In 2013, I worked with my colleagues in the City Council to pass a landmark Local Hiring Law, which required any company receiving city contracts or subsidies to ensure that at least 51percent of all new employees are qualified Baltimore City residents. It was an uphill climb to get this legislation passed, but it has been a rousing success: for all applicable contracts, 60 percent of new hires have been City residents.
I will build on the success of my Local Hiring Law, continuing to ensure that it is fully and vigorously enforced. We must look for other ways to leverage City investment to train and hire Baltimore City residents. An excellent example of this is the City’s YouthWorks program. After the unrest in April, I worked to find funding to allow thousands of additional young who were interested in employment a chance to participate in this summer jobs program. I will look for more opportunities to expand this program so that our young people can get real-world job experience. We must also expand the use of apprenticeships to bring more residents into the workforce. I will work with my friends in labor and across City and State government so that more of our City residents can get the training they need to find good paying careers. Finally, I will work with the General Assembly to more-rapidly increase the State’s minimum wage to ensure that city residents who work an honest, full-time job are able to put a roof over their heads and provide properly for their families.