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Local nonprofit receives grant to train Baltimoreans in maritime transportation field

Trucks leave the Port of Baltimore Seagirt Marine Terminal.
Trucks leave the Port of Baltimore Seagirt Marine Terminal. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun)

A local nonprofit has received a grant worth more than $100,000 to expand a state-funded project providing men and women in Baltimore with training in the maritime, transportation and logistics field.

That industry centers around the port of Baltimore and has been identified in recent years as having the potential for job growth — particularly for truck drivers and other workers who can qualify for a federal Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC.

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Maryland New Directions, which has served low-income job-seekers in Baltimore for the last 41 years, received the grant — to the tune of $103,675 — from Jobs for the Future, via the Walmart Foundation.

New Directions is partnering with the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and Cecil College on the new initiative, which will train 50 people over the next two years for entry into the region's maritime and logistics industry.

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The funding to New Directions came as part of a larger grant of $220,000 from Jobs for the Future to the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative at the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers. The remainder of that funding went to Cecil College.

Both New Directions and Cecil College have already received funding to train a total of 200 people in the industry from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) program.

The new funding will allow them to expand that number to 300, the groups said.

Participants will attend a three-week intensive training program, and "select participants" will be certified as "Global Logistics Associates" through the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, New Directions said.

To date under the EARN program, New Directions has trained 25 Baltimore residents for careers in the maritime industry.

Of those, 19 have received a TWIC and 18 are currently employed with an average wage of $16.48 an hour, New Directions said.

Those interested in the program can call 410-230-0630 for more information.

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