Rawlings-Blake Review: Creating Jobs for Baltimore Residents

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Rawlings Blake Review

Your weekly update from Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

ISSUE #267

October 2, 2015

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.




stephanie rawlings-blake signature


Stephanie Rawlings-Blake


City of Baltimore

Hurricane Preparedness 

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 radio.
  • Clear drains and other potential flooding hazards
  • 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.

Key News

'Spinoff opportunities' touted as Amazon warehouse officially opens

The center, which stands at more than 1 million square feet, has far exceeded initial employment estimates with more than 3,000 full-time employees. Amazon says it makes use of the latest in warehousing technology, including 320-pound robots resembling huge automatic vacuum cleaners that can lift and move up to 750 pounds of inventory. (Baltimore Business Journal)




Hurricane Joaquin expected to move offshore, but heavy rains, flooding possible

With th Hurricane Joaquin now forecast to shift to away from the East Coast, meteorologists, the Mid-Atlantic region is still expected to receive heavy rainfall and potential flooding this weekend. (The Baltimore Sun)



Cabinet in the Community

Along with Councilman Warren Branch and her Cabinet, Mayor Rawlings-Blake hosted 'Cabinet in the Community' at Henderson Hopkins Partnership School. 

North East Market

Mayor Rawlings-Blake visited store owners and community patrons this week at the Northeast Market, just one of Baltimore's thriving food markets. 

Free Fall Baltimore begins with free zoo admission, hundreds of activities

Free Fall Baltimore, the city's monthlong extravaganza of no-charge cultural activities, will kick off Thursday with free admission at the Maryland Zoo, a workshop in which participants can make illuminated headdresses, a festival showcasing chalk paintings created on the streets of Little Italy and more. (The Baltimore Sun) 



Over $1.6M in federal grants to improve Baltimore Police's preparedness

The GOCCP awarded a $1,011,443 grant to help aid recent surge in crime in Baltimore City. $368,130 was granted to the Baltimore Police Department to create an automated gunshot detection system that will work with the city's surveillance cameras. (WBFF-TV)


Community Events

Free Fall Baltimore 2015 

Various times and dates throughout October 
Citywide attractions, museums, theaters, lectures, and tours 

Free Fall Baltimore celebrates its ninth year by bringing wonderful free cultural activities to your doorstep. With more than 250 unique events anticipated, you'll be able to find an exciting activity on almost every day in October. View a listing of all the events at www.freefallbaltimore.org/events.

Public Safety Forum: Western District 

October 5, 2015 (7:00pm)

Carver Vocational Technical High School

2201 Presstman Street 


Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis invite you to a forum on Public Safety. Come share your questions, comments or concerns, and hear directly from law enforcement officials and city leadership.

Mayor’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Award Nominations 

The Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development is accepting nominations to recognize exceptional Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) as well as businesses and organizations that work closely with M/WBEs. Winners will be honored by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council’s 34th Annual Leaders and Legends Awards Ceremony and Gala on October 28, 2015.  Please complete and submit this nomination application to: mwbd@baltimorecity.gov by Friday, October 9, 2015.