Civil Legal Aid Adds Value for One Baltimore For Jobs Trainees

Mayor’s Office of Employment Development teams up with Maryland Legal Services Corporation to provide vital support services

CONTACTS: Brice Freeman, MOED, 410-396-1910, bfreeman@oedworks.com
Susan Erlichman or Harriet Robinson, MLSC, 410-576-9494, serlichman@mlsc.org or hrobinson@mlsc.org

See announcement below and attached.

Baltimore, Maryland (January 14, 2016) – Recognizing that many Baltimore City residents participating in job training need support services to improve their chances for employment success, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) has partnered with the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) to provide civil legal services to participants in One Baltimore For Jobs (1B4J) training initiatives. Legal matters that pose serious impediments to finding and retaining employment include obtaining required work-related documents, expungement of criminal records, credit repair, and assistance with housing, family and consumer matters.

“The importance of addressing civil legal problems that impact safety, security, employability and other basic needs cannot be overstated,” commented MLSC Executive Director Susan M. Erlichman. “With the help of lawyers, individuals can overcome barriers to sustainable employment and secure a more stable future for themselves and their families.”

1B4J provides funding from a U.S. Department of Labor demonstration grant earmarked for exploring innovative strategies to reengage disconnected youth and young adult populations in highly distressed communities by delivering skills training and providing access to career placements in high-growth industry sectors. MOED, in partnership with Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, was awarded $4.9 million in funding. A total of 12 vendors have been identified to provide a first round of occupational skills training to approximately 700 residents in the areas of construction, health care, manufacturing and transportation logistics.

“1B4J provides vital skills training for Baltimore residents that will lead to jobs in growing industries,” said Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Director Jason Perkins-Cohen.

“Adding legal services support represents an important element to the 1B4J strategy to increase successful results by removing barriers and helping to ensure job retention and long-lasting careers.”

In addition to sector-based job training, a central part of 1B4J is to link other critical services, such as child support, mental health and addiction treatment, and civil legal services to workforce development so that residents have a greater opportunity to succeed personally as well as to strengthen families and the communities in which they live.

MLSC has dedicated $360,000 of community redevelopment funds from a national settlement received from Bank of America to provide comprehensive civil legal assistance to 1B4J participants experiencing legal problems that would interfere with the ability to gain and sustain employment, despite successful job training provided through 1B4J. MLSC grantees that will provide legal services at 1B4J training sites are Homeless Persons Representation Project, Maryland Legal Aid and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. Legal interventions are critical components to develop productive individuals and strong communities by providing cost-effective approaches to resolving civil legal issues and achieving justice for clients.

For more information about 1B4J, please visit www.oedworks.com.

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About MOED: The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development is committed to building a strong workforce for our city by developing meaningful partnerships with the local business community and connecting Baltimore citizens of all ages and backgrounds with jobs and pathways to careers. In fiscal year 2015 MOED hosted more than 93,000 visits from city residents at our career center locations, connected more than 1,200 people with computer literacy training at our digital learning labs, and placed more than 9,200 individuals in jobs – including nearly 7,000 young people through the 2015 YouthWorks summer jobs program – and assisted more than 1,100 businesses through our Employ Baltimore – Ready to Work for You strategy. Please visit www.oedworks.com for more information.

About MLSC: MLSC was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1982 to receive and distribute funds to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal assistance to low-income persons. During the past year, thirty-six MLSC grantee organizations provided legal help to more than 160,000 low-income Marylanders faced with foreclosure, eviction, domestic violence, consumer fraud, child custody, and other legal issues of critical importance. From its inception, MLSC has made grants totaling close to $200 million to provide services in more than two million legal matters for low-income Marylanders unable to afford legal assistance. These matters involve basic human needs such as shelter, safety and sustenance that directly impact the health and well being of individuals, families and communities. For more information, see www.mlsc.org.