Resource Center Will Provide Jobs, Healthcare Training & Wraparound Support to Individuals Who Lack Opportunity in Underserved Area
DWD is a Pivotal Tenant in New 120,000 Sq. Ft. Southern Streams Health and Wellness Center, Helping to Empower and Improve East Baltimore Community
The Jack and Nancy Dwyer Workforce Development Center, Inc. (“Dwyer Workforce Development” or “DWD”) today announced its opening of a Dwyer Scholar Resource Center (“Resource Center”) in East Baltimore, which will serve as an anchor in the community to provide resources and tools that might otherwise not be accessible, including job training, life skills programming, financial literacy education, and more. DWD partnered with Southern Baptist Church (SBC), Mary Harvin Transformation Center Community Development Corporation (CDC), Bishop Donte Hickman, and the East Baltimore Revitalization Plan to bring life-changing opportunities and resources to empower community members to change the trajectory of their lives for the better.
Today, DWD CEO Barb Clapp and Bishop Hickman signed an official memorandum of understanding and celebrated the opening of the Resource Center at the Mary Harvin Transformation Center – 1600 N. Chester Street. The Resource Center will be permanently housed in the new 120,000 sq. ft. Southern Streams Health and Wellness Center, currently in development at 1501 N. Chester Street.
A unique 501(c)(3) nonprofit and healthcare career training program, DWD provides free healthcare job training, job placement services, and need-based wraparound services, such as financial support for housing, childcare, transportation, and more, to underserved individuals seeking opportunities in the healthcare industry. Dwyer Scholars are paired with case managers who work closely with them to identify career ladder goals to achieve over several years. After reaching those goals, Dwyer Scholars are awarded scholarships to achieve their Registered Nurse license or to pursue additional healthcare training.
“We are elated to partner with Bishop Hickman, Southern Baptist Church, and the community to open a Resource Center in East Baltimore to help empower and improve the underserved area. Our missions are very aligned – focused on creating opportunity for individuals and working creatively to accomplish that goal – and with many of our Scholars living here, opening in East Baltimore made perfect sense,” said Dwyer Workforce Development CEO Barb Clapp. “We’re excited to further help eliminate systemic poverty-related barriers for our Dwyer Scholars, recruit more Dwyer Scholars, employ community members, and so much more. We look forward to partnering with Southern Streams tenants and will activate our extensive network of likeminded partners to join us.”
One of the many challenges underserved individuals face is the lack of access to online training and resources that can help start a career. The Resource Center will provide free access to virtual healthcare job training, helping to remove barriers that prevent people from getting out of poverty. The Resource Center will offer comprehensive tools and support, including access to computers; meeting rooms with Wi-Fi; education on taxes and insurance open enrollment; personal safety advocates; and more – all at no cost to Dwyer Scholars. Dwyer Scholars will meet with case managers and get support with coursework and job readiness – keeping them on track to succeed. In the future, the Resource Center will expand offerings to include childcare and affordable housing to further support career advancement.
Additionally, the Resource Center will serve as a Dwyer Scholar recruitment hub where community members can learn about DWD’s training program – an opportunity many may not know is available. DWD will hire East Baltimore community members to work at the facility, and it will extend use of the space and access to resources to nonprofit partners to further mission impact throughout the community.
“Southern Baptist Church and Mary Harvin Transformation Center CDC are extremely proud and grateful to partner with and facilitate the empowering services of Dwyer Workforce Development in our Broadway East community and surrounding communities in East Baltimore,” said Bishop Hickman. “For the last 20 years, our mission and mantra for our community development initiatives have been ‘Restoring People as We Rebuild Properties.’ We know that building buildings and physical structures alone will not change the trajectory of our communities without seeking to intentionally and positively impact and improve the human capital of the existing and new residents. It is imperative that neglected communities within our city be afforded quality and affordable housing, healthcare, food subsidy, early and excellent education, public safety, transportation and employment training and life sustaining career opportunities. This is why it is incredibly important for us to have service providers and partners like DWD who bring a wealth of expertise, care, and commitment to the people they serve. And together we will help to encourage, equip, and economically empower children, families and communities towards generational health and wealth.”
The East Baltimore Revitalization Plan was sponsored by the Southern Baptist Church through its Mary Harvin Transformation Center CDC in 2017. Southern Baptist Church partnered with four East Baltimore churches that share the common mission to address poverty in their communities and improve surrounding neighborhoods. The Plan was adopted by the City of Baltimore in September 2018.
Mary Harvin Transformation Center CDC is currently constructing the Southern Streams Health and Wellness Center, a signature project in the Southern Baptist footprint of influence in the Broadway East community. The Center will provide the neglected community and surrounding communities with opportunities to mitigate against health disparities and economic inequities, through physical and nutritional wellness, economic empowerment, educational training, and employment support. In addition to DWD, Southern Streams has tenant commitments from Johns Hopkins Health Systems, Alterwood Health, Quality Pharmacy and Primary Care Physicians.
This announcement follows DWD’s commitment to fund and lead a multi-phase project to build its first Dwyer Scholar Healthcare Village, featuring a resource center, multi-income housing, and a childcare center, in West Baltimore’s Sandtown neighborhood – in partnership with Ames Memorial UMC – Ames Shalom Community, Inc.