Our Organization

Our History
Our Accomplishments
Our Future
Our Leadership


Our Organization
Empower Baltimore Management Corporation (EBMC) was created to serve as the nonprofit entity to operate the Baltimore Empowerment Zone (EZ) program. Designed to manage and implement a 10-year strategy for Baltimore’s Empowerment Zone communities, EBMC focused its attention and resources on enhancing human capital through the development of economic opportunities. To realize the Corporation’s goal to “Create Communities of Choice” – safe, healthy neighborhoods and economically self sufficient residents - EBMC engaged a number of partners including financial institutions, government, private foundations, businesses, the nonprofit sector and other intermediaries to focus on workforce development, business and commercial development, quality of life and community capacity building in residential neighborhoods that are economically depressed.

The “seeds” have been planted and are beginning to flourish as jobs lead to career paths, homeowners have maximized their investments, crime continues to decrease and as community voice is heightened and heard. Ten years after the designation and full expenditure of Title XX federal dollars, EBMC will continue to play a role in the Zone with a strategic grantmaking investment focus related to human capital development, asset building and community revitalization as the core of its work.

Our History
In 1994 President Clinton designated 72 urban areas and 33 rural communities as Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Communities based on poverty, unemployment, and general economic distress. The Empowerment Zone initiative was targeted toward economically distressed areas to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote economic opportunity and community revitalization. Empowerment Zones nationally have cumulatively received more than $1.5 billion in performance grants and more than $2.5 billion in tax incentives. Baltimore was awarded a $100 million federal grant and approximately $250 million in federal wage tax credits.

Empower Baltimore Management Corporation was created by the City of Baltimore, established as a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization to implement the Empowerment Zone strategy by primarily contracting with outside agencies to link the strategy with larger city initiatives. Initially managed by a 30 member Board of Directors and a 50 member Advisory Council, EBMC also established six community-based organizations called Village Centers to implement selected strategies within its geographic area and to develop a broader vision within their neighborhoods.

Our Accomplishments – 1994 to 2004
Empower Baltimore focused its efforts on four strategic areas: Business Development for Job Creation, Workforce Development, Community Capacity Building, and Quality of Life.

General Goals
Goals by Numbers
Outcomes by the Numbers

Jobs created by business start-ups and expansions

Create 4,444 jobs
5,704 Jobs Created Residents placed in jobs

Place 10,000 residents

5,000 with EZ funds/5,000 without EZ assistance
11, 303 residents placed
Crime reduced in the Zone

Reduce overall crime by 25%


56% reduction in crime from Dec. 1994 – Dec. 2003


Home ownership increased Increase from 30% to 50%


1,025 homeowners assisted with a closing cost grant of up to $5,000


Home ownership increased from 30% to 35% based on 2000 census.

Community capacity building
Create Neighborhood-based Village Centers


Facilitated the creation of six Village Centers. Four still operational and involved with community

development projects.


BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR JOB CREATION

Highlights for business development include:

Created 5,704 jobs (exceeding goal of 4,444); assisted 700 business prospects; and made108 business loans totaling more than $21 million.

Key Projects under business development included:
• Lancaster Square
Bank One
Montgomery Park Business Center
University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMB) Biotech Park
Three Main Street programs – Washington Boulevard,   Monument Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue
Spearheaded research and development funding for a New Markets Tax Credit application
Spun off the Business Empowerment Center into harbor Bank’s CDC
Property acquisition grant to East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI) for job creation.


WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Highlights for workforce development include:

  • • Placed 11,303 residents into jobs with City assistance (exceeding goal of 10,000)
    • Established neighborhood-based career centers which are access points for Zone residents seeking employment opportunities. These centers provided outreach, assessment, remediation of employment barriers and job placement
    • Partnered with local service providers to fund and implement a strategy to assist ex-offenders to make a smooth transition from incarceration to the community

    • Key projects for workforce development included:
    • Surgical Tech Customized Training Programs at Johns  Hopkins Health System (JHHS) and University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS)
    • CNA/GNA Customized Training Programs at carious local hospitals and nursing homes
    • Cable Installer Customized Training Programs
    Commercial Truck Driver Training (CDL).


QUALITY OF LIFE
Highlights for quality of life include:

• Assisted 1,025 home buyers with closing cost grants;
• Increased homeownership by 6%
• Reduced crime by 56% from December 1994 to December 2003 (exceeding goal of 25%)
• Made over $600,000 in grants to Zone homeowners for exterior repair.

Key projects for quality of life included:
• The Housing Venture Fund Grant of up to $5,000 for EZ home buyers
• Enhanced Community Policing

• Development of Land Use Plans for each Village Center area

• The Poppleton’s Land Use Plan helped to bring University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Bio Park into the community


COMMUNITY CAPACITY BUILDING
Highlights for community capacity building include:

• Established 6 Village Centers in Zone Communities
• Increased resident involvement in community planning and decision making.

Key projects for community capacity building included:
• Technical assistance to community leaders seeking to establish and sustain Village Centers
• Technical assistance around leadership development for Village Center Board of Directors and community volunteers
• Establishment of Community Development Corporations and completion of community development projects in four Village Center areas – HEBCAC, East Harbor, Washington Village/Pigtown, and Poppleton.


Our Future
Empower Baltimore has long advocated, through its workforce activities, the need for livable wages that exceed poverty level standards and provide economic security. Over the past few years, asset building and wealth creation initiatives for low income individuals have increased as new evidence supports the notion that true economic self-sufficiency is achieved through steady income coupled with financial education, sound savings, and the accumulation of assets. As a compliment to the income and asset gains of residents, the past ten years of physical changes in the Empowerment Zone have also created new options for residents to economically advance through homeownership and other revitalization activity. Increased real estate markets and job creation from new development put opportunities at the front door of residents and families.

Empower Baltimore’s continuing commitment to residents and to they places in which live is founded on the principles of our strategic plan as we move forward. Now served by areas focused on human capital, economic success and community revitalization, Empower Baltimore’s vision is enhanced, serving residents at the core of our work. In keeping with its commitment, Empower Baltimore will implement grant making activity that is aligned with these focus areas and aligned with efforts that connect and leverage resources for EZ residents and neighborhoods.

Our Leadership
Board of Directors

Diane Bell McKoy
Richard Oppitz
William Carlson, Esq.
James Shea
Constance Maddox
Robert Embry
Sr. Bobbi English
Ralph Gilliam
Martha Benton
Decatur Miller, Esq.
Doris Hall

Advisory Council

Kevin Clayborne
Tachelle Rich
Clarence Brown
Elizabeth Waters
Brian Sturdivant
Samuel Singletary
Pamela Charshee
Michael Thompson
Raymond Corday
Helen Keith
Leon Amernick
Carolyn Boitnott
Jean Booker-Bradley
Constance Maddox
Nichole Battle
Leah Burke
Dr. Jay Carrington Chunn
Frank Coakley
Samuel A. Culotta
Alan Harris
Bob Kirk
Joey Maruschek
William Poinsette
Diane Gordy
Lori Southworth
Cheryl Worthington
General Seitu Muhammad

 

Board Chair
Treasurer
Secretary
Immediate Past Chair
Advisory Council Chair
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Empower Baltimore Management Corporation • 111 Water Street, Suite 201 • Baltimore, MD 21202 • 410-783-4400 • (fax) 410-783-0526