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Bridge Programs in Maryland: Helping Low-skill Residents Access Postsecondary Training and High Wage Jobs 

Download the 2005 Report

Bridge programs help low-skilled adults access higher education and high paying jobs through intensive experiential learning and training. Programs typically involve partnerships between community colleges and the private sector. The JOTF report highlights 3 programs within the state that offer promising practices and lessons. This research was funded by the Center for Law and Social Policy.





Working for Pennies: The Plight of Baltimore's Urban Poor

This collection of stories, facts, and reflections seeks to shed light on the life of Baltimore's hidden workforce; that is, the working poor. In this piece, advocates and low-wage workers share their candid perspectives on the new type of poverty plaguing Baltimore.

Melissa Chalmers Broome, Senior Policy Advocate for the Job Opportunities Task Force, conducted the research after receiving a Kolvenbach Award from Loyola College in Maryland.

To request a free, hard copy of the report, contact Melissa Chalmers Broome at (410) 234-8046.






Maryland Workforce Indicators Project

Connecting Low-Income Families to Good Jobs: A Policy Road Map for Maryland

In 2003 JOTF undertook the Maryland Workforce Indicators Project. Part of a national initiative designed and sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Ford Foundation, this project analyzes the effectiveness of state programs designed to help low-income, working families.

The project culminated with the release in January 2004 of a report, Connecting Low-Income Families to Good Jobs: A Policy Road Map for Maryland. The report received financial report from Open Society Institute-Baltimore and the France Merrick Foundation.

The report finds that although Maryland is one of the most affluent states in the nation, it is also home to more than 100,000 working families who are struggling to make ends meet in jobs that provide low wages, poor benefits and little hope for advancement. Maryland’s efforts to assist these low-wage workers achieve financial security are inadequate and in need of reform.

The 40-page report proposes more than a dozen policy changes in higher education, economic development, job training and other areas.

Among its recommendations, Connecting Low-Income Families to Good Jobs calls for:
• Allocating a larger share of existing higher education financial aid to need-based programs.
• Expanding the state’s adult education offerings to help low-wage workers achieve basic competency.
• Ensuring that Maryland’s economic development spending is targeted to help create family-supporting jobs.
• Restoring most of the $25 million cut in 2002 from the state’s child-care subsidies, which provide vital help to low-income working families.

State Workforce Indicators
Connecting Low-Income Families to Good Jobs is based on an examination of certain key indicators of workforce demographics, state policies, and program outcomes. To view the data that support each chapter of the report, click the links below.

Chapter 1: "Falling Behind in Maryland"
- Demographic Indicators

Chapter 2: "Building the Foundation"
- Demographic Indicators
- Outcome Indicators
- Policy Indicators

Chapter 3: "Creating Good Jobs"
- Demographic Indicators
- Outcome Indicators
- Policy Indicators

Chapter 4: "Fostering Financial Security"

- Demographic Indicators
- Outcome Indicators
- Policy Indicators


For more information about the Maryland Workforce Indicators Project, contact Jason Perkins-Cohen at (410) 234-8045.






Job Gap Reports 


Job Gap reports bring together data about the labor force, job market, occupations, wages, skills, and geographic distribution of jobs and workers in a metropolitan area, region, or state. These studies provide information and analysis that can be the basis for workforce and economic development plans, and serve as benchmarks to measure change.

In 1999 the JOTF published a job gap report entitled Baltimore Area Jobs and Low-Skill Job Seekers: Assessing the Gaps. This was the first such study of the Baltimore region, and was widely read by the business community, state and local government decision makers, and others.

The JOTF released its second job gap report, Baltimore's Choice: Workers & Jobs for a Thriving Economy, on January 27, 2003. In addition to an overview of the Baltimore region’s economy and detailed information about jobs, skills, wages, and the labor force, Baltimore's Choice includes a discussion of two hard-to-serve populations: ex-offenders and school dropouts. Recommendations for action are directed to nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and government.

For more information regarding Baltimore's Choice by mail, please call (410) 234-8040.


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