April 12, 2024

Maryland Delegation Announces First $3.5 Million Installment of Federal Funds to Support Port of Baltimore Workers Impacted by Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Kweisi Mfume, Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Jamie Raskin, David Trone and Glenn Ivey (all Md.) today announced $3.5 million in U.S. Department of Labor’s emergency National Dislocated Worker Grant funds to create temporary clean up and recovery jobs for workers impacted by the tragic collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.

“The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was a human tragedy. We will never forget the six Marylanders we lost in this tragedy, and we’re holding their memories and their families close to our hearts throughout each step of this process,” said the lawmakers. “The collapse also caused serious consequences for our state’s economy, but the reality is that the whole country depends on the Port of Baltimore so the impact is felt far and wide. This tragedy took reliable revenue and income from small businesses and hundreds of thousands of workers. With this funding, we hope to relieve some of the economic burden and provide stability in a time of uncertainty and grief as teams work to restore the Port as swiftly and safely as possible.” 

In the early hours of March 26, 2024, a 985-foot cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge’s support pylons after losing power. The impact caused the bridge to collapse, tragically killing six hardworking Marylanders, halting many Port of Baltimore operations, and creating a massive, complex wreckage site underwater.

Each year, the Port of Baltimore generates $70 billion dollars in revenue for the state’s economy and billions of dollars of revenue for the global economy. While modified channels have opened since the collapse and an auxiliary channel is anticipated to open at the end of the month to restart some Port traffic, it is necessary to provide immediate relief to the 8000 Marylanders currently out of work.

The Dislocated Worker Grant Program was created to expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that lead to significant job losses.