Best Practices

Publications & Data

A Review and Synthesis of EBMC Evaluation Materials for Workforce Development, Job Creation, Capacity Building, and Quality of Life Focus Areas
Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore (November 2005)

This report illustrates the findings of EBMC evaluation materials in four areas (job creation, workforce development, community capacity, and quality of life) from 1994-2005. In the area of job creation, this report found that 5,777 jobs were created and 826 of them were retained in the Empowerment Zone. EBMC accounted for 29% of the total federal funds spent by EBMC. Workforce development accounted for 34% of federal funds. This included job placement and training, substance abuse counseling, basic literacy and other programs. There was emphasis on neighborhood-level community capacity building as six Village Centers were created. EBMC spent $8.3 million on community capacity development, equaling less than 9% of funding. Quality of life initiatives accounted for 12% of the total federal budget. These initiatives included issues of the physical environment and land use, public safety, and home ownership.

The Job Creation Impacts of the Baltimore Empowerment Zone: 1994-2004,
Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore (September 2005)

This report is a summary of the job creation activities of the Baltimore Empowerment Zone, analyzing initiatives of job creation programs. The five core job creation programs were the Loan Fund Vehicles, the Baltimore Business Center (BEC), Baltimore’s Main Streets, the Fairfield Ecological Business Park, and the Community Development Corporations (CDCs), created by the Empowerment Zone Village Centers. The job creation programs of EBMC accounted for 29% of the total federal funds and 29% of all funds expended, estimating that 5,777 jobs were created. The Jacob France Institute prepared case studies of six projects that have used the assistance of EBMC and its job creation programs and have been successful in the Empowerment Zone. These entities are the following: Lancaster Square, the UMB BioPark, the JHHS Bioscience Research Park, the Montgomery Park Business Center, Bank One, and the New Markets Tax Credits program. The Baltimore Empowerment Zone and its programmatic initiatives for job creation and its proven success and sustainability were critical for the redevelopment of Baltimore City.

Retail Market Assessment & Strategic Implementation Program for East Baltimore/East Monument Street
The Chesapeake Group, Inc. (August 2005)

This report is a market assessment of business/retail opportunities in the East Baltimore area, specifically on East Monument Street with proposed strategic implementation that identifies ways to secure those opportunities. Telephone surveys and resident interviews were conducted as well as the utilization of the 2000 Census data for household and income information. Pedestrian counts of people frequenting the Hopkins complex were also factored. Comparative assessment and demand forecasting indicate that the increase in residential growth and activity is directly proportional to increasing demands for retail and offer over 50 suggestions for implementing ways to enhance and secure business and increase business penetration.

Retail Study for the University of Maryland Biotech Park Surrounding Area
Long and Madison (April 2005)

The Retail Market Study was commissioned by Empower Baltimore on behalf of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Park to identify consumer needs and to determine what type of retail and service establishment opportunities could be supported in the UMB area. The primary objective of this study was to explore the following: the primary and secondary trade areas that would be served by retail within the UMB BioPark, the current and projected population and demographic characteristics of the area, the specific needs that retail would support, and the long-term opportunities that will enhance the UMB BioPark. A detailed field evaluation as well as site and location visits of existing retail businesses were conducted and assessed in order to determine suitable retail to be located within the UMB BioPark. Census tract information from both local and national sources was also used to gather population and demographic information.

The Economic Impact of Capital Availability to Minority-Owned Small Businesses in Baltimore
Sage Policy Group, Inc. (January 2005)

Sage Policy Group examined the economic impact of Empowerment Zone loan funds, specifically from Community Development Ventures, Inc. that it makes available to local business entities. Research was performed by collecting data on firms to which CDV had invested venture capital. Quantifying jobs, income, and output generated by companies that received EBMC funds were measures of economic impact that were evaluated against an IMPLAN input-output econometric model.

