(BALTIMORE – January 6, 2017) – An informal graduation ceremony was held last night at the City Garage for the participants of the Whiting-Turner/Foundery Pilot Program. Graduates showcased their work, spoke with potential employers, and received certificates and a special takeaway gift.
This program has been in the works from November 28, 2016 through January 5, 2017, thanks to the hard work of Jason Hardebeck, Joe Jones of the Center for Urban Families, and Whiting-Turner’s Terrance M. Spencer.
According to City Garage’s website, “At City Garage, we turn thinkers into doers and here, we are just getting started.” It is the brainchild of Under Armour owner Kevin Plank. Under Armour is a multi-billion dollar company with over 11,000 employees worldwide.
Joe Jones told Bmorenews.com in an exclusive interview, “In partnership with the Foundery at Under Armour and Whiting-Turner Construction, the Center for Urban Families was honored to take part in co-designing an eight-week manufacturing pre-apprenticeship pilot program for eight economically aspiring young men from Baltimore.”
He added, “The first cohort of this program, whose stipends and training was sponsored by The Commercial Group, Sagamore and Whiting Turner, had its completion ceremony last night. There the 8 graduates, who dubbed themselves ‘The Elite 8,’ demonstrated the skills they acquired and presented the projects they created within the 8-weeks’ time. Several guests were so impressed with the showcase that almost all of the graduates received multiple job offers at the ceremony. What an incredible night for The Elite 8 and what prime example of what hope and opportunity can do to change the lives of and narrative about Baltimoreans and even more so, young men of color.”
Jones is the founder and CEO of the Center for Urban Families. Their mission is “to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success.”
Further, the center “provides the bridge that many need to attain stability, while being a leader in the national conversation on responsible fatherhood, workforce development, family strengthening and black male achievement.”