In Magazine Article, News

By Tina Irgang

Photography courtesy of mayor’s Office of Employment Development & Maroon PR

Digital edition

View this article in the May/June 2017 digital edition of our magazine.

This summer, 40 Baltimore City public school students will be able to work for the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA), the Coast Guard Yard Baltimore, WWL Logistics and many other employers in the area.

The students are part of the Transportation Technology (TransTech) program at New Era Academy, a public secondary school in the Cherry Hill neighborhood. TransTech prepares young people for a career in the maritime industry as well as other transportation and logistics sectors. The Baltimore Port Alliance (BPA) is one of several partners in the program.

The 40 positions were sponsored by Kevin Plank’s Cupid Foundation as part of a larger $150,000 commitment to the YouthWorks program, which provides summer employment to Baltimore City youth. The donation creating the positions was announced at an event May 22.

“This is the next generation we need to man our industry, our ports,” said Scott Senko, Area Operations Manager at NYK Line (North America) Inc., one of the employers offering placements for the students. “We’re excited about the opportunity for these 40 interns, and we also want to thank our constituents, who wanted to open their doors to these individuals.”


From left: Cherry Hill community member Rev. Peggy Jackson-Jobe, New Era parent Seaneice Johnson, Michael Middleton of Cherry Hill Development Corporation, New Era Principal Kia Harper, New Era student Cameryn Garrison, Captain Matthew Lake of U.S. Coast Guard, Alicia Wilson of Sagamore Development Company, Philisha Lane of Congressman Elijah Cummings’ office.

Senko is also a member of the BPA’s education and outreach committee, which has been instrumental in developing job opportunities for students around the region. Elected officials have also lauded the YouthWorks program.

“Today is a great day for the city of Baltimore, Baltimore City Public Schools, the students of New Era Academy and our partners,” Congressman Elijah Cummings said in a statement read by one of his staff members at the event. “I want to thank the Baltimore Port Alliance for securing these opportunities for our young people.”

Cummings, along with the late Helen Delich Bentley, was part of a partnership to create the TransTech program at New Era several years ago, according to the statement.

The Congressman’s office is also one of the employers providing placements for the 40 students. Other employer partners include the MDOT MPA, Maryland Pilots, Ports America, Watermark’s Baltimore Cruise Vessels and the Coast Guard Yard Baltimore.

“These students could well be the future leaders of the Coast Guard Yard,” said Captain Matthew Lake, who is the commanding officer at that facility.


YouthWorks participants

Other speakers at the event included Michael Middleton of the Cherry Hill Development Corporation, a student and a parent at New Era, and the school’s Principal, Kia Harper.

“This opportunity is bridging the gap between what students learn and what they will do,” said Harper. “When our students look across the water and they see all those ships, and they see the water and the boats, they can see that that belongs to them. … They are going to be part of the economic development they can see around them.”

Students participating in the summer program will work with their assigned employers for a five-week period. They will participate in either Session One of YouthWorks, from June 26 through July 28, or Session Two, from July 10 through Aug. 11.

How Can I Help?

Become a Hire One Youth Employer

The Hire One Youth strategy provides an opportunity for Baltimore’s private-sector employers to help shape the future workforce by interviewing and hiring at least one responsible and motivated 16- to 21-year old. Youth participants get a high-quality work experience. You get a great worker!

To find out how your company can benefit from the skills and energy of one young person this summer, please sign up at, call Harriett Diles at 410-396-JOBS (5627) or email

Become a YouthWorks worksite

Government agencies, non-profit organizations and community groups that would like to serve as YouthWorks worksites can register online at Young people would be placed in summer jobs with your organization and you would provide supervision and mentoring.

Make a tax-deductible donation

Online donations can be accepted through the Baltimore City Foundation, Inc. at – choose MOED – YouthWorks 855-00.