This month’s Spotlight! is shining brightly on the contribution made by the KRA Corporation Baltimore Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program* to a massive recruitment/hiring effort spearheaded by Walters Relocations, Inc. (WRI), a valued KRA/Baltimore business customer. Sponsored and hosted by John Walters, Founder, CEO, and President of WRI**—which has specialized in commercial and residential relocation services for more than 25 years, the Summer Employment Appreciation Event celebrated WRI’s hiring of 70 employees!
According to Yvette Clark, “Mr. Walters, a long-established, recognized leader in our community, felt there was more he could do to promote workforce development throughout the Greater Baltimore City area. So, he reached out to several individuals and organizations to assist in a large recruitment and hiring initiative. In addition to KRA/Baltimore, WRI was assisted by Coppin State and Morgan Universities, both of which provide job-placement opportunities for students; the Mayor’s Office; and members of the Presidents’ RoundTable [PRT], a very prestigious organization of Baltimore-area African American businesses.”
Clark, who was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), continued, “WRI’s actions contributed significantly to job creation in a market that is in dire need of an infusion of employment opportunities. As KRA/Baltimore’s Lead Job Developer, I had assisted WRI with the placement of several of our customers in 2012, and was eager to use our resources to assist in meeting WRI’s need for 70 seasonal workers.
While Mr. Walters’ workforce objective was to fill an employment gap for the extremely busy summer months, simultaneously, he fulfilled KRA’s development goal by providing our customers with opportunities for hands-on work experience, professional development, and a notable increase in their levels of personal accountability.”
Of his experience with the KRA customers he hired to assist in moving the States Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City, as well as the relocation of various administrative offices for Baltimore County School System, Walters stated, “It seems as though they have a special fire in their belly to work. Start time is 7:30am but many of them arrive an hour early. They receive directions without pushback. They are reliable and hardworking. Often times they have taken the initiative to complete open tasks that were not formally assigned.”
A highlight of the day was the Keynote Address delivered by Dr. Robert L. Wallace, Author and Founder/CEO of BITHGROUP Technologies, Inc., an award-winning Information Technology Consulting firm and Certified Minority Business Enterprise. Dr. Wallace, a graduate of Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, has produced five best-selling books over a span of 11 years. Dr. Wallace’s message to the group is mirrored by his credo on the company website, that ““when companies leverage their two most essential assets — knowledge workers and technology — the opportunity to achieve sustained competitive advantage increases.” Dr. Wallace was also able to share copies of one of his books, The Ssese Principles Guidelines for Creating Wealth Through Faith, with a few members of the group.
Another highlight of the day, which included an “al fresco” luncheon for all, was an inspirational discussion moderated by Walters, with contributions from a learned, successful, and prestigious group of panelists: Raymond Briggs, Director of Sales for WRI; Ms. Clark; Armethia Cruise, President & CEO of The Aspen Group; Barry Hampton, President of Star Associates; Joe Haskins, President of Harbor Bank; Sabrina Jones, Vice President of Operations for WRI and Board Chair of the BCCC; John Jake Oliver, Owner & Chief Editor of the Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper; Charles Owens, President of the BCCC; Stanly Tucker, President & CEO of the Meridian Management Group; Dr. Wallace; and The Honorable Jack Young, President of the Baltimore City Council.
The panelists shared words of wisdom with the 50 summer workers that were able to attend the festivities, encouraging them to stay motivated and emphasizing that as hard working and dependable employees, they should continue the momentum started by WRI. Several business-owner panelists focused on their own experiences of having come from humble beginnings, but having the drive, support, and opportunity to change not only their own circumstances, but those of others as well.
Mr. Alex Dixon, Vice President & Assistant General Manager of the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino, was not able to attend, but sent this message to Clark: “Thank You Yvette, I am sorry I was not able to attend, but I wanted to make sure I connected with what sounds like a great group of people. In terms of our hiring, we will begin to ramp up significantly in Q2 of next year. We will be working closely with a coordinator in the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. She will begin next week and I look forward to connecting you two once she gets settled. I look forward to meeting you. All the best, Alex.”
Clark added, “In addition to WRI and the Horseshoe, KRA/Baltimore has also formed partnerships with The Aspen Group and BITHGROUP, and we look forward to becoming an integral resource for their staffing needs.”
Nate’ Gordon, KRA Corporate Operations Manager and KRA/Baltimore Program Manager, concluded, “We are very proud to have been part of the hiring drive and the Appreciation Event, including the opportunity to contribute to the panel discussion. Mr. Walters’ efforts have definitely impacted KRA’s mission of developing workers and strengthening communities, as well as the workforce enhancement goals of PRT members and other community enterprises and partners. A number of PRT members…who serve on a wide array of community and corporate boards throughout the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan Area…wield significant influence in the business community, so it is heartening to know that they have a high level of regard and respect for WRI’s initiative. Many asserted that ‘it had such a positive impact on the community’, with Ms. Cruise, stating ‘Ultimately, we absolutely recognize the need for efforts like this throughout Baltimore City’.”
* 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, unsubsidized CWE opportunities, and job placement. To benefit area employers, the Program also provides occupation-specific skills training for the in-demand fields of Healthcare, Information Technology, Tourism & Hospitality, and Early Childhood Development.
** Learn more about WRI at: http://waltersrelocations.com/ and the PRT, a results-driven organization that strives to impact access to opportunities for all minority entrepreneurs, enhance the quality of life in the community, help fellow members build business capacities, and support its members through sharing resources and peer experiences, at: http://presidentsroundtable.net/