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Our "Adventures in Philanthropy" blog posts are written by our staff and diverse membership and offer a glimpse into the world of philanthropy, presenting current issues and information relevant to funders, policymakers, members of the media, and those interested in current issues and giving trends.

 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update, October 2017

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017

Employer Directory of Workforce Organizations to Help Hire Locally

A collaborative project of the BIP and Central Baltimore Partnership, this new directory of Baltimore nonprofit and public workforce development organizations is now available to help employers and community stakeholders find workforce partners to meet hiring needs. It summarizes the work of more than 45 organizations that support Baltimore City workers by offering skills training, eliminating barriers to employment, and facilitating job placement. These organizations range in size and focus. Some provide general job readiness coaching while others focus on training, certifications, and placement in specific fields including health care, biotechnology, manufacturing, auto repair, construction, information technology and many others. Nonprofit and public workforce development organizations are ideal partners for employers and can facilitate local hiring, reduce long-term unemployment, and mitigate the city’s systemic socio-economic disparities. City residents have immeasurable talents and aspirations that, when matched with effective support, can build careers and create paths to upward mobility. This directory can help employers tap the remarkable potential of city workers. Download the Directory

Towson University commits to economic inclusion and joins the BIP Board; LifeBridge Becomes Co-Chair

The BIP is excited about two recent developments that will help the initiative expand economic inclusion strategies while guiding the growth of our work. Martha Nathanson, Vice-President of Government Relations and Community Development at LifeBridge Health, has become co-chair of the Board. LifeBridge Health has been active with the BIP for several years working to expand local hiring as well as local and minority purchasing. They are an investor in the Park Heights community and are piloting inclusion goals to guide their hiring and investments forward. The BIP Board also welcomed Towson University as a formal member. Towson, which is the largest educational institution in the region, has been participating with the BIP for over a year. The University is actively involved in the administrative assistant training program, employment fairs, and they are implementing training for faculty and staff on structural racism and implicit bias. Towson is the first non-Baltimore City anchor institution to formally join the BIP. Learn More.

Anchors, BIP, City Seeds Kick-Off New Food Business Initiative

Anchor institutions can support the growth of local businesses and jobs through intentional purchasing strategies. The food sector is a strong opportunity as anchors have multiple ways to leverage their purchasing power such as through food service plans, catering, and student/faculty spend. Building on City Seeds business development program School of Food and a growing portfolio of anchor successes in this sector, the BIP is launching a pilot to match the food buying needs of institutions with local businesses coupled with coaching and capacity building assistance for the businesses. Participating organizations include University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland Medical Center; LifeBridge Health; Maryland Institute College of Art; Loyola University Maryland; Sagamore Hospitality; and Johns Hopkins University. The project is expected to last 6 to 8 months with a goal to create contracting opportunities between the institution or their food service provider and local and minority-owned businesses. Special thanks to food service providers CulinArt, Aramark, Metz Culinary Management, Parkhurst Dining, and Bon Appetit for participating in the initiative. Learn More about School of Food

BIP Anchor Institution Economic Inclusion Activities

Fourteen higher education institutions and hospitals in Baltimore have been working with the BIP to grow their efforts to create economic opportunity for the City. This summary highlights recent accomplishments and ongoing projects that each institution is moving forward. The institutions all bring different business models, economic strengths, capacities, and opportunities for community benefit enabling them to engage collectively on some strategies while they move forward independently on others. Through their leadership and commitments, economic inclusion strategies are unfolding and local impact is growing. Learn More About their Activities.

Central Baltimore Future Fund Helping Propel Investment and Opportunity

Launched in December 2016, the $10 million dollar Central Baltimore Future Fund has supported three redevelopment projects in Central Baltimore. Projects include the latest 12 unit phase of Telesis’ 10 year 325 unit mixed income redevelopment on over 250 parcels in central Baltimore, the construction of 4 units on the 1600 block of Barclay, and improvements to artist studios and living space at the Oliver Street Studios. The Fund requires borrowers to achieve inclusion goals including local hiring and minority contracting. Several blogs have been posted recently on the projects highlighting strategies and outcomes.

Anchored In Place: How Funders Are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies

Anchor institutions can play a vital role in strengthening and connecting local economies, and can serve as powerful drivers for building inclusive and equitable communities. This new report issued by the Funders’ Network examines the potential these deeply rooted local enterprises hold to create lasting and sustainable change—and illustrates how funders are working with anchor institutions to create healthier, more equitable, and economically vibrant places to live and work. The report highlights case studies in Baltimore (!!!), Chicago, Twin Cities, Denver and Albuquerque. Read the Full Report

In the News

Financing Baltimore’s Growth: Measuring Small Companies’ Access to Capital

This new report by Johns Hopkins University’s 21st Century Cities Initiative explores Baltimore’s financing system and the flow of equity, loan, and grant capital to the city’s small businesses, from tech startups to Main Street mainstays. Baltimore has the potential to be a city that is truly hospitable to small business growth, with all the economic benefits of jobs and tax revenue such growth would bring. But for new and established small businesses to thrive, the city needs a financing system with capacity to meet their needs. Read the Full Report

Tags:  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update, May 2017

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

University of Maryland Launches New Partnership for West Baltimore

The University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland, Baltimore have launched a new collaborative partnership with West Baltimore neighborhoods. At a Town Hall Forum on May 4th, university and hospital Presidents Dr. Perman and Dr. Suntha outlined that the new partnership will focus on improving community health, strengthening economic and community development, supporting education and youth development, and improving communication with community members. Their efforts build on a range of new resources and programs launched through their one year old community engagement center such as Workforce Wednesday and other initiatives such as the Cure Scholars Program and Local Food Connections. These initiatives are designed to target resources, investments, supports and opportunities to neighboring communities. At the Town Hall, community members were invited to identify other needs that the institutions, as anchors in the community, could work to collaboratively address. Learn More. 

 

HopkinsLocal Releases Year 1 Progress Report

One year after the launch of HopkinsLocal, leaders from Johns Hopkins University and Health System provided an update on the institutions’ efforts to expand economic opportunities for Baltimore businesses and residents. Outcomes include contracting 17.3% of addressable construction spend or $55 million with minority-owned, women-owned, or disadvantaged business enterprises; 304 new hires for a set of targeted positions live in focus area Baltimore zipcodes; and $4.9 million in spending in targeted categories with local businesses. The institutions are committed to build on the lessons of the program’s first year, leverage their influence with other companies and organizations, and seek new approaches, partnerships, and investments to reach the program’s goals in the coming years.  Read Full Report.

 

Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum

The Governor's Workforce Development Board, Towson University, and the Baltimore Integration Partnership are co-sponsoring the second annual Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum on May 17th from 1 to 5:30. This forum will focus on anchor and business workforce partnerships as well as ways to integrate often overlooked populations—opportunity youth, individuals on the neurodiversity spectrum—into our regional workforce. Click here for more information and registration.

 

Job and Workforce Fair in Central Baltimore

Maryland New Directions with support from Central Baltimore Partnership, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and the BIP, is hosting a job and workforce fair on Thursday, May 25th from 9 to 12. The free event will be held at 2640 St. Paul Street. A variety of employers including anchor institutions as well as workforce service providers will be participating. More Information.

 

 

 

 

Kaiser Permanente Outlines Power of Procurement

The BIP was pleased to co-host with Kaiser Permanente several conversations around small business development and anchor purchasing at the University of Maryland BioPark in early April.  The day included a presentation by Laurel Junk, Chief Purchasing Officer, who outlined Kaiser Permanente’s efforts and strategies to spend more than $1.6 billion with diverse suppliers at the national level. Through the meetings and other ongoing work in Baltimore, Kaiser Permanente is engaging other anchor institutions and partners to identify ways they can collectively grow impacts from institutional procurement and support local and minority owned businesses. Mayor Pugh also participated and provided participants a preview of the City’s efforts to grow small business development strategies. Finally, Andy Cook, who leads Made in Baltimore, provided an overview of the City’s new local business recognition initiative and branding campaign.

 

Baltimore Anchor Work Featured in Yes! Magazine

The work of several Baltimore anchors and BIP partners including the City of Baltimore, Bon Secours, and Johns Hopkins were featured in this recent Yes Magazine article, How the Neighborhood That Inspired “The Wire” Is Pulling Its Residents Out of Poverty. The article highlights the opportunities anchor institutions have through their hiring and purchasing powers to support area residents and businesses and features several of the BIP projects including Centre Theater and a Food Vendor Fair.


