policies for Low-Skilled Workers" (Summer 2007)

A new policy brief from the Working Poor Families Project, "Strengthening State Adult Education Policies for Low-Skilled Worker". At a time when employers increasingly need better educated and skilled workers to succeed, too few states have taken significant actions to improve their adult education and literacy efforts. This report briefly describes what can be done and recommends policy options that can strengthen states' economies and help low-skill workers access jobs that pay family-supporting wages.

Read "Strengthening State Adult Education Policies for Low-Skilled Worker" in PDF format.

(Document is in PDF format.)

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Launch of the Skills2Compete Campaign: A National Webinar (11/12/2007)

Skills2Compete is a non-partisan campaign to ensure our workforce has the skills needed to meet business demand, foster innovation, and grow broadly shared prosperity. We seek a national discussion about a new guaranteed level of education reflecting public opinion that skills beyond high school are not a privilege, but a public good.

Register now for the launch of the Skills2Compete Campaign, a National Webinar on November 12, 2007 at 12:00 p.m. EST.

Hear about the release of the campaign report America's Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs, by Harry Holzer and and Robert Lerman. Listen to an interview with the authors and spokespeople representing the campaign's endorsers, including business, labor, community colleges, and training providers. And watch the launch of Skills2Compete.org with resources for advancing a 21st-century skill guarantee.

Register now by emailing carlam@workforcealliance.org.

Click here to download an invitation in PDF format that you can share with others.

(Document is in PDF format.)

 

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Welfare Advocates 28th Annual Conference (11/15/2007)

Welfare Advocates will be holding their 28th annual conference on Thursday, November 15, 2007 from 8.15 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center, 5625 O'Donell Street, Baltimore, MD 21224.

The conference will feature key note address, personal and professional development workshops, networking opportunities, certificates of attendance, lunch and refreshments, and door prizes.

Registration deadline November 9th.

Click here for full flier in PDF format.

(Document is in PDF format.)

 

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OPPORTUNITIES

Open Society Institute - Baltimore Seeks Program Associate - National Initiative to Close the Drug Addiction Treatment Gap

The Open Society Institute works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.

The Program Associate, based in Baltimore, provides critical administrative and programmatic support for the National Initiative to Close the Drug Addiction Treatment Gap based at OSI-Baltimore and the Baltimore-focused Tackling Drug Addiction Program at OSI-Baltimore.

Click here for full description.

 

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Open Society Institute - Baltimore Seeks Development Campaign Director

The Open Society Institute–Baltimore seeks Development Campaign Director to complete the Challenge Campaign and structure the fundraising strategies of the institute going forward.

Application Deadline: November 1, 2007

Click here for full description.

 

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Open Society Institute - Baltimore Seeks Program Director for its Criminal Justice Program

The Open Society Institute–Baltimore seeks a Program Director for its Criminal Justice Program.

Application Deadline: November 9, 2007

Click here for full description.

 

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Catholic Charities Seeks Assistant Director, Social Concerns

Catholic Charities is a cutting-edge service and advocacy organization that earns the highest ratings from regulatory agencies. Equally as important, Catholic Charities are a well-respected leader in the social service provider arena.

The assistant director advises the agency on social policy issues and advocacy approaches – principally at the state level. Takes leadership roles in coalitions to advance positions of mutual interest; implements advocacy strategies pertinent to the basic needs of disadvantaged people. Works in collaboration with the Parish Social Ministry staff to enhance parishioners’ knowledge of social concerns issues and encourage their participation in advocacy efforts, all the while adhering to the policies and values of Catholic Charities. Performs research and analyzes complex social problems. Works with Directors, staff and programs in all divisions of Catholic Charities; articulates public policy positions orally and in writing and responsibly represents the agency.

Click here for full description.

 

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Washington/Pigtown Village Neighborhood Planning Council (WPNP) Seeks Main Street Director

Main Street Director:
The Main Street Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Main Street strategy including personnel and volunteer management, program administration and budget. The Main Street Director coordinates activities within the neighborhood business district revitalization program, which utilizes historic preservation as an integral foundation for economic development. Duties involve planning, developing and implementing the policies and programs related to the Main Street strategy.

Requirements:
A person applying for this position should demonstrate enthusiasm for community economic development. She/he must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the principles, practices, methods and techniques used in community development, economic development and commercial revitalization. S/he must be able to work independently and cooperatively and be self-motivated. Strong accountability to the organization is required, as is a willingness to work flexible hours with frequent travel. Driver’s license and personal transportation preferred.

Click here for full description.

Please send cover letter and resume to:

Lesley Smith
Executive Director
904 Washington Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21230
Fax: 410-385-0243

No phone calls please.

 

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Washington/Pigtown Village Neighborhood Planning Council (WPNP) Seeks Vocational Counselor/Employment Case Manager

Washington Village/Pigtown Neighborhood Planning Council’s (WPNPC) Career Center seeks a Vocational Counselor/ Employment Case Manager to provide comprehensive services for clients seeking employment, including intake, assessment, screening, referrals, case management, individual counseling, running workshops/ groups, and job development and employer relations management.

A person applying for this position should demonstrate enthusiasm for working with people and guiding people to personal achievement. S/he must be able to work independently and cooperatively, be self-motivated and self-starting, and able to provide crisis intervention services as needed. Strong accountability to the organization is required, as is a willingness to work flexible hours when needed.

Click here for full description.

 

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Primo Electric Company / Primenet Inc Job Opportunities (October 2007)

Since their founding more than 40 years ago, Primo Electric Company has promoted an environment where people take pride in their work. As a result, Primo employees enjoy challenging careers, valuable educational opportunities and a competitive wage and benefit package. All in a workplace that emphasizes teamwork, safety, commitment and mutual respect. Whether seeking an apprenticeship, laborer, journeyman, foreman, or equipment operator position, Primo Electric offers numerous career opportunities.

PrimeNet Inc specializes in helping clients define, optimize, and manage their voice, data, video, and security communication systems. At PrimeNet, pride is more than just a feeling; its a concrete attitude and philosophy that influences every aspect of their business. As a result, employees enjoy challenging careers, valuable educational opportunities (Including onsite BICSI® certification) and a competitive wage and benefits package. All in a workplace that emphasizes teamwork, safety, commitment and mutual respect.

Click here to view Primo Electric Company and Primenet Inc job opportunities.


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Newsletter Editor: Jessica Traskey
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