Minority Suppliers for Baltimore’s Biotech Industry
Optimal Solutions Group (December 2004)

Optimal Solutions Group conducted a study on the biotech industry, its suppliers, and the prospective opportunity they could bring to minority entrepreneurs and low-skilled workers in the Baltimore area. A literature review of issues pertinent to minority business utilization in the biotech field, as well as the propensity of minority businesses to hire minority workers was conducted. Optimal Solutions also identified, described, and located minority suppliers in the biotech field, determining the likely impact the burgeoning industry will have on Baltimore’s low-skilled workforce. Additionally, the researchers provided descriptions of various types of career ladders that low-skilled workers could utilize to advance beyond entry-level positions.

Impact of EBMC Community Capacity Building
Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore (April 2004)

The Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore was commissioned by EBMC to analyze the impact of the Baltimore Empowerment Zone on building community development capacity through interviews and review-based case study analyses of five operating Village Centers. By working with EBMC representatives and others knowledgeable about the community development, the case study interview guide was developed. Quantitative and qualitative information on local community capacity building was developed through interviews conducted with key community and City leaders, Village Center leaders, and EBMC staff and board members. This report begins with an overview of community development capacity and describes the results of the analysis conducted for the Village Centers.

Customized Training at Local Institutions Legislative Documentation
Optimal Solutions Group (March 2004)

OSI researched four institutions (Baltimore City Community College, Mayor’s Office for Employment Development, Sojourner Douglass College, and Baltimore Reads) and provided an organizational overview, state funding requirements, funding timelines and fiscal and policy notes and analysis. Estimated state aid and comparisons were detailed from 2005 to 2008.

Evaluation of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Retention and Advancement Program Optimal Solutions Group (August 2003)

The Optimal Solutions Group analyzed the effectiveness of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Retention and Advancement Program (JHRA) by conducting in-person interviews and surveys with thirty-six employees who had completed the program, fourteen employees who had not participated in the program and with department supervisors and directors.

An Analysis of the New Market Tax Credit and Its Ability to Fund the Revitalization Efforts of Baltimore City
Thomas, Miller, Green & Associates (May 2001)

Kenyatta Green of Thomas, Miller, Green and Associates performed an analysis of the New Market Tax Credit Program (NMTC), a $15 billion dollar program aimed at providing access to capital for businesses located and working in low-income communities. NMTC is a component of the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000 and can provide a funding source for the City of Baltimore for its economic development programs. The conclusion of the analysis indicates that NMTC will generate a large pool of funds that the City of Baltimore can use to provide capital for their economic development, and private and semi-private development projects. The report offers recommendations for EBMC to form strategic alliance to support applications for an entity to seek Community Development Entity (CDE) status and an allocation of NMTCs.

An Analysis of Work and Earnings of Selected EBMC Participants
Brandon Roberts and Associates (August 2000)

This analysis examines the employment condition of Empowerment Zone residents who have sought workforce assistance. The analysis focuses on job preparedness and success measured by work and earnings. Central to this study was the examination of workforce development programs and their effectiveness at helping residents work their way out of poverty. Information was collected using wage record files and focus groups.

Housing Venture Fund Analysis
AB Associates (June 1999)

The Housing Venture Fund was created to increase homeownership in the Empowerment Zone to be used toward closing and settlement costs. AB Associates were commissioned to assess how effectively funds from the Housing Venture Fund were being utilized. Information on the resident application forms were used as well as interviews with residents as a source for analysis. Information contained in the report includes data on first time homebuyers, previous residence information, age, income, and head of household demographics.

Empowerment Zone Implementation: Community Participation
and Community Capacity
Howard Samuels State Management and Policy Center (January 1998)

This report covers the second year of research in a three year study of community participation and community capacity building in the Federal Urban Empowerment Zones. Enhanced networks among community organizations, increased interaction among the three sectors (business, community, and government), community representation and participation in EZ governance, and the allocation of resources in the projects were the factors examined to determine increases in community capacity. The research methods included reviewing extensive documentation regarding the Empowerment Zone, literature reviews on each of the cities that have Empowerment Zones, multiple site visits to each city and interviews with board members, staff members, and community leaders as well as city and state officials, university representatives, foundations, unions, and business leaders.

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