Anchors in the News

-  A Path to Success for Maryland’s Working Poor

-  A grand premiere for Baltimore's renovated Parkway Theatre

-  Next steps for HopkinsLocal


The Baltimore Integration Partnership is funded by the national Living Cities Integration Initiative, the Surdna Foundation and receives generous local support from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Goldseker Foundation, Associated Black Charities, The Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative and the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). ABAG acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  BIP 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update, May 2016

Posted By Tausi Suedi, Monday, May 9, 2016

First Candidates Graduate from New Admin Training Program
Humanim’s new Administrative Assistant Training Program saw its first cohort graduate today from the 3 month long program.  The pilot was launched earlier this year with support from the City of Baltimore, the Baltimore Integration Partnership, and 10 participating anchor institutions who are helping oversee the program.  Two additional cohorts are funded through the pilot including one that will focus on medical administrative positions.  Training partners include the Community College of Baltimore County, Digit All Systems, and Keller Professional Services with coordination, supports, and outreach managed by Humanim.

New Community Engagement Center launched at University of Maryland, Baltimore
A new one-stop resource for West Baltimore residents officially opened last week to become the University’s new front door for a range of services available to the community.  Programming at the Center began in October and incremental new services and resources have been added.  Most recently, the Center has been hosting Workforce Wednesdays that help area residents access resume, job training and placement services.  Participants include area workforce training programs as well as human resource leaders from UMB.  President Perman outlined UMB’s growing Baltimore commitments in his recent State of the University address. 


Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum
Partnering with Towson University and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, the BIP is pleased to help bring together leaders in business, workforce and education to find common ground where transformation and innovation can occur.  The event will be held in the afternoon of May 26th and will include a statewide employment forecast, overviews of innovative initiatives (including the BIP!) and breakout sessions on strategic economic sectors.   For more information and to register for the free event.


Save the Date - #MadeinBaltimore Food Vendor Fair
The BIP is excited to partner again with City Seeds and Lexington Market to host the #MadeinBaltimore Food Vendor Fair at Lexington Market on June 20th.  The event will feature 30 Baltimore area food producers and will connect them with buyers from area anchor institutions, hotels, restaurants and other organizations.   This year’s event will feature a range of established as well as start-up businesses specializing in a diverse assortment of locally made products.  Register here if you are a food buyer and would like to participate: https://madeinbaltimorevendorfair.eventbrite.com. If you have any questions, please email Kim Bryden at kbryden@cityseeds.org.

 

 

Hopkins BLocal Initiative Launches; Contractor College Opens
Commitments for local investment and purchasing grew in Baltimore through the launch of of BLocal.  25 businesses, affiliated with Johns Hopkins, made commitments to infuse at least $69 million into local and minority-owned, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses over the next three years.  Additional businesses are welcome to participate in the initiative. 
A large portion of the planned investment is targeted to construction and trades.  Local businesses that are interested in participating in the Blocal BUILD contractor’s college are currently being solicited. 

 

Ours to Own Small Business Survey
The Baltimore Integration Partnership is pleased to join with a range of other Baltimore stakeholders participating in the Ours to Own Campaign Small Business Financing Survey.  The survey is being conducted to better understand small business financing needs and help inform the design of other financial products to support business growth and development.  Please help spread the word about this effort and help share this link with members of the business community.  


University of Maryland Medical Center joins the BIP
The BIP is pleased to welcome UMMC to the BIP bringing the number of anchors on the Board to 12 institutions. UMMC is not new to economic inclusion and has been working with the BIP for some time in the local hiring space.  They are actively engaged with several job training programs and community hiring activities.  We are excited about their growing commitment to this work and the opportunity to support further opportunities for Baltimore.  

 

Around the BIP
It has been a very busy spring for BIP partners.  Construction began on the Parkway Theater (top left) financed through the Reinvestment Fund and owned by the Maryland Film Festival with support by JHU, MICA and many local partners.  In April, the BIP was excited to host a team from George Washington University (top right) as well as governmental and nonprofit leaders from the District of Columbia as they explore anchor institution strategies in our nation’s capital.   The BIP was also pleased to partner with the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Health Care and the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative (bottom left) to host a conversation on YouthWorks with area anchor institutions (job slots and funding supports still needed!!).  And this past week, City Seeds hosted a Happy Hour for local food buyers (bottom right) featuring a conversation with DoveCote café owners Aisha and Cole! 

    

Click here for more about the Baltimore Integration Partnership. 

Tags:  BIP 

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Lessons from Five Years of Economic Inclusion and Partnership in Baltimore

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

Living Cities Blog


Baltimore is fortunate to have billions of dollars in active investment underway in water/sewer improvements, schools and redevelopment projects, as well as a very strong set of higher education and medical institutions (a.k.a. anchor institutions) that are the city’s largest employers. Yet, we also have systemic economic challenges, poverty and hopelessness that came to a head last April in the uprising following the death of Freddie Gray. In order for Baltimore to make strong inroads into addressing the economic challenges, we need to do a better job of leveraging our assets and investments in new ways.

In Baltimore, we know this work requires multiple players from across sectors to come together differently. Since 2011, the Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP), a partnership of philanthropic, nonprofit, financial, anchor and public sector organizations, has been working to advance economic inclusion. Our approach offers opportunities and lessons learned that are important for Baltimore to move forward.

History and Early Wins

The BIP was launched as part of the nationalLiving Cities Integration Initiativeand was awarded grant funds and debt financing to improve the lives of low-income individuals. We started new workforce activities and expanded existing efforts in central and east Baltimore. In addition, the BIP made investments in industry based training programs like deconstruction, pre-apprenticeship construction, biotechnology, culinary arts, healthcare and other fields. Through our partner The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), which expanded its lending operations into Baltimore as part of the Integration Initiative, debt financing has supported fifteen projects, leveraging $150 million in investment. Projects include Centre Theater,North Calvert Green and the Chesapeake Building as well as the Hebrew Orphan’s Asylum and the Food Hub which are still pending. We set explicit expectations for borrowers, so that the funds were used to further racial equity and inclusion in our work. Borrowers of these funds worked towards local hiring and minority business contracting goals with workforce partners who provided job ready candidates.Over these first three years of work, partners and grantees provided workforce services for more than 1200 individuals, job training for over 500 and placed 800 into job opportunities in the development projects and beyond. Partners also helped move forward a range of new public policies and programs to sustain the goals of the initiative.

WORKFORCE SERVICES
1200 INDIVIDUALS In the first three years of work, Baltimore Integration Partnership partners and grantees provided workforce services for more than 1200 individuals.

Barriers to Scaleable Change/Progress

While we are encouraged by the progress the BIP has made so far, we stumbled into numerous barriers:

  • Decentralization and Structural Racism Helped to Create and Reinforce our Challenges.Baltimore has suffered from population and job loss to the suburbs. This phenomenon, paired with a history of structural racism, has squarely impacted Baltimore’s African American community, separating people from opportunity, and helping concentrate and fuel ongoing cycles of poverty. In addition, the economic shift has limited the city’s tax base and undermined its ability to reinvest in itself and its residents. Through our work, we found that many residents seeking employment suffered from a limited education and were not prepared for free job training programs requiring bridge math and GED classes. These challenges are further compounded by the reality that nearly one out of five Baltimore residents do not have a high school degree and many job applicants have a criminal background that further limits their employment options. Through our work, the BIP found that employers were hesitant to commit to local hiring without strong workforce partners that could prepare residents for jobs. However, even though there are strong workforce-training programs, there are limited training slots and apprehension about adding more without jobs to go with them. And even though the initiative was creating new opportunities, there were many people looking for more help than we could provide, and few transportation options to connect the residents in need of work with job centers in the suburbs. We believe that a complementary state and regional lens to opportunity is fundamental for Baltimore to tackle these challenges at scale.

  • There are More Needs than Resources Requiring Coordination.Redevelopment projects supported by our work took longer than anticipated and some never materialized as developers struggled with deteriorating site conditions, redevelopment costs that exceeded market values, and fragmented funding streams and decision processes. City and State community development programs like the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative,Community Legacy,Sustainable Communities Tax Credits and Vacants to Value provided crucial reinvestment supports. TRF, a community development financial institution, was instrumental in helping weave together funding sources while offering technical assistance to developers. To foster workforce opportunities in these projects, a range of workforce providers had to be coordinated to meet the varying needs and interests of residents and businesses. Our work has required stakeholders to apply a different lens: leveraging shared resources and seeking to build bridges to coordinate efforts and resources. Partners also have had to put individual self-acclaim and politics aside and think of the outcomes as the efforts of the whole.

