Wendell Pierce Invests $20M In Baltimore Housing Project, Create Jobs

This venture will help train, provide job opportunities for locals, and prove that they are of immense value.

Actor Wendell Pierce announced plans to give back to community by creating jobs for Baltimore residents through a multi-million dollar private residential venture, Fusion reports.

The HBO’s ‘The Wire’ star, who plays Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on the network’s soon-to-be-premiered new show ‘Confirmation,’ made the announcement during a panel discussion at Columbia University in New York City.

In partnership with developers Ernst Valery and David Alexander of SA&A Development Pierce is investing $20 million in the housing project that will help train locals and give them employment opportunities.

The need for such a program is very essential in reducing the disparities in the city, whose predominantly Black residents earn less than half of what their white neighbors make.

According to the 49-year-old, the initiative comes from a shared vision he has with the developers that the underserved local community is highly valuable.

They want to work with the same “disaffected folks that we saw uprising last year so that they can be a part of the labor force,” Pierce said on Saturday during a panel at Columbia University’s Heyman Center.

A portion of the apartment complex’s 103 units will be reserved for Baltimore artists at a very affordable rate.

Baltimore residents will make up a portion of the construction team hired for the apartment project, which is expected to begin in July and be completed by the end of 2017.

It will have a ground-floor cafe, a yoga wellness studio and a gallery, where artists residing in the building will be able to display their work.

“We feel that part of the solution is bringing economic developers, training the labor pool, and making sure that it’s aspirational and that they can eventually become developers themselves,” said Pierce.

Pierce, whose history of giving back to community dates back to post Hurricane Katrina era in his hometown of New Orleans, hopes a successful completion of this venture will open new frontiers in bringing economic development to communities like Baltimore.

“We hope to take it into the row houses, too. This is a pilot program to make sure that the template is there,” he told Fusion.

It is amazing to know that in the midst of inaction from both state and federal governments to help fix Baltimore’s economic inequity, someone in the person of an African-American actor has taken up the mantle in doing just that.

Our communities are in grave need of such game-changing initiatives. Therefore we hope that a successful completion Pierce’s project will open more doors of opportunity.
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