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              Thursday December 11, 2008 8:00am – 11:00am
        The ARC of Baltimore     5161 Metro Drive, Seton Business Park
                          Baltimore, Maryland 21215

PRESENT:       Michael Alexander, Mary Ellen Branham, Michael Breeden, Donnice
Brown, Alice Cole, Ernest Dorsey, Al FitzSimons, Elaine Garven, Callie Gordy, James
Hamlin, Bruce Jennings, Clyde Johnson, Yariela Kerr-Donovan, Ivan Leshinsky, Tim
Lewis, Billie Malcolm, Jacquelene Massey, Liliana Mostovoy, Patricia Parrilla, Doroli
Sewell, Karen Sitnick, Deb Silcox, Jeff Smith, Jennie Smith-Campbell, Carolynnette
Snowden, Minister William Stanfield, Lorne Steedley, Melanie Styles, Sabrina Sutton,
Francesca Tubaya, Howard Washington, Deidre Webb, Meintje Westerbeek, Jo Ann
Williams, Jack Yates

Welcome: The meeting was called to order at 8:25am. Alice Cole and Karen Sitnick
welcomed everyone to the BWIB Youth Council Quarterly Meeting and acknowledged
the Youth Council and committee members’ work and support throughout the year.
Introductions went around the table and new members introduced themselves and their
business/organizational affiliation.

Old Business: The minutes from BWIB Youth Council Strategic Planning Session/
Quarterly Meeting held September 11, 2008 and minutes from all sub-committees’
meetings held between June 11th and September 10th, 2008 were reviewed. With a
motion for approval all were accepted for file.

Jeff Smith reported that the BWIB met and re-visited its public policy priorities, which are
current, consistent and relevant to what’s going on in Annapolis.

The principle priority for the state is the workforce delivery system. Moving forward into
next year presents an anticipated one billion dollar shortfall, which necessitates
maintaining available funds to targeted investments. In regard to Baltimore City, there
are funds in the state budget to support the re-entry center, which is considered a
worthwhile, targeted investment at the state level.

In addition, the statewide Maryland Summer Youth Connection Program provides
funding for localities to perform summer youth programming. The state will be
encouraged to continue its investment in the YouthWorks program.

BRAC is also a priority. State and federal support will be provided to incoming BRAC
employees, offering additional training and employment assistance for job seekers.

Promoting adult literacy is another BWIB priority. The transition process of adult literacy
from the State Department of Education to the Department of Labor, Licensing and
Regulations is closing out and the final report will be presented during the legislative
Currently, the BWIB is working with the state to facilitate the process of transitioning ex-
offenders into the workforce, and address issues related to obtaining identification to
make it easier for ex-offenders to begin job search. At the federal level, Congress is
being encouraged to provide more funding to the workforce development system.

Alice Cole reported that she attended the Youth Affinity Group meeting last week. The
general consensus of state youth directors was to support legislation to increase funding
for the Maryland Summer Youth Connections Program, which is endorsed by the BWIB
Youth Council Advocacy Committee, relative to Baltimore City and YouthWorks.

She also stated that the Advocacy Committee continues to support Compulsory
Education requirements for young people, education, training and job placement, and
services for disconnected youth, all of which are a part of the full BWIB Public Policy
from the Youth Council perspective.

Beginning this summer, the Department of Recreation and Parks and daycare centers
will perform criminal background investigations (CBI) on youth that they hire. The
background check would entail fingerprinting and full background investigations. It was
explained that CBI’s have been done before, but on a smaller scale, by daycare centers
and other organizations. However, this is new for Baltimore City Department of
Recreation and Parks, they want to become accredited with the Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene and are increasing their requirements, which include criminal
background investigations as part of the hiring process.

The average cost is $37.25 per youth. There is state legislation for a waiver for the state
portion of the cost, and we would only have to pay the federal portion of the cost, which
is $17.25. However, the waiver only covers volunteers. Senator Gladden introduced the
legislation. (First introduced in 2006, it passed in the General Assembly in 2007). The
Council discussed making a request for that kind of legislation to support youth for the
summer so that an added expense would not be incurred to funding subsidized
employment:       Areas of concern included timing when legislation is introduced,
articulating an effective date concurrent with the YouthWorks program, and making sure
that it is a Baltimore-specific bill to keep fiscal note low as possible. If the decision is
made to solicit this legislation, the Council considered contacting Senator Gladden, or
another legislator, to determine supportive interest. Further discussion and review will
be presented to the full Board.

