Baltimore can’t give up on 1,000 hospital jobs

November 25, 2015

The recent proposal to create 1,000 new hospital jobs in Baltimore through a rate increase is the right remedy at the right time ("Baltimore's jobs prescription," Nov. 19). Employer-driven training and job creation is a national best practice and the best remedy for the joblessness that plagues Baltimore's underserved neighborhoods.

According to a recent report by the National Skills Coalition, successful job-driven training and placement initiatives begin by convening multiple employers, e.g. hospitals, training providers, community-based organizations, unions and other stakeholders.

For this proposal to work, all parties must sit down to design a plan that follows this best practice model: identify the positions, outline the necessary skill sets, design the appropriate classroom and hands-on training curriculum then recruit and screen potential trainees. For example, the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare was designed over 10 years ago around this model and would be a ready partner. Maryland's own EARN program promotes and funds this approach and has successfully supported health care industry partnerships across the state since 2014.

Before we consider this proposal dead on arrival, let's get the experts together in a room and outline the proper course of treatment. Baltimore's jobless need this lifeline.

Elisabeth Sachs, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Job Opportunities Task Force.