Universities and hospitals often serve as the largest local employers in their communities and are vital to their local economies. These “anchor institutions” may be rooted in place but disconnected from the neighborhoods that surround them.
Since 2014, the Abell Foundation has supported the Turnaround Tuesday jobs initiative, created by BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development) to connect Baltimore’s largest anchor institutions to unemployed neighborhood residents. With support from Abell, Turnaround Tuesday has grown into a significant employment pipeline to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland Medical Center, and MedStar Hospital. In its first year, Turnaround Tuesday placed 98 people into jobs, with 30 placed into environmental services jobs and other entry-level positions within Johns Hopkins Medicine, and 25 placed into jobs in the construction industry.
In 2022, Turnaround Tuesday celebrated its 1,500th job placement. That year alone, it placed 260 people into jobs, with a median starting wage of $16.84 an hour. Turnaround Tuesday defines 68% of those jobs as being quality jobs, which offer full-time employment, over $15 per hour, medical and vacation benefits, and a career pathway. Of those placed into jobs, 47% were male, 93% were African-American, and 64% were justice-involved.
Turnaround Tuesday provides personal and professional coaching to participants, including mapping out career pathways. It is designed to create community leaders and advocates for creating more quality jobs at anchor institutions. Turnaround Tuesday is built on trust, taking the uncertainty out of the hiring process for both employers and job seekers: employers can trust that applicants have been vetted, and applicants can trust that by participating in the training program, they can at least land an interview with a major employer for a quality job.
Turnaround Tuesday is now a separate 501(c)(3) organization, independent from BUILD, and it is attracting national interest in expanding its programming. In 2019, Turnaround Tuesday (with
BUILD as its fiscal sponsor) was awarded a $2.9 million forgivable loan over five years from the New World Foundation to build the necessary infrastructure to scale its program and place 1,000 people in quality jobs over five years. That investment led to a $500,000 planning grant from Blue Meridian Partners in 2022, pairing Turnaround Tuesday with consultants to map out how best to scale operations to triple the number of Baltimore residents it serves.
Photos by Wide Angle Productions, a social enterprise of Wide Angle Youth Media.