On Tuesday, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) and Enoch Pratt Free Library unveiled the “mobile job center”, which is sponsored by BGE. The program set to kick off in May, bringing employment opportunities to Baltimore’s high employment neighborhoods.
The 38-foot mobile job center is equipped with 13 computer stations for participants to conduct job searches, apply for jobs online and access the library database and training programs. There are also large screens for presentations and a library staff will be available to assist in creating resumes and completing job applications.
Four days a weeks and two Saturdays a month, the vehicle will travel throughout the city and stop for four hours in various neighborhoods, including Westport, Upton, Druid Heights and Oldtown. The mobile job center will also be set up at community events and festivals.
Employers are encouraged to visit the mobile center, so they can meet and hire job applicants on the spot whenever necessary. Two additional mobile units will be added to the fleet in the near future, funding details will be available in the next few weeks.
BGE has pledged $600,000 over a three-year period to cover the operation costs of the first mobile unit.
The president and chief executive officer at Baltimore Gas and Electric, Calvin G. Butler Jr., said the mobile unit is an example of the power of the public-private partnerships. Pugh contacted Butler nearly a year ago, when he was working with the library to implement a similar plan.
“Everyone deserves access to high quality information and the ability to see and apply for employment electronically, which is increasingly becoming the only way for people to access good jobs,” Butler said. He donated to Pugh’s campaign and was a member of her transition team.
The job center is the first of its kind in the region and it will build on workforce development. Southern Maryland, Atlanta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee already have similar employment centers.
The Atlanta mobile unit, launched in 2007, served 1,250 people in 2016. The unit features one-on-one interviews and counseling sessions, with a dozen workstations.