Baltimore to Invest $55M in ARPA Funds to Equitable Economic Recovery

Yesterday, Mayor Brandon Scott announced a plan to invest $55 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in “equitable economic recovery” measures.

Using a portion of the $641 million in ARPA funds Baltimore City received for COVID-19 and economic recovery, Mayor Scott says he plans to invest substantially in the City through an equity lens, to the total of $55 million.

The plan includes $30 million to expand workforce development and job placements for youth and disadvantaged job seekers. The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) will receive $30 million over four fiscal years to expand workforce development efforts and job placements for young people and disadvantaged job seekers. 

A press release from Mayor Scott’s office explains how MOED will use the funds:

  • Hire Up ($5.2 Million) — A transitional jobs program with City and quasi-government agencies. These $15 per hour, 6-month positions will enable at least 220 low-income residents to earn wages and support the economic recovery of their households, while also delivering public services that will support a cleaner, safer, more welcoming City;
  • Train Up ($8.9 Million) — This program will offer occupational skills training, industry-recognized credentials, and $100/week stipends for nearly 1,000 residents to upskill and obtain jobs in high-demand industries in the region, such as biotechnology, business services, healthcare, and information technology;
  • YouthWorks ($8.4 Million) — This investment will allow the City to serve 4,000 youth over two summers and provide employment opportunities for 100 youth during the school year through the first-ever, year-round YouthWorks Academy. MOED has operated the summer YouthWorks program for over 30 years, providing valuable work experience for city residents ages 14 to 21; 
  • Workforce Supports Programming and Wage Subsidies ($2.9 Million) — This programming will provide behavioral health, legal services, adult education, financial empowerment counseling, and career navigation to residents participating in Hire Up or Train Up. In addition, this investment will support wage subsidies for small, minority- and women-owned businesses that hire residents impacted by the pandemic.

Scott’s plan also includes the creation of a $25 million Economic Recovery Fund, which will provide a lifeline to the city’s small, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and artists and creators. The press release explains how the Recovery Fund will work and the organizations that it is partnering with to distribute awards:

  • Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) will receive $11.7 million to support small business relief, with a focus on providing a lifeline to the City’s local, small business – particularly Black, Brown, and women-owned businesses;
  • Baltimore Civic Fund (BCF)will receive $8.3 million to provide aid to over 300 Baltimore nonprofit organizations, extending the reach of previous rounds of Nonprofit Relief funding;
  • Family League of Baltimore will receive $2 million to support Baltimore’s childcare industry;
  • Baltimore’s Office of Promotion and Arts (BOPA)will receive $500,000 to support local artists and creators, both in direct grants and capacity building;
  • Visit Baltimore will receive $2.5 million to aid the hospitality industry, more specifically Baltimore hotels.  

 Read the full press release from Baltimore City.