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The Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare traces its founding to a conversation held on a train back in 2002.
Taking part in the conversation on that southbound train were Karen Sitnick, then director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development; Diane Bell-McKoy, then head of the Baltimore City Empowerment Zone; Pamela Paulk, then head of human resources for the Johns Hopkins Health System, and Patrice Cromwell, then program officer with Open Society Institute-Baltimore and now with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The four, who were returning from a national forum in New York on new approaches to workforce development, talked about challenges and opportunities within Baltimore’s workforce system.
They all agreed that the city needed a systematic, employer-led approach in order to prepare workers to fill critical shortages at Baltimore-area hospitals. They recognized that crafting a new health- related workforce effort would require a range of institutions to work together. By collaborating, they could ensure that employers’ needs were met while creating new job and advancement opportunities for lower- skilled workers. The idea was appealing and the participants agreed to keep working on it.