The Open Society Institute-Baltimore is awarding $1.5 million to four local nonprofits to help low-income residents who face major barriers to employment. The gift will leverage an additional $1.5 million in state and federal funds.
The grants will provide job training and placement for individuals with past criminal convictions. The $1.5 million will enable 141 individuals with criminal histories to be trained for jobs with career paths, such as nursing and geriatrics, advanced Microsoft Office certification, lead abatement and mold remediation, weatherization retrofitting, construction, culinary arts, construction and mechanical engineering. In addition, employers will be offered incentives—a wage subsidy for up to six months—to hire those who complete the training programs.
This funding is part of a $6 million grant awarded to OSI-Baltimore by the Open Society Institute’s Special Fund for Poverty Alleviation, an initiative created by philanthropist George Soros in response to the recession. The fund helps leverage state and federal monies nationwide to strengthen the social safety net and expand economic opportunities for low-income people. The OSI-Baltimore grants require a one-to-one match, with most of the matching funds coming from public dollars.
Last fall, OSI-Baltimore awarded the first round of grants for nine Baltimore organizations and one city agency—with a special emphasis on job training, drug addiction treatment, dental care for the homeless and other urgent needs.
The OSI-Baltimore grants will be awarded to:
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