Baltimore Integration Partnership 2014 Year in Review
Building off of a successful first round of work and through support from Living Cities, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Goldseker Foundation, the Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) launched 2.0 in 2014 to deepen anchor institution’s efforts to support area residents, businesses and communities. With nine institutions as well as city, state, foundation, financial, and nonprofit partners, the BIP has been working to advance economic inclusion through anchor institution hiring, purchasing and capital investment powers.
This work is moving forward in alignment with the new Baltimore City Anchor Plan which was signed this past June through the leadership of the Mayor’s Office and the participating anchors.
Through the leadership of our BIP partners, it has been a very productive year:
• Five institutions are currently exploring how to use their hiring powers to better support area residents building from extensive work in this sector by two additional participating anchors. The institutions have been working to better understand internal and external barriers to local hiring, have identified key job sectors with upcoming opportunities, and are connecting with workforce training organizations that can help meet their hiring needs.
• All of the institutions are working to better direct spending to Baltimore minority and local businesses. This past year, the BIP has fostered research exploring anchor food purchasing policies and practices while completing an analysis of the small business ecosystem. Many participating institutions have been opening the door with food which is a common purchasing sector. Additional work in the construction field and cooperative purchasing is being explored.
• All of the institutions are working to improve Baltimore neighborhoods through capital investments, planning, and active partnerships with neighborhood organizations. Baltimore anchors have long been leaders in this field so BIP efforts have been focused on the inclusion side of the capital investments particularly around local hiring. Three institutions currently have buildings underway with local hiring commitments while the balance are exploring the approach for upcoming capital projects or are seeking to strengthen minority and local contracting activities.
As the BIP moves forward into the second of our two year initiative, we look forward to helping our partners move forward new projects and activities to advance and sustain our goals. Thus, the BIP is pleased to announce funding support to make this work possible including:
• A planning grant to support the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Center for Urban Families’ efforts to develop a West Baltimore Workforce Initiative to align workforce services for residents. Programming opportunities would be based at the Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School’s newly renovated Weinberg Library.
• A grant to the American Communities Trust and Food Hub to host a large vendor fair with anchor institution and other local food buyers in late spring. The Food Hub, which the BIP has previously invested in on the capital side, was also just awarded Sustainable Communities Tax Credits by the State of Maryland.
It has been a very exciting year with more to come in 2015. Thank you all for your leadership in moving this work forward. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
The Baltimore Integration Partnership is funded by the national Living Cities Integration Initiative and generous local support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Goldseker Foundation, Associated Black Charities, The Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative and the Maryland Philanthropy Network (Maryland Philanthropy Network). Maryland Philanthropy Network acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.
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