This week, I highlighted the important role that government can play in helping the private sector create jobs, and the ways that government can help prepare and connect our residents to those jobs.
On Tuesday, I joined federal, state and local officials at the grand opening ceremony for the new Amazon Fulfillment Center. What a flurry of activity we witnessed, as more than 3,000 newly hired workers work with a state-of-the-art robotic system in a massive distribution complex in Southeast Baltimore.
My economic development team and I were so pleased when Amazon chose Baltimore City as its location for this center. The site takes advantage of our City’s proximity to both the Port of Baltimore and the interstate highway system. Additionally, the site’s location within one of our City’s Enterprise Zone Focus Areas also demonstrates that these types of tax incentive programs – when properly utilized -- can have a real impact on job creation.
Persuading major employers like Amazon to locate new projects in Baltimore has helped my administration reduce our City’s unemployment rate by a third and create more than 20,000 jobs. To ensure that city residents had an opportunity to compete for the new jobs that Amazon created, the company partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development for targeted recruitment, including information sessions, job fairs and more.
On Thursday morning, I joined another opportunity where our Mayor’s Office of Employment Development worked with non-profit and government partners to help more city residents enhance their ability to secure jobs. Lawyers from across our city came together at New Psalmist Baptist Church to help people expunge their records of minor past arrests and convictions, taking advantage of a new state law that went into effect on October 1st.
I supported this state legislation, because I know that past criminal records and arrest records make it harder for people to get jobs. It’s also why I signed the Ban the Box law for Baltimore City, to ensure that those with criminal backgrounds are not openly denied employment. Businesses must now at least take a fair look at each person’s application and judge them on their merits -- not solely on a mistake they made 5, 10, or 15 years ago.
We need to make sure everyone who wants to work, and can work, has the opportunity to compete for a job.
City of Baltimore
The path and potential impact
of Hurricane Joaquin remains unclear, but it is critical for Baltimore City
residents to take these basic preparations.
Prepare a Storm Readiness Emergency Kit filled with water, flashlights, and battery-powered
- Clear drains and other potential flooding
- Keep an eye on your neighbors, especially
seniors, and make sure they have what they need.
Please pay attention to news outlets and city communications for reports of flooding, parking advisories or other emergency notifications. Also, if an area needs to be evacuated, reverse 911 will be used, as well as notifications to the media.