Department of Public Works begins workforce development program, residents urged to apply

The Department of Public Works (DPW) recently launched the new B’More WISE program to provide residents with technical skills, decent wages and long-term careers. This program will also help meet staffing needs within DPW. (Photo by Public Works Department on Facebook)

By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
Report for Member of America Corps,
[email protected]

Mayor Brandon Scott and Jason W. Mitchell, director of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW), recently unveiled a new people development initiative.

B’More WISE, Baltimore’s strategic water infrastructure education program, is aimed at youth, veterans and returning citizens for employment at DPW.

This is good news for Balitmoreans seeking a career that pays a living wage.

“B’More WISE is about empowering residents in ways that will increase their economic potential and propel the city toward success,” Scott said in an interview with AFRO. “It allows us to facilitate growth while providing support staff to DPW – which is much needed.”

B’More WISE connects residents with a technically sound education and provides access to long-term careers as water and wastewater operators.

All Baltimore City residents 18 years and older with a high school diploma are eligible to enter.

Yosef Kebede, Head of the Office of Water and Wastewater, is leading efforts to establish strategic partnerships for the B’More WISE program.

The B’More WISE curriculum includes general public building and construction training.

Last week, members of the first cohort attended a “Signing Day” ceremony at City Hall in downtown Baltimore.

DPW encourages residents of all walks of life to apply, including recent high school graduates and residents who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want young adults, high school seniors and veterans to know they’re welcome,” Scott said. “DPW is doing a great job of hiring many returning citizens. We are working with our reentry partners to reach out to returning citizens and engage them in our program to create a better way forward.”

Starting salaries for DPW can range from $37,000 to $43,000 per year.

Scott said his office is in talks with DPW and Baltimore City Public Schools to form a partnership that will encourage students from vocational and technical schools like Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School to choose a career at DPW .

The program will also help DPW build its workforce with Baltimore natives, rather than outsourcing talent from other parts of the state and country.

B’More WISE is part of DPW’s 2023 rebranding initiative. They also launched the BMore LOVE Volunteer Network, Residential Advisory Council and Eco-Warriors of the Future Schools Competition this year. DPW will be announcing more projects along with a new logo in the coming weeks.

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