At a recent conference that took place at the end of September, Ronald J. Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University, and Ronald R. Peterson, President of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, made the announcement of a new initiative soon to be underway at Johns Hopkins known as HopkinsLocal. The driving objective behind HopkinsLocal is to increase hiring practices from troubled neighborhoods while also increasing company spending on construction projects to include more local minorities and women.

According to a report from Johns Hopkins University, both the school and the hospital/health system jointly rank as the largest employer in Baltimore City. Johns Hopkins is also one of the city’s major purchasers of goods and services and sponsors numerous construction projects. During the 2014 fiscal year, Johns Hopkins and Hopkins affiliates accounted for more than $4.7 billion in the city’s economic output and over 52,700 local jobs. These numbers are even higher when considering locations and categories outside the Baltimore limit. Johns Hopkins institutions already spend around $135 million between 400 and 500 capital projects in an average year, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

According to President Daniels, Johns Hopkins plans to boost the number of people being hired for entry-level jobs from low-income neighborhoods from the current 26 percent to 40 percent. Baltimore communities with zip codes of 10 percent or more of residents below the poverty level are primary targets for the HopkinsLocal initiative.

The Baltimore Business Journal reports that HopkinsLocal will be concentrated on three distinct areas—hiring practices at Johns Hopkins, independent local contractors that contribute to business with Hopkins and its affiliates and the vendors and suppliers from whom Hopkins makes purchases. Johns Hopkins aims to increase purchases from local Baltimore businesses through a $6 million rise, up from $56 million, over the next three years. Roughly $23 million in vendor spending will be designated to minorities and women-owned corporations. This constitutes 17 percent of total spending.

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