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United Way of Central Maryland to Launch Workforce Leadership Academy in Collaboration with the Aspen Institute

Webinar for interested applicants to be held January 4, 2023

Baltimore, Md. (December 19, 2022) – United Way of Central Maryland announced today that it will be sponsoring the Baltimore Workforce Leadership Academy, a program designed to support leaders in workforce development committed to the advancement of the local workforce ecosystem. United Way of Central Maryland was one of only eight organizations chosen from across the country to deliver an Academy in partnership with the Aspen Institute.

The Baltimore Workforce Leadership Academy brings leaders – recognized as Fellows of the Academy – from across the local workforce ecosystem together for a year-long series of retreats, workshops, and action learning projects. Fellows work with leading practitioners throughout the country as they deepen networks; strengthen systems leadership skills; apply race, equity, and systems change frameworks to their work; and increase understanding of effective strategies and programs. Alumni of the Academy become part of the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, joining Fellows from fourteen previous Academies in eleven cities in the US and Canada.

“A high-capacity, responsive, and agile local workforce ecosystem is critical to increasing the chances of sustainable and equitable economic recovery,” said Sheila Maguire, Senior Fellow with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. “The Academy provides leaders with the rare opportunity to think and act strategically across siloes to advance outcomes for workers and businesses.”

Fellows will be selected in a competitive application process. United Way and its partners encourage senior-level managers from across the workforce ecosystem of nonprofit organizations, business associations, union-based training efforts, public agencies, and community colleges who have the authority to implement changes to apply. Applications are available online here. The deadline for submissions is January 18, 2023. Interested applicants can learn more about the Academy on an informational webinar to be held January 4, 2023. Webinar registration can be found here.

“United Way has been creating connections and bringing together regional leaders for nearly 100 years,” added Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “Through this program, we will unite local leaders from across industries – from nonprofits and business associations, to community colleges and universities, and public agencies and economic development groups – to create a workforce ecosystem. By bringing some of the best minds in this area together we can increase access and opportunity, generating real solutions for systems-based challenges in our region.”

The Baltimore Workforce Leadership Academy will be led by United Way of Central Maryland and an Advisory Board that includes:

  • Eli Allen, senior program director, Civic Works
  • Elaine Carroll, vice president of strategic initiatives, Jane Addams Resource Center
  • Sara Cooper, senior associate for economic opportunity, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Linda Dworak, director, Baltimore Workforce Funder’s Collaborative
  • Jermaine Jones, director, Baltimore DC Metro Building & Construction Trades
  • Kendra Parlock, vice president, Partnership Development, NPower
  • Jason Perkins-Cohen, director, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development
  • Louis Slezak, dean, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Community College of Baltimore County
  • Alex Smith, founder, Division Street Landscaping

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United Way of Central Maryland helps the working poor and those in poverty access basic needs like housing, healthcare, jobs, and education. The nonprofit’s programs promote equity, create opportunity, and improve the lives of our neighbors and the neighborhoods they call home. For nearly 100 years, United Way has tackled the toughest challenges in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. Learn more at

© 2022 by the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Leadership Network. We are pleased to make this work available under a Creative Commons license, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.