Meet Baltimore City Water Industry Youth

Water Industry Graduating Class

Workforce Challenge 

The Mayor's Office of Employment Development created a program to serve out-of-school and out-of-work young adults interested in a water industry career. 

Workforce Solution

The Baltimore City Water Industry Youth Career Mentoring Program is a partnership with Baltimore City’s Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works and Chesapeake Water Environment Association.

The goal of this pilot program that launched in 2015 is to educate local young adults about the water industry and its career opportunities as well as develop a pipeline of future workers with the right skills to fill entry-level positions. The program targets Baltimore City residents between the ages of 18 and 24 who have their high school diploma or GED, but are unemployed or underemployed, and not engaged in post-secondary education or job training. This venture is a unique merge of the public and private sector water industries working together to train and hire local talent instead of following the standard outsourcing procedures. Through MOED’s Youth Opportunity (YO) Baltimore program serving out-of-school and out-of-work young adults, 19 youth received career coaching, worksite tours, job shadowing experiences and summer job opportunities related to the water industry during an eight-month period. Of the original participants, 15 are now employed in full-time jobs – 13 of which are working for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works. 

Outcomes & Benefits

Recent high school graduate Darrius Pugh was previously working at a dead-end job when he heard about this no-cost job training program. Upon completion, he was surprised at just how effective this program was. “When I got the call from DPW with my [full-time] job offer, that’s when it hit me that this process was totally worth it,” said Darrius. He also has big plans for his new career in the water industry. “I plan to go as far as I can with the DPW. I'd like to move up and become a supervisor in the water department, and I think the skills, knowledge and relationships I was able to build through this program will help me get there."

All graduates have successfully found employment in the Baltimore City water industry. 

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