360 Degree Choice of Direction

360 Degree Choice of Direction

From the top floor of Hotel Revival, I marveled at a sunny 360-degree view of Baltimore. Directly south along the water I could see Port Covington, a former industrial area being redeveloped into a new metro ecosystem. Will this be “Dubai on the Patapsco” or a mirage? To the northwest, I could see Sandtown. This area used to be known as Baltimore’s Harlem and was the center of protests to take on police brutality and express outrage at decades of disinvestment in West Baltimore. A block to the east, I could see the nation’s first Washington Monument in Mount Vernon Place. A statue of George Washington stands atop a column in the center of the square, symbolizing the creation of a new political system.

I thought about the purpose of my visit: to learn more about a complex problem being addressed by the National Fund’s network partner in the region, the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative. They’re creating a new outcome reporting system for workforce programs.  It might sound boring, but these changes in the way data is collected and reported have the potential to reduce racial employment disparities.

People understand redeveloping the waterfront, ending police brutality, or even honoring the first head of a new government. But, how do you explain what it means to fundamentally reshape the workforce development system? How do you explain the decriminalization of poverty, which is what ultimately our partners in Baltimore are trying to do?

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Source: National Fund for Workforce Solutions