The Opportunity of Anchor Institutions

The BIP also began working with area higher educational and medical institutions to advance economic inclusion through local hiring and purchasing, which in turn helps to create jobs. Our belief was that, if anchor institutions who have bottom lines can achieve inclusion, so can the private sector. We started with just two institutions in 2011 – Maryland Institute College of Art and Johns Hopkins University. Over the past two years, the initiative has focused more deliberately on this work, growing the number of anchor participants by 11 (and now with a total of 14, including three engaging in workforce) working in collaboration with the Mayor’s Baltimore City Anchor Plan.

ANCHOR PARTICIPANTS
11The Baltimore Integration Partnership now has a total number of 11 anchor participants - up from just two in 2011.

These anchor institutions recognized that their own future is reliant on attracting competitive students and faculty, and having healthy and safe neighborhoods. Efforts are still unfolding, but many institutions are moving forward with new strategies to support area communities like the new Hopkins Local initiative, the University of Maryland-Baltimore’s growing community engagement strategies, and leadership by the Maryland Institute College of Art to grow the creative economy. Two new workforce initiatives have recently been launched with Center for Urban Families and Humanim driven by anchor leadership connecting residents to workforce services, training and jobs including those in the institutions. Several anchors are expanding their efforts to purchase from local and minority owned businesses to create jobs. Local hiring is being fostered not just through anchor internal positions, but also through reinvestment projects.

Challenges to Achieving Scale

Though we are seeing progress in the anchor strategies, we have also encountered challenges.

  • There are Process, Policy and System Barriers to Economic Inclusion.Research by the University of Colorado Denver finds that there are barriers to this work such as the capacity of local workers and businesses. Procurement and hiring policies avoid risk, seek efficiency and scale, and typically do not consider local businesses or applicants. State schools are not permitted to prioritize local businesses, even as new legislative programs like RISE seek to leverage the economic power of anchors. Employment opportunities are highly competitive, as often hundreds apply; putting disconnected local residents at a disadvantage. State and local minority business certification programs that could help find local businesses are duplicative, with no reciprocity. And, there is no single list of Baltimore businesses for institutions or the private sector to turn to consider for their purchasing supply chains.

  • Leadership is Needed for Economic Inclusion to Be Successful.Economic inclusion requires organizations to modify their business processes and take risks to do day-to-day work differently. For example, procurement actions designed to engage disadvantaged local businesses such as participating in outreach events, "unbundling” contracts, or setting minority or local purchasing goals may take more time and staff effort. Similarly, human resource leaders need authority to build relationships with workforce organizations that can help with outreach, screening and training. Largely, economic inclusion requires CEO buy-in. This buy-in enables other decision makers with the authority they need to take risks, prioritize their time, and build relationships with organizations that can help achieve inclusion goals.

Economic inclusion can create jobs and opportunities for Baltimore and is an approach to people and placed-based investment that can be replicated by individuals, businesses and other anchors to multiply opportunities. But making inroads into Baltimore’s deep socio-economic challenges is bigger than the individualized efforts of any one organization or government. To be efficient and effective at addressing Baltimore’s needs, we must do things differently, build partnerships, and take risks with intentional efforts to overcome our tendencies of doing what is easiest. We have assets, investments and opportunities through economic inclusion in front of us. If we don’t open up new pathways for Baltimore residents and business, who will?


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 Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). ABAG acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.



Tags:  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  February 2016 Members' Memo  Living Cities 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update - January 2016

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016 

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP)

Lessons from 5 Years of Economic Inclusion and Partnership in Baltimore
Since 2011, the BIP has been working with partners to advance reinvestment, support area neighborhoods and businesses, and create jobs for Baltimore residents through economic inclusion. Strategies have leveraged new capital investment, anchor institutions, and expanded workforce resources and services to connect residents to the city’s economic strengths and assets. Our approach offers opportunities and lessons learned that are important for Baltimore to move forward.  Learn More.

10 Anchors, Humanim Collaborate on New Administrative Training Program
Through the leadership of Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland-Baltimore (UMB), the collective members of the BIP Local Hiring Workgroup, and Humanim, a new training program is launching to prepare area residents for jobs in educational and medical institutions. Leveraging funding through the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and the BIP,approximately 55 individuals will receive training in soft and hard skills for office positions working towards one of three recognized certifications. The first program cohort will begin in February and program graduates will be considered for positions by the participating anchor institutions. Learn More.

Center for Urban Families and UMB Launch New Workforce Services for West Baltimore
Through the support of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Omega Psi Phi, and the BIP, new workforce services are now available for family and community members of the Historic Samuel Coolridge Taylor Elementary School. The two-year pilot builds on Weinberg’s Baltimore Library Project, CFUFs workforce services and UMB’s community engagement and Promise Heights Initiative. It features a full time staff member helping area residents connect with services and job resources including STRIVE, training through a range of workforce partners, and access to jobs at UMB. Learn More.

In the News:

·         Partnership aims to revitalize Central West Baltimore

·         Work on $17M Baltimore Food Hub ready to begin


Research Analysis Completed of BIP Network and Collaborative Efforts
The University of Colorado Denver completed their first phase of an organizational network study to assess the ways in which the BIP partners collaborate with one another, as well as with local businesses, residents, and community-based organizations. Their analysis explores how larger systems and community factors in Baltimore relate to economic inclusion, how economic inclusion is implemented within an Anchor, and what enables or hinders economic inclusion efforts at the Anchor Institutions. Learn More.

City Seeds, Startup Soiree, and BIP Collaborate on Pitch Competition
The BIP partnered on a pitch competition with City Seeds and Startup Soiree for several food businesses participating in School of Food which was held in November at Pixelate’s Headquarters in South Baltimore. The winner of the event received an opportunity to pitch their business to the BIP anchor institution food service providers. Open Society Institute Fellow and co-owner of 2AM Bakery Greg Carpenter won the competition and made his pitch to the BIP local purchasing workgroup members as well as anchor food service providers Parkhurst and Bon Appetit in mid-December. 2 AM Bakery will be training and employing ex-offenders in baking and food service. Learn More.

Tags:  BIP 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2015
July 29, 2015
 
By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP)

Two New Anchors Join the BIP
The BIP is pleased to welcome Notre Dame of Maryland University and LifeBridge Health to the partnership. Eleven anchor institutions are now part of the collective impact strategy focused on establishing economic inclusion as the business culture of norm in the Baltimore region through local hiring, purchasing and community reinvestment.

BIP Helps Support MICA Arts Incubator Study

The BIP has awarded funding to the Maryland Institute College of Art to explore the development of a career acceleration support network for artists and designers with economic and social equity impact. A consultant will help evaluate the feasibility of a city-wide infrastructural network to attract and retain creative talent helping incubate businesses as well as support those in the creative space. The study is expected to last approximately six months and is jointly funded by the Surdna Foundation.

BIP, Food Hub, City Seeds, and Lexington Market Collaborate on #MadeInBaltimore Food Vendor Fair

Hosted at Lexington Market in June, BIP anchor institutions, food service providers, hotels, and restaurants networked with thirty local food vendors showcasing their products. Well covered by the media, the event not only connected anchor institutions with local purchasing opportunities, the effort promoted local businesses andraised up the importance of local purchasing to help create jobs in Baltimore. The event was coordinated with City Seeds, A Humanim Social Enterprise, which will accelerate food businesses in Baltimore and support job creation in the food innovation economy through a planned business training program called the School of Food. Read more in the Baltimore Sun and see the event video.

BIP supports "Made in Baltimore” Pop Up Shop and Vendor Fair for Anchors

Organized by the Industrial Arts Collective (IAC) of Baltimore, a pop up shop will be held in the gallery space of North Avenue Market startingon August 8thgoing through September 25th. The pop up shop will feature products made by more than 50 light manufacturers, artists, and others. As part of this effort, the IAC and the BIP will be collaborating to connect partners and anchors to IAC businesses and locally made products on September 15that 5:30. BIP event details forthcoming – contact BIP staff.

