Southwest Partnership

Education and Workforce Development Meeting

Thursday, October 15


1 N. Poppleton St.


Jane Buccheri

Bill Joyner

Vernell Lewis

Renee McNair

Joanne Nathans

Lou Packett

Dotie Page

Lisa Rawlings

Yusef Shabazz

Holly Shook Grey

Heidi Stevens

Deirde Webb

Elizabeth Weber


James McHenry Rec Center and Partnership with Hollins Roundhouse Neighborhood Association:

Jane Buccheri is part of the year long community schools planning process for James McHenry, on the youth involvement and parent engagement teams, and through that she is learning more about what is currently happening at the Rec Center. The Rec Center has some programming for young children, and Ms Fleming, the Rec Center Director is part of the community school planning process. Jane wants to meet with her and meet with the principal to see what is happening at the school and what their needs are in regards to the Rec Center as well to learn more about the current programming.


Bill Joyner: The Hollins Roundhouse neighborhood association has been working with with staff at the school on how the neighborhood association can be more involved with the school. As the school is in their neighborhood, the association wanted to be sure that they were doing everything they could. The committee from the association met with teachers and administration to figure out what their needs were at the time and what the end goals were. They decided that the end goal of their efforts at engaging the school were that that all children at the school are prepared to succeed in high school


Lisa: this is the fourth principal in five years and the third in eighteen months at James McHenry–the school system needs  to start supporting the principals at the school.


Bill: Part of the genesis for the project  was that the school has a lot of turnover—leadership, staff, students– but the neighborhood association is stable and can provide a reliable source of support. The committee came up with parameters and indicators for success, reviewed the available for data on the school (such as the school survey and profile) and interviewed key staff at the school, who provided a list of what the school wanted. The committee decided that the most effective way of supporting the school was to adopt a grade.


They identified three strategies: recruiting a core group of volunteers to help with testing, ensuring that all students had enough supplies, and ensuring that all teachers had enough instructional materials.


The Neighborhood Association decided adopt the kindergarten,which has two classes, because of a responsive teacher and because the Principal asked that an entire grade be chosen.


The supply program began immediately. The committee developed a budget and made a request to fund 50% to the association, the committee will fund the second 50% (having a fundraiser at Zellas—BINGO) There was more success in recruiting volunteers than expected, so that program hasn’t had a budget approved yet. The kindergarten needs enough volunteers to fill their testing schedule, which is currently two to three days every 2-3 weeks for 2-3 hours, although that may shortly change.


James McHenry is currently increasing the number of activities it offers to students including sports programs and Activities—school is in motion establishing sports programs. They have a gardening club, which has adopted the POP Farm which will be co-farmed with community members and Hollins House residents. The school is currently gardening in the space, and the American Institute of Architects have agreed to come out and do the heavy lifting needed for clean up on October 26th from 1-5pm. Miss Vernell will connect with the folks at Hollins House and get the names and contact information of the people who are interested in the gardening club.

AARP Experience Corps and Action in Maturity were suggested as potential partners. The chair of the committee is Jamie Pitts and they meet the 4th Monday of the month at Zellas at 7pm.


Heidi Stevens: is the consultant coordinating the Community School Planning Process at Franklin Square and James McHenry. Baltimore City has 52 community schools funded by the Family League of Baltimore City. SWOCS will now be the lead partner for both of those schools and have set up a planning team that all are welcome to sit on. They meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 3pm (James McHenry), Franklin Sq 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 3:15pm. The planning team is made up of core stakeholders, teachers, parents, community members. Part of the planning process is doing a needs assessment—community needs, student needs. The team is looking at parent engagement, youth enrichment, community development, enhanced academics and enrichment. The purpose of the community school is to provide wrap around services based on those needs and the needs assessment is used to drive the action plan which is the tool that will be used by the community school coordinator, whose job it is to make sure that everything in the action plan moves forward. The coordinator will create a vision for the school and identify partnerships. The Planning process goes through April


This Tuesday the planning team at James McHenry are going to do a community scavenger hunt. They will give people clues and go out to places in the community, and when they find those places in the community will ask how they school could help them, and how they would like to help the school.


Lisa: SWCOS, UMB’s Social Work Community Outreach Service community school model is one of the best models for supporting schools in Baltimore City. Community Schools can turn schools around. One of the Committee goals is to have every school be a community school. This past year, SWCOS took the top three awards for community schools in the whole country. Usually takes three to five years for a school to turn around but there is a lot of potential.


Hollins Roundhouse is a great example of a neighborhood reaching out to the other schools, and they are willing to share their process with the other organizations. Lou will coordinate with Franklin Square and Union Square (and Elizabeth, to coordinate Union Square and Mount Clare). Dotie will coordinate with Poppleton, and Elizabeth will reach out to Pigtown and Mount Clare.

Although the program is new and there are no benchmarks for success–however, each community will do it differently and many will take time to get started.

Lou will do Franklin Square and Union Square


Bill: would the SWP be able to contribute any money through the Education and Workforce Development Committee? Lisa: will have to look into the possibility.


Workforce Portal:

The Southwest Partnership is developing a workforce portal which will be a connection between job ready residents from area workforce development programs and local employers who have committed to hiring locally and giving a preference for area residents in interviewing. The portal will be based out of Bon Secours Community Works and has currently received $20,000 out of a proposed $80,000 yearly budget. Continuing to look for funding. The folks who are referred through the portal will be evaluated by the portal manager.


Michael Seipp, the SWP Executive Director, will convene a Southwest Works workforce development roundtable, made up of the folks who do workforce development work in this community. They will receive an invitation and it will meet during the day. This will allow the Education and Workforce Development Committee to meet at night and do more work around education.


Community Resource Workshop Report:

Lisa will send out formal report via email. The Committee in conjunction with UMB’s Office of Community Engagement  and the Community Action Network held three resource workshops for community members—funding for community events and groups, expungement, workforce development— which were highly rated  and sparsely attended. Each event was 15 people or less total. Apparent that the SWP isn’t the best group to do community resource workshops—the best people are people who do direct service with folks in the community such as the workforce providers. Lisa would like Southwest Works to think about ways to meet community needs through the workforce providers.


A lot of flyering was done for the events, and as much outreach as the SWP could do given its capacity, but the providers have deeper relationships with folks in the community.


Updates and Announcements

Workforce Needs Assessment Survey: it look a lot longer to do the interviews than the group was expecting. They have about 6 total out of 16 initial contacts. The goal is to learn about what employers are looking for and what challenges they have in regards to hiring. The employers enjoy it. Lisa would like a cut off date of December or late November when the data will be reviewed. The anchors will also be assigned to teams. Lous will follow up with Joanne for the list of businesses.


The employers who were interviewed expressed frustration with soft skills, not technical ones. They also all have very low pay.


Reading Background Checks: Deirde will re-connect with Joann Williams to schedule a time for University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland Medical System staff to be trained to reading background checks–especially with the changes in the law.


Education: Lisa and Michael met with Paula Byrd, who runs the community schools for SWCOS. She will develop a proposal to place Public Allies in the SWP area schools to help with attendance Public Allies is an Americorps program that young people in  how to work in a non-profit. There is a cost for the organization, but the details aren’t known yet.


Next meeting is December 1st at 7pm and the Committee will meet in the evenings on the first Tuesday of the month from now on.


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