Governor Moore Announces Maryland’s Commitment to the Baltimore Workforce Hub, Highlights Local Job Creation, Economic Opportunity, and Major Infrastructure Projects

Published: 11/13/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, Governor Wes Moore joined Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Mitch Landrieu, and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen at Carver Vocational School to announce Amtrak, Baltimore City, and the state of Maryland’s commitment to support the Baltimore Workforce Hub. Through the Workforce Hubs Initiative, the Biden-Harris Administration is partnering with local officials, employers, unions, and other stakeholders to ensure a skilled workforce is ready to meet the demand for labor driven by historic public and private investments.

“In the state of Maryland, we will work with the Biden Administration to ensure that federal projects in Baltimore operate under the highest possible labor standards, including the Maryland Department of Transportation’s commitment to labor agreements for a number of strategic projects across the agency portfolio,” said Gov. Moore. “Partnership drives progress and we are going to keep moving in partnership with our friends in the White House, in Congress, and with our unions to create good-paying jobs.”

In May, the Biden-Harris Administration ann​ounced that Baltimore would be one of the five workforce hubs in the nation. The commitments and goals of support include hiring Baltimore residents to work on the Frederick Douglas Tunnel project; providing more union job opportunities to Baltimore residents; training workers for construction careers; and scaling the work across the Northeast Corridor.

Governor Moore speaks during the Workforce Hub announcement press conference. 

Baltimore will be the site of historic investments in transportation. Construction will soon begin on the Amtrak Frederick Douglass Tunnel, which is receiving $4.7 billion in investment from the U.S. Department of Transportation and $450 million from the Maryland Department of Transportation. This project will start with approximately 300 workers and increase to 1,000 workers at its peak. The project includes the reconstruction of the West Baltimore MARC Station, which will support the continued enhancement of transportation assets for West Baltimore alongside the Baltimore Red Line and West Baltimore United projects. 

Over the next 5 years, several other federally-assisted projects will begin construction in Baltimore. A $20 million RAISE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will fund improvements to Mondawmin Transit Station to enhance pedestrian safety and accessibility. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded $396 million in the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act financing to Baltimore to improve water infrastructure. Through construction and operation, the projects are expected to create 2,700 jobs. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation is investing $24 billion in the Northeast Corridor before 2026. The Baltimore Workforce Hub can set a precedent for how Amtrak’s projects help provide job opportunities to economically disadvantaged communities in the project area through a combination of local hire agreements and tailored investments in training. Amtrak and North America’s Building Trades Unions have already included local hire as a goal in the memorandum of understanding that governs construction of Amtrak projects. They will ensure that local communities benefit from the jobs on Amtrak projects along the Northeast Corridor.

The Baltimore Workforce Hub will be led by a partnership of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative, and the Baltimore-DC Building Trades Union. The Baltimore-DC Building Trades Union will commit to adding at least 200 additional apprentices over the next five years to meet the need for transportation projects in Baltimore with project labor agreements. Apprentices will be recruited and trained through a variety of new partnerships.