Opportunity Collaborative releases Regional Plan for Sustainable Development

Completed in June, the RPSD represents the first joint and sustained effort by the governments and significant non-governmental organizations in the region to collectively address regional planning issues including workforce, transportation and housing to identify cross-cutting responses to the challenges created by regional disparities. The report outlines goals and strategies to advance economic opportunities and competitiveness including working with anchor institutions; improving transportation access to career, training, and educational opportunities; and closing the gap in opportunities between communities by increasing the supply of housing affordable to the region’s workforce at all income levels.Full Report

UChicago, Drexel, and JHU Panel Highlight Anchor Inclusion Initiatives

William Towns (University of Chicago), Lucy Kerman (Drexel), and Charlene Moore Hayes (JHU) spent a June morning with BIP anchor leadership to talk through how each of their respective institutions is moving forward programs and initiatives to support local residents and businesses. Discussion highlights included UChicago Local,which features local hiring and workforce coordination approaches as well as the CASE procurement initiative. Drexel’s Office of University and Community Partnership’s is advancing local purchasing and job training initiatives as well as supports for K-12 schools in West Philly.Finally, Johns Hopkins is moving forward comprehensive efforts to hire locally including the hiring of exoffenders.

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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 Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG),which acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.

Tags:  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  September 2015 Members' Memo  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update - March 2015

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Thursday, March 26, 2015
Updated: Thursday, April 2, 2015

March 26, 2015

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

Strong Workforce, Strong Economy: Baltimore Regional Workforce Development Plan
This new report from the Opportunity Collaborative combines earlier studies on workforce barriers and career pathways and offers recommendations to advance workforce development in the region. The report explores strategies for strengthening industry led partnerships, building stronger basic skills/post-secondary education, improving transportation/job accessible housing, undermining structural racism, supporting people with criminal records, and expanding resources. The report will ultimately be incorporated with regional plans on transportation and housing in a "Regional Plan for Sustainable Development” which is expected to be released this summer.

TRF to manage HCPI Development Fund; BIP helps capitalize fund
The HCPI Development Fund has negotiated a relationship with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) to manage a targeted $10 million fund for real estate redevelopment in Central Baltimore. The HCPI Fund will be used in tandem with $4.5 million in acquisition funds from the State of Maryland. So far, Johns Hopkins University has committed $750,000 from the HCPI budget to the Fund; the BIP has enabled TRF to prioritize $400,000 from an existing predevelopment pool for the fund; and TRF has raised $85,000 for staffing from two different sources.

Webinar Discussion/New Report on Economic Inclusion
The Annie E. Casey Foundation hosted a webinar and panel discussion on March 20, 2015 entitled "Community Change: A Focus on People and Place” highlighting economic inclusion activities in Baltimore, New Orleans and across the nation. The webinar was recorded and is available for viewing. In addition, a new report "Expanding Economic Opportunity: Lessons from the East Baltimore Revitalization Initiative,” was also released. It details outcomes, findings and recommendations from the inclusion efforts in east Baltimore, includes examples of other inclusion policies and practices from Baltimore (including the BIP) as well as across the nation, and concludes with lessons for the field.

Small Business Resource Center offers "Contractors College”
On April 8th the Small Business Resource Center, in partnership with the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office and the BIP, will be hosting the first of 5 training sessions to help local construction contractors build capacity. The first class will focus on "Doing Business with Hospitals and Universities” and feature overviews by several anchors on their procurement processes and opportunities. Additional classes will feature training on OSHA, Bidding and Estimating, Project Management, and Local Hiring/MBE Certification. More Information.

Food Hub and BIP to Host Food Vendor Fair
Together with American Communities Trust and the Baltimore Integration Partnership, the Baltimore Food Hub is organizing a Vendor Fair on June 8th from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Lexington Market to showcase the best of Baltimore's local food & beverage businesses. Buyers from anchor institutions, in addition to hotels, supermarkets, and restaurants, will be in attendance with the goal of connecting with local food vendors to arrange potential purchasing and distribution agreements. For more information, please contact kim@baltimorefoodhub.com

BIP Helps Fund Training on Race and Food
Over 30 individuals including representatives of the Baltimore Food Policy Advisory Committee, area nonprofits, anchor institutions, and community members participated in a day and a half long training on structural racism. The sessions focused on equity in the food sector and explored policy and programmatic issues in relation to food deserts, healthy food access, and community engagement. Coordinated by the Baltimore City Food Policy Director, the training was also supported by Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Baltimore Community Foundation.

Baltimore City / TRF Release 2014 Housing Market Typology
The 2014 Housing Market Typology was completed by TRF in partnership with Baltimore Housing and Baltimore City Planning. The analysis provides a report card on the health of the city housing market and regular updates help reveal changes or trends. The resulting map illustrates the range of housing markets found throughout the City, which are categorized within eight market types. Since 2005, Baltimore’s Housing Market Typol ogy (HMT) has been used to help guide public policy, market studies, community plans, grant funding applications and capital improvement programming. Learn More and Download a Copy.

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 Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). ABAG acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.

Tags:  April 2015 Members' Memo  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Monday, March 2, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 2015

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

Cold? This local ice cream will warm you up!
Made with Baltimore’s Zeke’s Coffee by Glen Arm based Prigel Creamery, this tasty treat comes through the leadership of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and their food provider Parkhurst Dinning working to direct campus food purchasing to local businesses. This Zeke’s MICA Blend Ice Cream is available only on campus.

University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) launches Food Merchant Access Initiative
The BIP recently awarded grant funding to support a new initiative to connect catering purchasing by UMB, University of Maryland Medical Center, and Bon Secours to a range of food businesses located in the Southwest Partnership area. UMB is partnering with the Small Business Development Center, CUPs Coffeehouse and Kitchen, Pigtown Main Street, and others to overcome a series of identified barriers, provide technical assistance, and facilitate food delivery.

Loyola University Maryland looks to help improve York Road
Building on local community plans as well as recommendations from the Urban Land Institute, the BIP awarded grant funding to Loyola for a consultant to help explore and formulate some of the infrastructure needed to manage and oversee longer term commercial improvement strategies for this important corridor.

Anchor Driven Centre Theater Construction moves forward with Local Hiring
Building on the leadership of non-profit developer Jubilee Baltimore, Inc., and its general contractor Southway Builders, anchor tenants Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art are working with Southway Builders to make local hiring opportunities available during the fit-out of their 25,000 square foot space at the Centre Theater on North Avenue. The new center for film will house each institutions’ graduate and undergraduate film programs.With financing from The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), Jubilee and Southway successfully incorporated local hires from Project JumpStart and Greater Homewood into the $6 million core and shell renovations that are wrapping up in March.

BIP Partner to Lead City Workforce Agency
Congratulations to Jason Perkins-Cohen who will be leaving the Job Opportunities Task Force after 10 years to lead theMayor’s Office of Employment Development. JOTFhas been a critical workforce partner with the BIP over the last four years helping move forward a range of new state and local public policies and funding programs as well as project level local hiring opportunities through JumpStart. We look forward to working with Jason in his new role and continuing to partner with JOTF.

TRF Continues Success in Baltimore
Supporting the expansion of The Reinvestment Fund’s lending and investment portfolio into Baltimore was a key objective of the BIP’s first round of work. In 2014, TRF closed $25 million in debt including financing on four Baltimore charter schools, Centre Theater, and phase 2 of the Chesapeake building. In addition, they helped finance the Eastern Shore Conservation Center in Easton, Maryland and finalized an agreement with Baltimore City to manage a pool of funds for energy efficiency projects. We are excited that their role and impact in Baltimore continues to grow. 

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 Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). ABAG acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.


Tags:  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  March 2015 Members' Memo  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) 2014 Year in Review

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, December 30, 2014
December 30, 2014
 
By Kurt Sommer, BIP Director

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 Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). ABAG acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.

Tags:  ABAG  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  Workforce 

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Anchoring Job Creation in Baltimore

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Thursday, November 20, 2014
November 20, 2014

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

B’More Organic, a small Baltimore based drinkable yogurt company, recently began selling its products to Maryland Institute College of Art and Loyola University through new relationships forged at a vendor fair this past summer.  Spurred by this and other new contracts, this micro-enterprise is searching for new real estate in the City and is anticipating hiring staff to accommodate market growth.  

Realizing the purchasing power of anchor institutions to support local businesses and in turn create jobs is the focus of a new report, "A Roadmap for Anchor Institution Local Food Purchasing in Baltimore". Authored by Karp Resources, the report explores food procurement processes in anchor institutions, and identifies a range of strategies to more fully realize local purchasing power. The report recommends actions to support local minority-owned and small businesses, modifications to procurement processes, and outlines legislative opportunities to connect purchasing power to businesses in reinvestment areas. Many of the recommendations are applicable not just to food but other services and commodities as well.  

