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Hopkins Plans More Local Hiring And Contracting

P. Kenneth Burns

Johns Hopkins University plans to hire more city residents and do more business with local companies.

University President Ronald Daniels announced the beginning of the Hopkins Local Initiative Monday during Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development's One Baltimore Assembly at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Sandtown.

Daniels said the initiative is an expansion of the university's economic inclusion program and pledged "firm and measurable commitments" to increase local hiring, local purchasing and contracting with more local minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

"This won't just be about broad aspirations; very abstract commitments," Daniels said. "We're going to clear targets and hold ourselves accountable to those targets.”

The Rev. Glenna Huber, pastor of Church of the Holy Nativity and a BUILD co-chair, said the organization had been in talks with Hopkins about hiring more local residents long before the riots that took place in the wake of Freddie Gray's death while in police custody in April.

She said they are "very excited" about Hopkins' "great commitment."

"It (Hopkins) is the major employer of Maryland saying we're going to do something and we got skin in the game," Huber added.

University spokeswoman Jill Rosen said more details on the initiative are expected in a month.