KRA Among Businesses Acknowledged by Baltimore Mayor

The invitation, addressed to Yvette Clark,  KRA Lead Job Developer at the Baltimore  Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program [1] read, “You’re Invited.  Please join Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Greater Baltimore Committee President & CEO Donald C. Fry for a Thank You Luncheon for your role in making the 2013 Hire One Youth campaign a success!”

Pursuant to the Luncheon, a Press Release, issued by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, headlined “Mayor Rawlings-Blake Acknowledges Hire One Youth Businesses, Looks to Further Their Engagement.”  It continued, “ Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Fry thanked all the businesses for their partnership this summer and acknowledged that 100 Hire One Youth participants continued to work beyond the six-week duration of the summer program, and 45 of them are continuing to work for these organizations today.”

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

For the event, which was held at the Rawlings-Fulton Golf Club, Knowlton R. Atterbeary, KRA Corporation President & CEO; Clark; and Ernestine Chambers, KRA/Baltimore Lead Career Agent, joined the representatives of other successful local businesses that played a significant role in the success of the 2013 summer-jobs campaign, an integral part of Baltimore’s Hire One Youth program.

The KRA/Baltimore Program was among those organizations that assisted in recruiting more than 5,200 youth and young adults for the 6-week summer-job opportunities, with more than  500 Youth Workers employed directly by Hire One Youth member-organizations from a variety of industries, including construction, hospitality, and healthcare.

In her remarks, the Mayor stated, “We should all be proud that our public-private partnerships resulted in another successful year for YouthWorks [2].  These meaningful employment opportunities not only benefited them and the places they worked, but the $5,000,000 they earned in wages helped to support our local economy.”

According to the Press Release, Fry has served as the Chair of the Mayor’s Hire One Youth Leadership Team for the past 2 years, and was instrumental in attracting “a greater and more direct involvement from businesses in providing meaningful jobs that develop work skills and help launch careers. The 117 Hire One Youth companies that participated in 2013 represent a 30 percent increase over last year.”

Fry continued, “Through Hire One Youth, young people are gaining real-world work experience in high growth business sectors in Baltimore and making genuine contributions to the organizations.  The growing interest among local companies to join Hire One Youth and help to expand it is a testament to the fact that business is interested in playing a direct role in developing the city’s future workforce now.”

A genuine highlight of the event occurred when Briah Myers, who had been hired by the Hyatt Regency, spoke as a representative of the young people present, addressing the audience about the importance of this employment opportunity for her.  In addition, Nathalie Rytting, Hyatt Regency HR Director, and  Coretta Bennett, Turner Construction Project Engineer, spoke about the benefits of being Hire One Youth employers.

Clark concluded, “KRA was proud to be a part of such a successful initiative. The KRA/Baltimore Job Developers and Career Agents were totally committed to reaching out to our employer partners, and were successful in getting commitments from Walters Relocations, Inc, a commercial and residential moving and storage company; the Downtown Cultural Arts Center; and Trye Butler Mayo Griffith, a law and consulting firm; among others.   It is very rewarding to have partners such as these employers who joined with KRA to support our workforce development efforts on behalf of the youth of the Baltimore community.”

Already gearing up for next year’s summer jobs program, the Mayor’s website reads, “Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is inviting every employer in Baltimore to step up to the plate and support Baltimore City’s YouthWorks campaign in 2014. If every employer will – at a minimum – Hire One Youth, our city’s young people will be productively engaged this summer and all of Baltimore will benefit. Please join Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s citywide effort to make the summer of 2014 work for everyone – businesses, youth and our economy.”  As it the past, KRA will undertake an active role in supporting the Mayor’s 2014 campaign.  For more information about YouthWorks and Hire One Youth, please visit

[1] Funded by the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, the KRA/Baltimore Program offers customers receiving Temporary Cash Assistance a wide range of work-readiness activities, including comprehensive assessments and unsubsidized Community Work Experience opportunities.  To benefit area employers, the Program provides Occupation Skills Training for in-demand fields, including Healthcare, Information Technology, and Tourism & Hospitality.

[2] YouthWorks is operated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, with the assistance of employers and workforce partners, and financial support from a variety of contributors.