The report further argues that the "actions and methodology used to change procurement processes can serve as a model for the private sector, compounding local job growth and economic impact.”  That premise is a goal for the Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP), a collaboration of anchor institutions, foundations, government and nonprofit partners working to explore the economic development power of anchors institutions.  Anchors are heavily invested partners in our communities with a self interest in safe, attractive and vibrant neighborhoods to attract students and faculty. Anchors cannot do it alone, however, and local purchasing power is not unlimited. Local purchasing strategies can be a catalytic force for employment but only one ingredient in a recipe for economic development in Baltimore.

A second important ingredient is small business technical assistance and access to financial services.  An inventory of public and private programs to help businesses grow their companies completed earlier this year for the BIP and Associated Black Charities finds that there are a range of resources available but that a key challenge for businesses is market identification and training in how to make the sale.  It also finds that companies may not know about some of the programs available to them and that many of the programs are not effectively tracking their clients or measuring success.  

To this end, local partners are working to bolster small business resources.  Baltimore Development Corporation recently announced their goals to expand and strengthen small business investment programs. Johns Hopkins University (JHU) announced a pilot technical assistance program to support women and minority owned businesses to help them increase their ability to meet the purchasing needs of large area employers including anchors. Finally, a range of local stakeholders are collaborating on the Food Hub, a new food business incubator which is expected to break ground early next year in east Baltimore.  The Food Hub will support culinary enterprises with technical assistance including help with accessing new contracts such as those with anchor institutions while working to connect area residents to jobs that the businesses create.  

Local purchasing strategies to support area businesses can generate much needed jobs for Baltimore.  However collective action is also needed to be successful as well as an enabling environment to intentionally leverage anchor institution purchasing to build opportunities for area businesses and residents.

Tags:  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, July 1, 2014
July 2014
 
By Kurt Sommer
Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

Baltimore City and Anchor Presidents Announce New Commitments
The Baltimore City Anchor Plan was signed Wednesday by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and eight anchor institution presidents, solidifying a shared commitment to collaborate and align resources to increase public safety, local hiring, local purchasing, and quality of life. The plan details the anchors economic strength, community engagement, and development activities laying out a series of goals for the City, the anchors, and strategic partners to help move forward. Read the Plan

TRF Closes Financing on Centre Theater
The Reinvestment Fund closed on financing for the Centre Theater. The project is driven by the co-tenancy of the film programs of both The Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. The schools are partnering in a shared opportunity to meet their facility needs by making an intentional investment to anchor a catalytic real estate project in the revival of Station North. TRF provided New Market Tax Credits, bridge and permanent financing as well as a predevelopment loan to support this catalytic project led by Jubilee Baltimore.

Opportunity Collaborative Releases Workforce Barriers Report
This new study finds that a significant number of job seekers in the Baltimore region lack necessary workplace skills and must overcome multiple and complex challenges to find work, ranging from inadequate transportation to a criminal record. Among its recommendations, the study calls for increased funding for training and basic adult educational programs, improved public transportation to link low-income areas with employers and the development of new "pathways” to help lower-skilled job seekers find jobs and advance in family-supporting careers. Read the Report

EARN Grants Announced
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation announced the first EARN implementation grants. The program, passed by the legislature in 2013 with support and advocacy from a range of BIP stakeholders, provides grant funding for industry led workforce training partnerships. Congratulations to DLLR for their leadership in moving this important program forward and all of the inaugural grant recipients. Read More

From the News Desk:
Contact Me With Questions:

ksommer@abagrantmakers.org
www.baltimorepartnership.org
410-727-1205

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  July/August 2014 Members' Memo  Workforce 

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Baltimore City and Anchor Presidents Announce New Commitments

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25, 2014

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

The Baltimore City Anchor Plan was signed today by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and eight anchor institution presidents, solidifying a shared commitment to collaborate and align resources to increase public safety, local hiring, local purchasing, and quality of life.

Many of these issues are also at the center of ABAG’s Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) – an initiative complimenting the City’s efforts and expanding the table of partners to include City, State and regional government partners, additional anchor institutions, foundations and nonprofits driving policies to increase economic inclusion. The BIP is seeking to connect low income residents to jobs within anchors and anchor-supporting businesses; connect small and minority-owned businesses to anchor procurement opportunities; and leverage anchor real estate investment for the intentional benefit of the broader community.

An example of the strength of this collective approach is embodied in a long anticipated project The Center Theater at 10 E. North Avenue, in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. A reinvestment project embodying the strength of this collective approach moved forward late last week.

BIP Partner, The Reinvestment Fund, just closed on financing for the Center Theater. The project is driven by the co-tenancy of the film programs of both The Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. The schools are partnering in a shared opportunity to meet their facility needs make an intentional investment to anchor a catalytic real estate project in the revival of Station North. TRF provided New Market Tax Credits, bridge and permanent financing as well as a predevelopment loan to support this catalytic project led by Jubilee Baltimore.

The BIP is funded by nationally by Living Cities and by local foundations including the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Goldseker Foundation.

Congratulations to the Mayor and her staff as well as Bon Secours, Coppin State University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, Loyola University, Notre Dame University, and Morgan State University for their leadership and commitment.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  July/August 2014 Members' Memo 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Updated: Monday, April 28, 2014

April 22, 2014

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partership

The Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) is a collaborative effort to expand opportunities for low-income residents and communities in Baltimore by unifying job opportunities with revitalization investment. Partner communities include the neighborhoods represented by the East Baltimore Development Initiative; the Central Baltimore Partnership; and West Baltimore communities adjacent to the proposed Red Line. The BIP is supported by Living Cities and includes a range of stakeholders aligning resources and activities while working to strengthen the linkage between physical and human capital development. BIP is a project housed at the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers.

BIP Shifts Gears into 2.0
The BIP has moved forward with a new phase of work focused on increasing economic inclusion in Baltimore.  This phase is focused on advancing inclusion through educational and medical institution (anchors) hiring, purchasing and community reinvestment activities.  Nine anchors are participating in the initiative as well as a range of philanthropic, government, and financial partners.  By working with these significant employers, the BIP hopes to identify barriers to local hiring and purchasing, support changes in policy to remove barriers and develop an implementation model that can be adopted by other businesses throughout the region. The BIP is supported by Living Cities, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Goldseker Foundation, Associated Black Charities, and the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative.  

Pilot Food Purchasing Study Launched

The BIP has contracted with Karp Resources to help identify specific opportunities to redirect anchor food spending to Baltimore businesses.  The study will examine anchor purchasing policies and barriers as well as the readiness and capacity needs of local businesses to meet anchor purchasing demands.  The report is expected to be completed this summer and builds on the successful work "Anchor Institutions and The Food Cluster in Baltimore.” This BIP Phase 1 work was recently highlighted by ICIC in their report "Anchor Institutions and Food Systems: A Recipe for Economic Growth.” 

TRF Closes Financing on Chesapeake Phase 2
With a few projects still in the hopper from the prior round of work, The Reinvestment Fund closed financing recently on phase 2 of the Chesapeake Building. An earlier investment helped local partners reopen the doors to the famed restaurant after being closed for 25 years. This new phase will help restore the upper floors into commercial and residential space. Several additional projects funded with predevelopment resources in BIP Phase 1 are anticipated to move into construction in 2014. 

From the Anchor News Desk

Accomplishments, Outcomes and Lessons Learned from the BIP 2011-2013

Community Science completed its 2011 – 2013 evaluation of the Baltimore Integration Partnership providing an assessment of the initiative’s project and system level efforts to link job opportunities to revitalization investment. The report captures the totality of investments and outcomes of the BIP and its partners in the first round.  Outcomes included supporting more than 500 job training opportunities for area residents, over $150 million of new investment in Baltimore neighborhoods, and over 800 job opportunities.These investments were focused in on targeted neighborhoods in the City helping local partners move forward both place based and people based outcomes.  The report also explores the systems level work that the BIP and its partners completed including a range of executive orders at the City and State level, new funding for workforce training as well as new policies and practices to advance economic inclusion in Baltimore. Finally, the report outlines a series of recommendations for broader economic inclusion efforts in Baltimore.

