Maryland

Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Eastside One-Stop Career Center

Meet Christine

Workforce Challenge

Former Baltimore City police officer Christine Boyd was working as a coordinator at a local nonprofit in late 2010 when the organization lost funding and she found herself out of work. When she called the Northwest One Stop Career Center operated by the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development in an effort to jumpstart her job search, staff referred her to the Eastside One Stop Career Center closer to her East Baltimore home.

Workforce Solution

Ms. Boyd, who is single and raising her 10-year-old grandson, had her sights set on continuing to work in the nonprofit sector. However, when Mr. Figueroa introduced her to the green jobs field, she immediately recognized the opportunity it offered for a stable, long-term career.Mr. Figueroa told her about an opportunity funded by a federal grant awarded to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) called the National Emergency Grant On-The-Job Training (NEG-OJT) program. Through this program, operated by MOED for Baltimore residents, the salaries of dislocated workers are partially covered during the training period. Ms. Boyd was particularly interested in a position with Baltimore-based BEMO Corporation, which performs home energy audits to BGE customers. With BEMO Corporation, she could get paid to train as an energy efficiency technician through this innovative program designed to get the long-term unemployed back to work while reducing
training costs for employers in occupations where skilled, qualified workers are in short supply.

Outcomes & Benefits

Ms. Boyd started her on-the-job training at BEMO Corporation in December 2011 and performed so well that she was hired full-time and is now a permanent employee of the company. As an energy efficiency technician, she talks with customers on the phone and schedules a time to visit their homes assess their energy use and educate them about ways to save money on their BGE bill. “I like being outside and talking to people; I’m not the type of person who’s happy behind a desk all day,” she said. “If it weren’t for the career center, I would not be here in this job. It really worked for me.” Ms. Boyd has proven herself to be an asset to her employer as well. “The level of customer service and professionalism that Ms. Boyd has brought is phenomenal,” said James Brown, founder, president
and CEO of BEMO Corporation. “And because she knows what it’s like to be out of work, she comes in every day thankful to have a job and she shares that spirit with everyone else here, which motivates them. As a business owner, I really appreciate that.”
BEMO Corporation was founded in April 2011 and has grown to a team of 40 people – ten of whom have been hired through the Eastside One Stop Career Center and the NEG-OJT training program.“It’s been fantastic working with the Eastside Career Center,” Mr. Brown said. “For our business, it’s been the difference between staying a small, mom-and-pop-type operation and going to the next level. Working with MOED has allowed us, as a small business, to add staff without incurring debt, which gave us the ability to expand and better serve BGE customers.”

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