City Leaders Celebrate the 2020 YH20 Career Mentoring Program

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Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young joined the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) and its partners, the Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA) and Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), to virtually celebrate the 6th Class of participants of the YH20 Career Mentoring Program. Seventeen young adults have successfully completed six months of training to prepare for entry-level jobs in DPW, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. DPW’s YH20 Career Mentoring Program began in 2015.  Since that time, 96 young men and women have completed the Program.

The 17 young people completing the 2020 Class and recognized at this virtual event were: Keon Bagley Jr.; Doniesha Bertha; Kendra Bowles; DeAndre Carrington; Malik Clark; Craig Clark; Kristen Conaway; Tinnell Davis; Robbie Dezurn; Howard Hood; DeShawn Finney; Jamilah Johnson; Camren Lee; Krishawn McCullough; Devin Patterson; Ari White; and Daja Thomas.

“I am extremely proud of the 2020 YH20 Class. These 17 young people completed the required six-weeks training program for the YH20 Career Mentoring Program during an unprecedented and challenging time for City government and its residents. These are now young Baltimoreans with skills, work experience and more importantly, with jobs in Baltimore City government,” said Acting DPW Director Matthew W. Garbark.

Acting Director Garbark also extended special appreciation to DPW’s YH20 partners, the Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA), Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), YH20 mentors and coaches who provided mentorship, coaching, job shadowing, on the job training to ensure that the 17 participants were ready to start their careers in DPW.  The entire 2020 Class of YH20 participants received full-time jobs in DPW.

"We are proud of our continued partnership with the Department of Public Works and the YH2O program.  Our youth participants continue to shine, even during the workforce adjustments they've had to make this year.   We wish them all the best of luck in their new careers," said, MOED Director Jason Perkins – Cohen.

Laura Jo Oakes, CWEA President stated that “The Chesapeake Water Environment Association is dedicated to improving water quality and protecting the water environment in our region; and, we aim to do this through public education, the exchange of technical and scientific information, and training.  For those reasons, the YH2O Program and our partnership with the City of Baltimore is the epitome of our mission.”  Ms. Oakes added that “On behalf of the Chesapeake Water Environment Association, we congratulate this year’s graduating class on their successful completion of the YH2O Program in light of the challenges presented by the pandemic.”

The award-winning YH20 Career Mentoring Program has become a national model for other cities, public and private utilities. The Program has been adopted in Texas, Mississippi and North Carolina and Delaware is exploring opportunities to adopt a similar. 

YH2O received The Greater Baltimore Bridging the Gap Award Achievement Award for mentorship in 2019.  This award recognized the Program for its mentorship efforts and for striving to enhance the role and impact of minority- and women-owned businesses in the Baltimore region.

In 2018, the Program earned a water industry Public Communication and Outreach Program Award from the Water Environment Federation for its great accomplishment in promoting public awareness and increasing public understanding of the water environment.

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