 

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  april 2014 Members' memo  BIP  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Celebrates Accomplishments

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

By Kurt Sommer

Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership 

Baltimore Integration Partnership stakeholders gathered last week with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the Chesapeake Restaurant to celebrate all the work and accomplishments that have moved forward over the last three years.

View BIP highlights video here.

The project hosted by ABAG launched in 2011 to link capital investment and human capital in targeted neighborhoods to create new opportunities for area residents through developments projects and public policies.

Through the generosity of Living Cities, Baltimore was awarded nearly $3 million in grant funds and access to up to $15 million in capital debt to support revitalization projects as part of their national Integration Initiative.

Grant funds in Baltimore have supported workforce training opportunities for area residents, community based workforce access points, policy advocacy in City Hall and Annapolis, a high risk predevelopment loan fund, capacity building for area organizations, research and evaluation.

To date with activities still underway, 12 development projects have been moved forward through BIP’s lending partner TRF fostering $136 million in capital investment including 49 homeownership units, 76 units of rental housing, a grocery store, restaurant, and two school facilities. Several other development projects are still in the pipeline. 384 workforce training opportunities have also been supported in various key fields including construction, biotechnology, deconstruction, retail/hospitality, career coaching, accelerated GED preparation, job readiness training, and healthcare. Through the development projects, workforce access points, training partners, and public workforce partners, nearly 700 job placements have occurred.

To sustain these ideas and through the leadership of the partners and stakeholders of the BIP, new public and anchor institution policies have moved forward including City and State local hiring executive orders, a set aside of transportation funding for workforce investments, and the new EARN program. These legislative and public policy activities were recognized by Living Cities as standout accomplishments at a gathering in Chicago in early October with the other Integration Initiative cities. Baltimore is very proud of the accomplishments of the projects and also the public policy efforts that partners have moved forward. 

Last week BIP recognized several key organizations for their work and lifting over the last three years through a variety of awards for their efforts to advance economic inclusion in Baltimore. They include:

Courage in Economic Inclusion:

  • Humanim
  • Greater Homewood Community Corporation

Unsung Hero in Economic Inclusion:

  • Maryland Institute College of Art

Distinguished Business in Economic Inclusion:

  • Seawall Development
  • The French Companies
  • Mi Casa
  • Apples and Oranges
  • Southway Builders
  • The Chesapeake Restaurant

Outstanding Leadership in Economic Inclusion:

  • Martha Holleman
  • The Reinvestment Fund
  • Job Opportunities Task Force

Over the course of the first phase of the BIP, over a hundred individuals from more than 50 organizations played a supportive or active role in the work. It is their collective work that has made the work of the BIP so successful. The BIP staff would like extend their thanks to all of many stakeholders for their work and lifting. There are indeed too many to name individually but all have played a significant role in the work. Special thanks to the ABAG and BIP Board member organizations for their support and leadership over the last three years.

The current phase of the BIP activities will be winding down by year’s end. Local partners are working towards continuing the initiative focusing in on economic inclusion opportunities with area educational and medical anchor institutions.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  November 2013 Members' Memo  Workforce development  workforceMayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 25, 2013

By Kurt Sommer, Director, The Baltimore Integration Partnership

ABAG Project, The Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) is a collaborative effort to expand opportunities for low-income residents and communities in Baltimore by unifying job opportunities with revitalization investment. 

Governor O’Malley Issues Executive Order to Promote Workforce Development and Community Hiring
As part of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s ongoing focus on job training, Governor Martin O’Malley has issued an Executive Order directing State agencies to promote apprenticeship programs and encourage hiring in priority areas. Many thanks to the Governor’s Office for their ongoing leadership in workforce development. This Executive Order comes in the midst of the state’s efforts roll out the new EARN grant program to support job training. Press Release/Executive Order

Regional Plan For Sustainable Development moves forward; TRF part of selected consultant team.
The Opportunity Collaborative, hosted by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, announced that it has selected GCR, a New Orleans based consulting firm that is teaming with The Reinvestment Fund, and Hodges Development, LLC to craft a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD). The plan will incorporate workforce, housing and transportation elements and represents a significant joint and sustained effort by the governments and significant non-governmental organizations in the region to collectively address regional planning issues. More on the RPSD

Development Projects Continue to Move Forward
Area reinvestment projects, driven by a range of BIP partners, continue to move forward in Baltimore fostering new energy and investments. Earlier this summer, the Chesapeake Restaurant opened creating more than 40 new jobs for area residents.BIP partners assisted with hiring which was supplemented with a grant to help train new employees. Phase 1D of New Barclay Homes is also moving forward. This TRF and Healthy Neighborhoods financed phase features 15 rehabbed homeownership units and began construction this summer. On the other side of Central Baltimore, Seawall Development is finishing work on 10 new for sale homes with construction financing from TRF. All the homes are sold or under contract. All told over the past 2 and half years, TRF has helped finance 12 projects which will yield $136 million in new investment when completed.

BIP in the News
A few of our projects, partners, and colleagues have made the news lately. Below are a few key articles:

Request for Proposals – Demonstration Projects
A second and final round of funding for demonstration projects is available through the Opportunity Collaborative new RFP. The prior round supported several key projects by BIP partners including the Last Mile Initiative by Central Maryland Transportation Alliance examining gaps in access via public transportation to jobs in three key areas. It also supported Central Baltimore Partnership’s work linked to the Homewood Community Partners Initiative. More information on the RFP including the approaching deadlines can be found here.

Redefining the Rust Belt
The Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond, Cleveland, Chicago and Philadelphia, partnering with the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the National League of Cities, will be hosting the second in a series of mini-conversations entitled "Redefining the Rust Belt: An Exchange of Strategies by the Cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia.” The next event, hosted by Cleveland, is scheduled for October 25thfrom 8 a.m. to Noon. For Baltimore registrations, please visit: http://www.cvent.com/d/s4qngw

The BIP 2.5 Year Impact
Below is a brief snap shot on BIP investment and hiring activities to date:

  • Total development projects financed: 12
  • Projects in Pipeline: 4
  • New Leveraged Investment: $136 million
  • Job Training Opportunities: 384
  • Total Job Placements (projects, training orgs, and workforce access points): 699 and counting
BIP Moving Towards 2.0
The BIP’s initial round of work is drawing to a close. Through the leadership of our partners, an amazing array of project and system related outcomes have been achieved. We are in the midst of moving towards a potential second round of work that will continue to advance economic inclusion approaches in Baltimore. More details will be forthcoming.

Tags:  ABAG Project  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  Collaboration  Workforce 

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Chesapeake Restaurant's Revival Shows Power of Partnerships

Posted By Celeste Amato, Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My latest column in the Baltimore Business Journal - 

August 13, 2013

By Celeste Amato, Contributing Columnist

President, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers

Baltimore Business Journal

A new neighborhood restaurant, the Chesapeake, opened in the Station North Arts District this summer.

Long-time Baltimore residents will remember the site as the original Chesapeake Restaurant — a Baltimore dining institution for more than 50 years until closing in the late 1980s. After being shuttered for 25 years, 1701 N. Charles is serving lunch and dinner, and providing a new destination to grab a drink with friends. So, why reference a restaurant in a column about philanthropy and partnering for impact?

The rebirth of the Chesapeake as an active, vibrant business is the result of a new kind of multi-sector collaboration, bringing together government agencies, regional anchor institutions, financial institutions, next generation business leaders and social entrepreneurs to maximize reinvestment opportunities in neighborhoods, and reconnect low-income residents to employment.

The collaboration driving the Chesapeake project is the Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP). Funded by the national Living Cities Foundation, this now 3-year-old partnership, is comprised of Baltimore foundations, private universities, government agencies and nonprofits that have come together to explore not just one-time, on-the-ground projects — but how those projects can inform long-term changes to workforce, capital and educational systems, policies and processes affecting Baltimore’s inner-core communities and residents.

Through its lending partner, the Reinvestment Fund, the Baltimore Integration Partnership offers a range of loan products for predevelopment, acquisition/ construction, small businesses, as well as semi-permanent and New Market Tax Credit financing.

Over the past several years the Baltimore Integration Partnership has helped move forward more than $100 million in projects beyond the Chesapeake Restaurant, including Apples & Oranges Fresh Market in East Baltimore; Telesis Barclay, a redevelopment of vacant lots and rowhomes in the Barclay/Midway/Old Goucher neighborhoods; the proposed Henderson- Hopkins School, a Johns Hopkins partnership school for kindergarten-8th grade in East Baltimore; and MICA Graduated Studios on North Avenue. Each project represents significant reinvestment and provides community residents new services, amenities and jobs.

