BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A historic building in east Baltimore is getting a new lease on life as a place designed to fill the region’s workforce needs.

The Hoen Lithograph Complex was built in 1895 in east Baltimore.

Its post and beam construction kept it upright, and its workers printed everything from baseball cards to national geographic magazines — that is, until the 1980’s, when new ways to print closed it down.

Now it’s being restored for a new purpose by private and public developers.

“They contacted the neighborhood association about what’s needed here. What’s needed is job training, and they’re offering training in construction,” said Ella Durant, president of the Collington Square Neighborhood Association

It’s what the construction industry needs, because there are more jobs than there are skilled workers to fill them. So backers are creating the largest training center in the state, called the Center For Neighborhood Innovation.

“This is where the construction training takes place. This is where construction careers take place. And this is where the opportunities take place,” said Mike Henderson with the Association of Builders and Contractors of Greater Baltimore.

When this project opens in six months, new skills are just the beginning.

“They’re going to have a whole lot of resources in this building, that people can come and better their life here,” Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said.

“This section of east Baltimore, it will bring hope and life to the whole community,” Durant said.

Alex DeMetrick

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