Billie Malcolm presented an overview of the accomplishments of The Dropout Prevention
and Recovery Taskforce over the past eighteen months. With the Taskforce’s decision
to mirror Philadelphia’s Project U-Turn, strides have been to gather information, increase
awareness and involvement. Presentations of Dr. Belfanz’s and Robert Murphy’s
research studies and statistical information supported the taskforce’s mission to address
and make a difference in Baltimore’s efforts to have a positive impact on Baltimore City
School System’s dropout crisis. Billie Malcolm stated that, as a result of the taskforce’s
efforts to bring to the forefront Baltimore City’s need to address graduation rates, the
school system has shown an interest in merging with the DPR Taskforce to address
these issues. Baltimore City Schools has been re-awarded $2,000 from America’s
Promise to spearhead a project. Bianca Pilewski, Director of Guidance will be heading
up a taskforce, to this end, making it relevant to Baltimore City School’s needs.
Notification to join will be sent out. DPR will be presenting a plan in April to the school
board (the City Taskforce) to overhaul how graduation rates are viewed. The Youth
Council approved the suggested partnership between the DPR and the school system,
and commended the accomplishment.

The Try Out Employment/Internships RFP was disseminated in September to bring on a
third vendor under WIA. The RFP is an effort to begin year-round employment for youth.
The proposal review will be held December 16th. Alice detailed the intent of the RFP,
relative to the Mayor’s goals to ensure that in-school youth have work-based learning
opportunities throughout the school year, which is an expansion of CTE’s efforts in the
school system. Once the proposals are reviewed and the ratings have been written, the
information will be shared during the Youth Council’s March 2009 quarterly meeting.

Donnice Brown reported that the first quarter providers’ monitoring held in October went
very well. The second quarter will end December 31st and volunteers are needed for the
upcoming January 22nd providers’ monitoring.        Meetings are held with the service
providers on a monthly and individual basis to share updates and to answer questions.
Program participants are kept informed of MOED’s customized training programs and
given the opportunity to participate. Most recently two HCCA program participants
successfully completed the GNA/GMA customized training. The Career Academy
launched a mentoring program. Partnering with MOED staff and City School employees
at the 24th Street location, the mentoring program is an effort to support students,
mentor, and counsel and improve student attendance. Donnice referred to the service
providers’ reports provided in the meeting packets as she explained that recruitment and
retention remain a challenge. Both service providers meet with MIS staff on a monthly
basis to ensure that record keeping for data validation from the state is updated and
accurate. The results of the most recent DLLR validation were noteworthy: It was
reported that Mary Ellen Branham reviewed 146 files, with no audit exceptions. MOED’s
MIS staff was commended for doing an excellent job. HCCA and the Career Academy
have been encouraged to review their program’s six-month progress, and examine
program models for areas of effectiveness and improvements. A technical assistance
conference would be held on April 30, 2009 at the Conference Center at Maritime
Institute in Linthicum, Maryland. The theme is “Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce
Today.” Presenters are being solicited for the morning and afternoon sessions.

Council members referred to the Youth Opportunity (YO!) newsletter and brochure
included in meeting packets. Ernest Dorsey discussed two new training opportunities
being offered through The Chesapeake Center for Youth Development (CCYD) and the
Open Society Institute. The Chesapeake Center for Youth Development program offers
young people hands-on training in construction trade positions. Those who complete the
program will receive job placement assistance from CCYD and YO! job developers. YO!
participants are also enrolled in an introductory fitness program, as a result of The Open
Society Institute’s fellowship award. Successful completers will receive employment
assistance once they become certified.

In addition, Youth Opportunity received an award from the state to work with young
people aging out of foster care. The 16-month program will be initiated in March 2009.
Karen explained that the grant was a result of collaboration between Secretary Brenda
Donald (Department of Human Resources) and Secretary Tom Perez (Department of
Labor, License and Regulations), to bring together the work of the human resources and
workforce development arenas. The Department of Human Resources funded $5 million
to the Department of Labor, License and Regulations and disseminated the RFP to the
twelve local workforce areas.     The focus of the proposal is to develop a seamless
transition for young people aging out of foster care to access Youth Opportunity and its’
partnership programs’ myriad of supportive services. Although Baltimore has strong
partnerships with adult and TANF populations through the Department of Social
Services, there is no systemic connection between agencies and organizations to
provide services for foster care youth.      Karen stated that the grant is not a Youth
Opportunity initiative, but a systematic approach for Baltimore City to meet the needs of
youth aging out of foster care. It was noted that Youth Opportunity’s national program
evaluation was recently released and Baltimore ranked very well. The evaluation
showed that across the country, 50% of the out-of-school population are enrolled in the
program, reflecting an increase in the number of out-of-school youth re-engaged in
education, career training and attending college. An executive summary will be issued