"Partnering for impact is critical because government cannot overcome employment and other challenges on its own and neither can philanthropy” said Kurt Sommer, Baltimore Integration Partnership’s director. "Affecting large-scale change takes a large table, an opportunity to learn from the work, and leadership to tackle difficult issues, challenging conversations and ultimately to remove barriers and take risks for lasting change.”

Recognizing that no one sector can go it alone, Baltimore foundations are partnering now, through Baltimore Integration Partnership and other collaborations, to ensure a greater chance for lasting positive impact on the future of Baltimore and the region.

Celeste Amato is president of ‎the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Business Journal  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BBJ  BIP  Jobs  September 2013 Members' Memo  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 5, 2013

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

Policy Brief Released on Workforce Training in Baltimore

Job Opportunities Task Force and the Baltimore Integration Partnership are pleased to release "Investing in Baltimore’s Workforce: Leveraging Opportunity and Moving to Scale.” This policy brief documents workforce training funding trends and needs in Baltimore and finds that declines in federal workforce funding to Baltimore City has left local leaders with less resources to overcome high training and education needs. It also finds that too many Baltimore City adults are on the sidelines with low educational attainment and high unemployment. To make inroads into these challenges, the report recommends a range of strategies to consider and highlights the need to work across agencies and sectors while better coordinating efforts to make progress and drive towards scale. The report was released last week as part of panel discussion moderated by Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers President Celeste Amato featuring the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Leonard Howie, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Karen Sitnick, and President/CEO of Associated Black Charities Diane Bell-McKoy. Panelists spoke about initiatives already in the works to help move towards the goals laid out in the report, including EARN - a new $4.5 million statewide training fund - and Baltimore City's Ready to Work for You campaign. Special thanks to the panelists, the University of Baltimore for hosting the event, and to Jason Perkins-Cohen, Andrea Roethke and the team at Job Opportunities Task Force for their work and leadership on the policy brief.

Download the Report (PDF) / Blog Post by author Andrea Roethke

CMTA Op-Ed on Transportation Investments and Workforce Access

Earlier this month, Governor O’Malley announced the first wave of transportation investments resulting from funding enhancements passed by the legislature during the 2013 session. Projects include $170 million in funding for Red Line Final Design and $100 million to expand MARC rail service – big wins in infrastructure investment for Baltimore. Michele Whelley, President and CEO of the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, praises decision makers for these decisions and discusses in this Baltimore Sun op-ed how vital these investments are for Baltimore residents to access the growing job base in Baltimore suburbs and the DC area.

TRF Closes Predevelopment Loan For Center Theater

One of the BIP supported investment tools managed by TRF is a predevelopment loan fund that provides early stage financing for key real estate projects. The tool provides capital to bridge financing or to overcome key front end hurdles to move projects forward. Such a resource is particularly critical in urban environments like Baltimore as developers sometimes struggle to overcome unexpected site and building conditions while they weave together construction or permanent financing often from multiple sources. This past month, TRF closed a predevelopment loan to support the redevelopment of Center Theater at 10 E. North Avenue. The vacant art deco building was bought at public auction last year by Jubilee Baltimore. It is currently envisioned to be the new home for the film programs of Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). The project has also benefited from financial support from area institutions including MICA, local business leadership, the American Communities Trust, the France-Merrick Foundation, Community Legacy funding. The project was recently awarded a Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit. In addition to Center Theater, TRF provided a predevelopment loan in late 2012 to help local developers stabilize and develop plans to transform the former Hebrew Orphan’s Asylum in West Baltimore into the Center for Healthcare and Healthy Living. In 2011, TRF provided predevelopment financing to support the Lillian Jones apartment complex in Johnston Square – a $16 million project that is currently leasing up. Through the BIP workforce goals and the leadership of the French Companies, Southway Builders, and the Johnston Square community, it has helped to support job opportunities for 9 area residents through its construction.

Local Hiring Takes Center Stage in Baltimore
On Monday night, the Baltimore City Council approved local hiring legislation requiring recipients of certain city contracts to estimate the potential new jobs created to complete an awarded contract AND requiring 51% of those jobs be filled by Baltimore City residents. The City Solicitor declared the legislation unconstitutional and likely to be overturned in court. The Rawlings-Blake Administration has indicated that it will let the legislation become law without signing. Read more about the legislation.

Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative to Receive Award for Excellence in Workforce Development
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) has named the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative as a recipient of its 2013 Chairman’s Award for Exemplary Collaborative. The award will be made next week at the third annual National Fund meeting in Atlanta. Congratulations to the staff, foundation and government members! Read the News Coverage

Federal Reserve Forum Redefining "Rust Belt"

Via videoconference and in-person at the regional Reserve Banks in Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia, participants will exchange experiences developing and implementing strategies to attract new residents and new investment. Speakers will include Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Jeremy Nowak, nationally-known community development leader, and Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Learn More and Register Today

New Report on using Data for Community Based Workforce Development Programs

This new report, written by consultants Marty Miles and Stacy Woodruff-Bolte, in collaboration with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, analyzes data from more than 200 organizations that submitted participant data for more than 332 programs. The authors examine the outcomes of programs with varying characteristics and making findings and recommendations to help funders and providers set more realistic expectations for performance and make better informed decisions about program design.

Read the Report

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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 www.baltimorepartnership.org. The Baltimore Integration Partnership is a project of The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers


Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  BIP  June 2013 Members' Memo  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 30, 2013

TRF Closes Financing on North Avenue Market

Moving forward another redevelopment project in Central Baltimore, The Reinvestment Fund closed financing last week with Center City, Inc. The financing enables façade work and renovations to support a new retail tenant expected to open next fall. In addition to TRF, renovations of North Avenue Market have been supported by local business leadership and strategic grant funds from the State and other local partners. This is the 10th project TRF has financed in BIP target areas in approximately two years of operations.

Workforce and Transportation Victories in Annapolis

New funding for workforce training and for transportation projects was secured this year by BIP advocate and government partners. The O’Malley Administration sponsored EARN legislation (Employment Advancement Right Now) passed with a $4.5 million budget allocation to support sector-based workforce training partnerships. Ban the Box legislation applying to state job applications also passed but economic inclusion requirements linked to certain state construction projects will need more work. State lawmakers raised the gas tax to create approximately $4.4 billion in new funds to support transportation projects including Baltimore’s Red Line over the next 6 years. Federal decision making processes on the Red Line are still underway. Other wins for BIP partners include $3 million for the Homewood Community Partners Initiative, $250,000 for the Biotechnical Institute of Maryland and $1 billion for Baltimore City School construction!! See 2013 JOTF/CMTA Legislative Summaries.

The Last Mile
The Central Maryland Transportation Alliance and BWI Business Partnership are conducting the Last Mile project to study work commutes and how transportation systems, such as buses and trains, effect access to jobs in the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, Arundel Mills, and Ft. George G. Meade business corridor. The information collected through this survey will be used to identify gaps and develop recommended transportation solutions that could connect workers to jobs in the fastest growing employment corridor in the Baltimore metropolitan region. The project is funded through a demonstration project grant from the Opportunity Collaborative.

TRF Makes National Cut for NMTCs

The Reinvestment Fund was one of 85 organizations to be awarded Federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) in the round announced this week. This year’s award of $45 million will be available for projects throughout TRF’s footprint. In the last year, TRF has deployed NMTCs in three high impact projects in Baltimore including the long sought Shop Rite grocery store in Howard Park which closed on financing this week. Last year, TRF allocated tax credits to two vital projects led by BIP partners including the Henderson-Hopkins School at EBDI and the MICA Graduate Studios on North Avenue.

Baltimore Data at Your Fingertips

The BIP Mapping Tool has been updated! Explore the widget developed provided by PolicyMap to locate BIP-financed developments, partner investments, as well as neighborhood job resources. You can also view demographic, socioeconomic, housing and jobs data for the BIP target area and all of Baltimore City.

Request for Letters of Interest: Opportunity Collaborative Education and Engagement Sub-grants

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council ("BMC"), on behalf of the Opportunity Collaborative, is seeking Letters of Interest from organizations in the Baltimore region interested in engaging the public on behalf of the Collaborative. Approved organizations will be eligible to receive engagement sub-grants from the Collaborative. The Collaborative will undertake three rounds of engagement. Details on the award requirements, deadlines and Request for Letters of Interest.

