Workforce Development

A trained and skilled workforce is essential to Baltimore’s health and economic growth. We support programs that train low-income, unemployed, and underemployed job seekers and help them find and keep jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.

We prioritize programs that:

  • Link Baltimore residents with criminal records to employment
  • Help trainees earn industry-recognized certifications and secure employment in high growth/high demand industries
  • Provide paid work experience through internships or on-the-job training
  • Provide essential workplace skills training
  • Focus on improving digital, math, and reading skills
  • Promote job retention and career advancement
  • Engage employers that are committed to providing family-sustaining wages and benefits
  • Connect program participants to needed services such as free tax preparation and transportation
  • Advocate for policies that remove barriers to employment and increase earnings for low-income families
Program Officer: Melanie Styles

Considering Applying?

Learn more about our eligibility and review criteria, and small and regular grants processes.

See Our Grants Process

Featured Work in Workforce Development

Case Study: Vehicles for Change

Without regular access to reliable transportation, it’s almost impossible to get and maintain employment. Since 1999, the Abell Foundation has supported Vehicles for Change (VFC) in making low-cost cars available to low-income job seekers in Baltimore City, fueling economic opportunity.

To date, VFC has trained over 175 individuals, boasting a 90% completion rate, a 98% job placement rate of program graduates, an average starting wage of $17.50 per hour, and a 95% one-year employment retention rate, although not all graduates are employed at their original job placement.

Case Study: Civic Works Center for Sustainable Careers

Civic Works’ Baltimore Center for Sustainable Careers (CSC) was founded on the belief that the growing green economy has the potential to address two of Baltimore’s challenges: high levels of unemployment, particularly among returning citizens and aging housing stock that is energy inefficient, fossil fuel reliant, and contains environmental contaminants.

Abell Report: Reforming Child Support

Child support enforcement practices fuel a cycle of poverty and instability for low-income parents and families. This Abell Report examines the data and recommends strategies Maryland can adopt to reform its child support system.

Past Grants

Learn more about our grantees and their work to enhance the quality of life in Baltimore.
Filter our past grants by year or program area, or search by keyword.

See Our Past Grants

Contact Us

Have questions or want to discuss your idea for workforce development in Baltimore? Get in touch using the form below.

    Photos courtesy of BioTechnical Institute of Maryland and Wide Angle Media for Vehicles for Change and Civic Works Center for Sustainable Careers.
    Additional photos licensed from Shutterstock.