The Baltimore Homeless Youth Initiative (BHYI) continues to move forward with it goals
of reducing homelessness, impacting rules and policies, and moving the BHYI’s agenda
into the government systems to develop a statewide Homeless and Runaway Youth Act.
The M.A.N.Y. Mid-Atlantic Conference was held October 27 – 29, 2008 in Annapolis,
Maryland. Representatives from private and local, county and state government were in
attendance, representing Baltimore County, Montgomery, Prince Georges, and
Worchester counties. Youth service providers, organizations and agencies attended
workshops and exchanged information concerning homeless youth initiative
accomplishments, goals, and funding. The conference was also an opportunity for
participation in policy networking. BHYI’s report presented policy issues, outreach and
engagement of youth, programming and capacity building, which generated an interest
and discussion among those in attendance to partner with other jurisdictions and
representatives across the region.

The development of the Restoration Gardens project is progressively moving forward
with Homes for America and securing funding. Updates on activities will be shared.

The YouthWorks 2008 Campaign was a tremendous success. The committee received
a round of applause as Jim Hamlin reported that with Mayor Sheila Dixon’s support, over
6,500 youth were placed in summer jobs. Worksite solicitation has already begun, to
meet next year’s youth summer employment goals. In the continuous effort to expand
community involvement, Jim is collaborating with the Pennsylvania Avenue
Redevelopment Initiative to discuss ways to increase neighborhood awareness and
youth involvement.

Ron Peterson and Bishop Douglas Miles have been chosen by Mayor Dixon to chair the
YouthWorks 2009 Solicitation Campaign. The Mayor’s YouthWorks 2009 Press
Conference will be held tomorrow on the first floor of City Hall. Elaine Garven explained
that the theme will focus on announcing YouthWorks 2009’s goal to meet last year’s
employment goals. Two young people who participated in YouthWorks 2008 will be
speaking at tomorrow’s press conference.

Karen emphasized the need to have more varied worksites and opportunities youth
during the summer. Additional funding and good worksites are necessary to fulfill our
commitment. Mr. Miles will be working with the Jim and the YouthWorks Committee to
identify worksites in areas where worksites are needed.
YouthWorks 2009 Preliminary Timeline (referenced in 12/20/08 YouthWorks meeting minutes):

   -   Summer job applications: Currently available online
   -   January 12, 2009 through March 13, 2009: Summer Job Registration
   -   March 31, 2009: Worksite proposals are due back to the YouthWorks
   -   May 22, 2009: Notification of youth worksite assignments will begin
   -   Summer job program will begin June 22, 2009 and will end July 31, 2009, based
       on one cycle.

Al FitzSimons reported that efforts are being made to market apprenticeship programs.
Youth Council members reviewed a copy of the diagramed model of how the Maryland
Apprenticeship and Training Program interface with apprenticeship programs and one
stop centers. Although funds and resources are limited, this approach would better
utilize apprenticeship as a vehicle for training and education and develop a more
meaningful relationship between one-stops and apprenticeship and training to meet
customers’ needs. Roger Lash has been instrumental in promoting pre-apprenticeship
training to generate more interest among high school students. In addition, Alice met
with Robert Hosely of the International Union of Operating Engineers to discuss their
apprenticeship program, and ways to generate interest and knowledge about career
opportunities and training. CTE will assist with identifying a select group of students to
participate in a summer program. Plans for an on-site tour are in progress.

Strategic Planning Session was held in September to map a plan to implement the
Youth Council goals. The document resulting from the planning session was forwarded
to all Youth Council members prior to the December quarterly meeting, to review for
accuracy of content, and for comments. Alice referred members to the document for
further discussion and input:

In response to Priority 1, Build the City’s Future Workforce: Recommended strategies
are being implemented to meet specified action items. Two major fairs were held to
locate and encourage students to return to school. Concerns include:
- having resources to meet the needs of returning high school students who require
supportive retention services, and
- building relationships with community organizations and youth service programs to
support students and the school system’s efforts.

In response to Priority 4, Build Better Connections Between and Among Business and
Educational Institutions: Although additional funding resources would be required,
establishing neighborhood resource centers to serve hard-to-reach young people was
considered as a vehicle to reach young people, give them access to information,
services and activities to connect them with education programs, job readiness training
and employment. Developing a marketing plan to promote BWIB Youth Council was
discussed. Increased visibility would create more resourceful partnerships to work
toward implementing specific goals and specified action items. A meeting will be
scheduled for Youth Council members to further communicate suggestions, comments,
concerns and other modifications.

The BWIB Youth Council Quarterly Meeting adjourned at 11:00AM. The next quarterly
meeting will be held March 12, 2009.


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