Mayor Pugh Announces Baltimore's YH20 Water Mentoring Program Now Accepting Applications

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh announces that recruitment is underway for the next class of YH20 Water Mentoring Program participants.  Applications will be accepted Jan. 2 through Feb. 8. To date, over 50 residents have completed the program, which prepares young Baltimoreans for entry-level jobs in the water industry.

YH20 is a public-private job partnership, spearheaded by Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) and partners in the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) and the Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA).  The program meets a need in the water industry as seasoned workers leave or retire. “The development of our young people is also key to the development of our local economy,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “This YH2O program offers the prospect of a meaningful career in the water industry while also creating a pipeline of a new generation of citizens eager to pursue a career of public service. I encourage young men and women of our community to apply for a place in this mentoring program as a way to expand both their sights and career options.”

Launched in 2015, YH20 provides on-the-job-training with support from water industry veterans, who also serve as career mentors and coaches for participants.  The three-phase program provides career exploration, job shadowing, and tours to help familiarize workers with the water industry.  Participants also receive job readiness training and a summer job through YouthWorks before graduation, which enhances learned work skills and training.  By the time the six-month program is complete, workers will have interviewed and received placement in a full-time job at DPW, or in public or private water utilities.  Past YH20 graduates have attained such DPW positions as Laborers, Community Aides, Operations Technician Apprentices, and Customer Care Analysts.

YH2O has become a national model for other water utilities.  DPW has received numerous inquiries about the program from utilities in cities a far away as Texas and Mississippi, a few have already adopted the mentoring program. In 2018 the Water Environment Foundation (WEF), a global network of water quality professionals and associations, honored the program with a Public Communication and Outreach award for its significant accomplishments. 

The program is open to Baltimore City residents between the ages of 18 and 24 who have a high school diploma or GED, are unemployed or underemployed, and not currently engaged in post-secondary education or job training. A driver’s license is preferred, but not required.  There is no cost involved for participants.

Applications for the 2019 program may be obtained by calling Anthony L. Greene in the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, at 410-396-6722.  Applications may be downloaded from the DPW or MOED website.  However, the forms must be completed and returned to MOED at 101 West 24th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, by the Feb. 8, 2019, deadline.

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