Workforce Development in Southwest Baltimore: Mapping the Context, Challenges, and Opportunities
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The Southwest Partnership (SWP) is a group of 13 partners striving to make “deliberate, positive changes” in the SWP area, which includes the neighborhoods of Barre Circle, Pigtown, Franklin Square, Hollins Market, Mount Clare, Poppleton, and Union Square. Workforce development is an important aspect of any urban area, and in order to meet SWP’s vision of an “awesome, healthy, architecturally beautiful, diverse, cohesive community of choice built on mutual respect and shared responsibility,” it is especially essential to develop and sustain training and educational opportunities, a healthy job market, and access to those jobs for local residents. Working in partnership with the SWP, the project team therefore addressed the topic of workforce development within the SWP area, and throughout the Baltimore City as a whole. We analyzed demographic factors that contribute to residents’ ability to work, job and industry data that sets the context for the area and City, and existing programs from a variety of providers. The goal was to better define workforce development challenges, as well as identify local opportunities. Our research and maps revealed that residents of the SWP area do face more significant challenges than the residents of Baltimore City as a whole, but also revealed that there are existing opportunities that residents can access, which are presented in an interactive map now available to the public. This report also makes a series of recommendations and suggests further research that can help the SWP achieve its goals.