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Baltimore businessman creates program to help recent high school grads get jobs

WBAL TV Baltimore logo WBAL TV Baltimore 6/17/2021
a sign on a newspaper: re harrington & sons underground infrastructure apprenticeship training center © wbaltv re harrington & sons underground infrastructure apprenticeship training center

Jobs can be hard to come by, especially for Baltimore City high school students in search of a career. So a Baltimore businessman believes he has found a way to help many of them become employed.

RE Harrington & Sons, just off 21st Street in Baltimore, is doing its part to help young people secure a future. It has opened doors to opportunity at the new RE Harrington & Sons Underground Infrastructure Apprenticeship Training Center, a program that has been three years in the making.

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"The first class, which is going to be about 100 students, I want to employ some of the students and then reach out to my other competitors, contractors, and try to place every young adult that comes out of the program and give them a job," said Robert Harrington, owner of RE Harrington & Sons.

The first class will start this summer with 30 students who are all recent high school graduates, like Matthew Roundtree and Marvin Parker, who said they're eager to get some hands-on training.

"This is really awesome. This is my first time having an official job," Roundtree said.

"I realize that it might be different opportunities that I can take advantage of that I couldn't have taken advantage of if I didn't come," Parker said.

City leaders said the training program is a key first step toward getting more young people off the streets and into good-paying jobs.

"We know that far too many of our young people don't get the opportunity to learn something that they can do with their hands, with their mind and their body, that can provide for them and their families," Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said.

"My hat goes off to you, brother Harrington, for not only talking the talk, but walking the walk," Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby said.

Harrington plans to expand the program in the fall to reach students at four Baltimore City schools. The goal is to train recent graduates to find jobs now and those that may be become available in the future.

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