Baltimore Integration Partnership Update - February 2013

Baltimore Integration Partnership Update - February 2013

Looking Back at Two Years With Much Work Ahead
With two years under our belt, the BIP continues its work to expand opportunities for low-income residents and communities in Baltimore. There is much work ahead of us, but we are starting to see our collective work add-up. To date, 9 community development projects in our target areas have received financing from TRF leveraging roughly $100 million in new investment. The projects include 34 units of homeownership housing, 76 units of rental housing and 270,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

Our workforce training fund has supported 269 seats of training in key industry sectors with new awards still being made. Employment strategies including jobs through anchor institutions, projects that have been financed, placements through training providers, and through opportunities in other area businesses have yielded more than 100 new job opportunities for area residents with more in the pipeline. While projects are important, the end product of our work is about learning from our approaches, adapting, and finding ways to sustain them through strengthened partnerships as well as new policies, protocols, and legislation. We are seeing these emerge as well through the leadership of our amazing set of partners – THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING.

Apples and Oranges Moves Toward Opening; BIP Helps with Financing, Hiring and Training
Come help celebrate East Baltimore’s newest market, Apples and Oranges, which will open on March 9th. Owned by Erich and Michele March and located on North Avenue and Broadway in a food desert, it will offer area residents and businesses fresh and healthy food options as well as basic groceries, prepared foods, and catering. Various BIP stakeholders, working in concert, have helped move the project forward including TRF which provided financing assistance while HumanimEast Baltimore Development, Inc. and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development collaborated on identifying area residents and employees for hiring consideration. The BIP has also awarded a small training grant so new employees working with food can receive a ServSafe training certificate. Congratulations to everyone and please be sure to support the new store. Visit their webpage or follow details on the new opening via Facebook.

BIP Awards New Workforce Training Grants
Three new training awards have been made by the BIP. In addition to the ServSafe training for Apples and Oranges employees noted above, an award was made to Tower Management (associated with the Lillian Jones redevelopment) for lead certification training for three employees. In an effort to explore new approaches to education gaps in our target areas, the BIP also awarded a grant to Baltimore Reads to support an accelerated GED program for fifteen students.

State of Maryland and Opportunity Collaborative Award Resources
Several key projects and BIP partners have been awarded grants and tax credits over the last several months that help move forward key reinvestment and workforce development opportunities. The Opportunity Collaborative awarded its first round of Demonstration Project Grants. Key awards include an exploration of public transportation in targeted employment centers including BWI by the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance; a market and economic feasibility analysis of the West Baltimore MARC Station by the Baltimore City Department of Transportation; and implementation funding for Central Baltimore Partnership in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University for the implementation of portions of the Homewood Community Partners Initiative.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy Program awarded The Reinvestment Fund a total of $350,000 to support reinvestment projects in Preston Place and Duncan Square. Central Baltimore Partnership received five Community Legacy awards totaling $440,000. They include stabilization and improvements for Load of Fun; streetscaping and signage for the Baltimore Design School; renovation costs for affordable housing in Remington Village (also financed by TRF); renovation costs for E. North Avenue Galleries, and stabilization costs for the Centre Theater. Center Theater was also awarded $3 million in tax credits through the Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program. The BIP is very excited about these awards that are helping moving forward catalytic investment and building broader opportunities. (Photo by Greg Pease).

University of Maryland-Baltimore Creates New Position to Help Students Transition Into Jobs
Working to increase opportunities for graduates of the Baltimore City Community College’s Life Science Institute which is located in the University of Maryland Biopark, UMB recently created a new employment tier strengthening connectivity between employment opportunities and candidates. This new employment tier enables "bench ready” individuals with associates degrees trained through the institute, rather than just those with bachelor’s degrees that were not necessarily ready, to obtain positions within the research labs. This approach exemplifies the opportunities of aligned employer and training approaches to meet mutual needs and expand opportunities for Baltimore residents. For more information contact Lisa Rawlings at

Opportunity Collaborative Re-Launch Event Scheduled
Postponed this past fall because of a Hurricane, the Opportunity Collaborative Launch event has been rescheduled to March 25, 2013. Please join regional civic and political stakeholders at the University of Baltimore’s Moot Courtroom from 3:00 – 7:00 PM to officially launch the initiative that is exploring regional approaches to workforce and housing which will be incorporated into a regional plan for sustainable development. Guest presenters include Dr. Manuel Pastor and Rha Goddess. Dr. Pastor, Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California will speak on issues of demographic change, economic inequality, and community empowerment. Rha Goddess is a world renowned performing artist and activist, her work has been featured internationally in several compilations, anthologies, forums and festivals. For more details and event registration.

BIP Thanks Southway and Telesis
This past December at the Central Baltimore Partnership Awards event, BIP staff recognized the work and commitments of Southway Builders and the Telesis Corporation to achieve BIP economic inclusion goals as part of their work in Barclay. The 10 unit affordable homeownership redevelopment project financed in part by TRF was under construction for approximately 6 months and wrapped up work in July 2012. During that time, the developer, contractor, and subcontractors retained 3 community hires from a prior phase and hired four new individuals. Overall, 59% of their work hours on the project were held by Baltimore City residents and 44% of contracting costs went to minority business enterprises. Both Southway and Telesis are continuing their efforts in other ongoing projects. Keep up the great work!

The goal of the Baltimore Integration Partnership is to reconnect low-income Baltimore City residents who are predominantly African American to the regional economy, maximize the linkage between physical and human capital development, and to reinvest in targeted inner-core neighborhoods so that they become regionally competitive, economically diverse, sustainable communities of choice. Learn more about the Baltimore Integration Partnership by visiting our website at