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Johns Hopkins Announces Plan to Expand Economic Opportunities in Baltimore

September 30, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Tracey Reeves
Office: 443-997-9903
Cell: 443-986-4053

The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System today unveiled an ambitious new initiative designed to use their purchasing and hiring power to strengthen Baltimore, promoting economic growth and job opportunities for residents, particularly those living in distressed areas of the city.

The initiative, HopkinsLocal, will guide the institution as it seeks to secure more design and construction contracts with local, minority- and women-owned businesses; expand the number of new hires that come from city neighborhoods; and spend more of the institution’s purchasing dollars with city vendors.

“At Johns Hopkins we take seriously our role as an anchor institution in Baltimore, and we hear loud and clear from our neighbors that what is needed most are the stable jobs that form the bedrock of safe and healthy communities,” said university President Ronald J. Daniels. “At this critical juncture in the life of our city, we are determined to do more to build, hire, and buy locally, and to help create meaningful and lasting job opportunities for our city.”

Ronald R. Peterson, president of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine, echoed Daniels’ sentiment.

“We know that unemployment and poverty rates in certain areas of the city are high,” Peterson said. “We also know that unemployment contributes to poverty and that poverty leads to poor health. So improving the economic stability of disadvantaged communities will increase the odds for better health outcomes.”

The new initiative comes as Baltimore works to recover from the violence that erupted in the city earlier this year. But even before the unrest, Johns Hopkins has been investing heavily in communities that include its campuses, partnering with city schools, providing summer jobs for high school and college students, and hiring and training ex-offenders at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Now, Johns Hopkins leaders in construction, human resources and purchasing have committed to doing more by leveraging the institution’s economic influence to create lasting opportunities for city residents and disadvantaged businesses.

“Economic inclusion efforts are critical to revitalizing Baltimore, especially in the wake of April’s unrest,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings. “Johns Hopkins is leading by example in its efforts to provide economic opportunities for Baltimore residents and businesses.”

Specifically, Johns Hopkins will work to increase participation from minority, women and other disadvantaged businesses across its portfolio of construction projects each year. The institution will implement a local hiring policy to require contractors to make a good faith effort to hire local residents for new jobs that result from construction projects.

In the area of hiring, the institutions will increase the number of city residents they employ, while supporting the growth and retention of local and underrepresented employees. The two entities will work to ensure that a healthy percent of new hires in jobs are from selected zip codes with high levels of poverty and unemployment in Baltimore. They will also focus on recruitment of Baltimore residents for positions at all levels and on expanding partnerships with organizations that help identify and prepare individuals for careers with Johns Hopkins.

The university and health system will round out HopkinsLocal by increasing spending with businesses, especially minority- and women-owned businesses, in Baltimore by as much as $6 million over three years. The institution will increase outreach to local and disadvantaged businesses to engage them in the competitive bidding process and support employees to buy local by providing a directory of pre-screened vendors from which to purchase goods and services.

“Commitments like this by anchor institutions are essential to strengthening urban environments,” said Cornell Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP. “Baltimore is primed to benefit from Johns Hopkins’ deliberate efforts to strengthen the local economy.”

The build, hire and buy initiative, said Johns Hopkins leaders, affirms the institution’s commitment to the city and all of its residents.


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