Save the Date

Job Opportunities Task Force and the BIP will be releasing the Policy Brief "Investing in Baltimore’s Workforce: Leveraging Opportunity & Moving to Scale” on May 28th from 2-3:30. The event will feature a panel of speakers including DLLR Secretary Leonard Howie, MOED Director Karen Sitnick, and ABC President and CEO Diane Bell-McKoy. Thank you to the University of Baltimore for hosting the event. Event registration and further details will be forthcoming.

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Putting It All Together

I knew there was something particularly good about that turkey sandwich I bit into but it took me about four hours to realize how good it did indeed taste. On the way home from work it hit me that the BIP’s work had come full circle through that bite and I think in a way that exemplifies the power and opportunity of the work we are doing together.

Many of you know that over the over the past two years the BIP has been working with partners to foster economic inclusion by working to connect area residents to workforce services through community based pipelines, access to nonprofit job training providers as well as connectivity to jobs in projects we are financing and those in area anchor institutions. This work has been hard and challenging in every way as we work to build and connect distinct activities into a cohesive approach to foster economic inclusion.

One of the development projects financed by TRF that recently opened is Apples and Oranges, a new East Baltimore grocery store providing fresh healthy food in a food desert. The owners of Apples and Oranges believed very much in local hiring and worked with BIP partners to make that possible. The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development helped place 12 of the 20 new employees as well as 3 others linked to security positions connected to the store. Hired candidates came from community workforce access points and training providers including Central Baltimore Partnership/Greater Homewood, East Baltimore Development, as well as area sector based training partners Humanim(retail training) and St. Vincent de Paul (culinary/food training). The BIP also provided a small training grant so the new employees could receive ServSafe training.

Two weeks ago Apples and Oranges catered a BIP Anchor Engagement Workgroup lunch. The food was prepared by area residents our partners helped train and place in a business establishment that moved forward with the help of a CDFI. The lunch was attended by seven anchor institution leaders as well as philanthropic and government partners. The discussion featured a briefing by Karp Resources of their ongoing study highlighting how Baltimore anchor institutions can use their food procurement activities to support local businesses who in turn can support new jobs. Attendees included Johns Hopkins University which recently announced its efforts to set local hiring and purchasing goalsMaryland Institute College of Art which is moving forward local hiring, as well as Morgan State University which this morning announced the Morgan Community Mile Initiative. But sustaining these approaches needs more than anchor leadership and through our strong public partners that work is underway as well. In addition to the Karp briefing, representatives of Mayor’s Office noted their ongoing work to develop a Baltimore City Anchor Plan which will work to align City investments and activities with the interests of the anchors. And finally, earlier in the week Governor O’Malley signed the EARN legislation into law which was advocated for by BIP partners and creates a new $4.5 million training fund to support sector based workforce training.

Individually each of these efforts is a win. Collectively, and as part of a system, they mean much more and represent the power and possibility of aligned work. Thanks to the many stakeholders that are making this work happen.

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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 www.baltimorepartnership.org.

Tags:  Ad  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  TRF  Workforce 

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Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities

Posted By Ann Sherrill, Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 20, 2013

By Ann Sherrill
Director, ABAG Project The Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative

I just returned from an excellent visit to Memphis for the annual conference of the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN). TFN exists to inspire, strengthen and expand funding and philanthropic leadership that yield environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and economically prosperous regions and communities. The theme of this year’s conference was "Connecting Communities to Opportunity ".Memphis, with its deep civil rights and music history, was a great place to learn together including mobile workshops into the community. 

ABAG members attending and taking leadership roles in TFN include Scot Spencer (current board chair of TFN) and Charles Rutheiser (co-chair of a newly formed Anchor Learning Group) of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Cheryl Casciani (newly elected TFN board member) and Dion Cartwright of the Baltimore Community Foundation; Laurie Latuda Kinkel of the Goldseker Foundation and Vice Chair of ABAG’s Board; Bonnie Clarke and Chris Wells of the Osprey Foundation (great to see the next gen involved!); Kurt Sommer, Director of the Baltimore Integration Partnership and me. Also joining us was Andy Frank of Johns Hopkins University to talk about John Hopkins University’s Homewood Community Partnership Initiative. Mike Shaw of Green and Healthy Homes was also present.

Dion Cartwright participated on a panel on authentic community engagement and workshops covered a variety of subjects that we know are of interest to ABAG members, our collaboratives, projects and affinity groups: designing healthy communities; arts-inspired economic growth; smart water policy and community planning decisions; biking and transportation reform; municipal innovation; mission-related investing; and helping grantees diversify income streams. Attendees networked over good local food and BBQ including an event with leaders from Grassroots Grantmakers and the Neighborhood Funders Group. We also heard keynotes by Revered Samuel "Billy Kyles and Van Jones inspiring us to dream on and giving us hope for a connected millennial generation. 

Kurt Sommer, BIP Director is participating in the fourth class of TFN’s Professionals Learning About Community, Equity, and Smart Growth (PLACES) program - a year-long professional development program designed to explore key issues that affect grantmaking decisions that are responsive to the needs and assets of low-income neighborhoods and people of color. I am a member of TFN’s Working Group on Restoring Prosperity to Older Industrial Cities. 

Ask us about the conference and join us for the 2014 TFN Conference to be held in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Are you attending a national conference soon? Tell us about it!

Tags:  BIP  BNC  Equity  Funders  Grantmakers  Smart Growth 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013

February 27, 2013

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership 

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 lrawlings@umaryland.edu.

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!

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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 www.baltimorepartnership.org.


Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  Workforce 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23, 2012

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

ABAG Announces Appointment of New President
The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers is pleased to announce the appointment of our new President, Celeste Amato. Celeste comes to ABAG with an inspiring leadership background in public service. She has an eighteen year career in City government, most recently in entrepreneurial positions as architect of, and Media and Communications Director for, Baltimore City's Cleaner Greener Initiative and the City's conversion to single stream recycling and One PLUS ONE curbside waste collection. "Philanthropy can make the critical difference in so many issues important to the future of our city, our region, our communities and our individual quality of life" says Celeste. "I look forward to bringing fresh eyes and new energy to an extremely successful organization and will work to firmly establish the philanthropic community as an essential and highly valued partner in local and regional program and policy development, implementation and success." Read More

BIP Teams with Karp Resources to Explore Local Food Procurement Opportunities

The BIP is pleased to announce that Karp Resources will be working with several BIP Anchor Institution partners to explore how to strengthen linkages between their food spending and local food suppliers. Karp Resources' will explore both the supply side of area businesses in this sector but also the workforce opportunities that may result from the increased local business investment. This research initiative builds on the ongoing work BIP stakeholders are taking to explore how to best leverage the hiring, purchasing, and capital investment power of anchor institutions as well as the BIP's recent workforce training investments in food and culinary preparation.

Pathways to Employment in America's Cities

This new report by the National Skills Coalition explores ways that federal policy can better support efforts to integrate physical and human capital investments in America's cities. The work incorporates input from several BIP stakeholders as well as leaders from New Orleans, the Twin Cities, Chicago, and Seattle. The report argues "that federal investments that create jobs and federal investments that prepare people for jobs are not always aligned. Likewise, at the local level, community development and workforce development efforts are often not coordinated. Despite growing interest in making this connection, it has been challenging for local community development and workforce development practitioners to collaborate, even as both know that coordination is essential for improving the skills and employability of low-income individuals and for more efficiently using limited public resources.” Read the Report

Federal Reserve Hosting Forum on Anchor Institutions in Baltimore
The Baltimore Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is hosting the fourth forum in the series Redefining Capital: Exploring Baltimore's Next Economy on November 8, 2012. A range of national and local panelists and speakers will discuss the linkages between anchor institutions and their surrounding communities as well as opportunities to leverage anchors to help catalyze neighborhood reinvestment. Speakers include Mary Kay Leonard, President and CEO, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, as well as representatives of several of the BIP's anchor institution partners.
Register for this Event.

Baltimore's Sustainable Communities Initiative Launch Event
Please join regional civic and political stakeholders at the University of Baltimore's Moot Courtroom on Monday, October 29, 3:00 – 7:00 PM for the launch of Baltimore's Sustainable Communities Initiative. The initiative includes efforts to explore 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 to us 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.

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

Tags:  Baltimore  BIP  Capa  Living Cities  Workforce  Workforce development 

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