THANK YOU MEMBERS! Unprecedented Support for ‘Build Baltimore’ Gala!

Ally D'Ovidio

Skillforce Takes Lead Sponsorship

In the frenzied weeks leading up to Christmas, ABC members and strategic partners donated over $85,000 toward the 10th Anniversary celebration of Project JumpStart, ABC’s pre-apprenticeship program based in Baltimore City. “We are overwhelmed with the support we are seeing from our members,” said incoming ABC Chair Matt Bolyard, with Southway Builders. “The board alone has donated nearly $40,000! We think this event is important for so many reasons, not the least of which is to raise money to fund future JumpStart classes.”

Bolyard explained the event was conceived last spring, motivated in part by the unrest in the City. “Right now, our City needs us more than ever and we feel this a huge opportunity for ABC and the industry as a whole to respond in a meaningful way that will help draw much needed attention to create opportunity for those who need it most.”

Bolyard added that Mike Rowe’s participation in the gala is a critical part of garnering that attention. “Mike is well known for his unrivaled advocacy for workforce development. His foundation, mikeroweWORKS, started the Profoundly Disconnected campaign to ‘challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success.’ We feel very fortunate to have Mike on board.”

Bolyard said ABC wanted to reach out beyond the membership, to many of the City’s leading institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medical Center (both of which are significant advocates and supporters of Project JumpStart) as well as developers like Cross Street Partners and Seawall Development. The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, a group comprised of many of the most influential businesses in the region, is also stepping up to help support and promote the event.

Skillforce, Inc., one of the leading providers of skilled labor in the region, has agreed to take the lead sponsorship role. “We can’t think of a more appropriate member firm to step up and take this role,” Bolyard said. “Skillforce was there in the formation of Project JumpStart and worked hand-in-hand with the ABC staff to get the program off the ground and to help place graduates in their first jobs.”

Adds Skillforce President and CEO Rob Cossaboon: “Skillforce has always been big supporters of Project JumpStart. We’ve hired a number of their graduates over the years and placed with ABC members across the region. This program is providing real solutions, real opportunity to those who need it most. We are very proud to be associated with this event.”

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