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Resources for Workers and Businesses Impacted by the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

On April 5, 2024, Governor Moore signed an Executive Order, establishing temporary relief programs to support workers and businesses impacted by the Key Bridge collapse and disruption of operations to the Port of Baltimore. The Executive Order creates two programs under the Maryland Department of Labor: the Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program and the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program. Both programs were authorized upon passage of the Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act and signed into law by Gov. Moore on April 9, 2024. For more information, see the Fact Sheet on Governor Moore’s Executive Order.

Program Update, 5/18: The last day to apply for the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program was Friday, May 17, 2024. The program is no longer accepting applications. Businesses interested in economic aid in response to the bridge collapse and Port disruption can find further resources at https://response.maryland.gov/bridge/support-for-businesses

Program Update, 6/14: The last day to submit new applications to the Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program is June 28, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Learn more about the Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program here.

On Monday, June 17, 2024, the Department’s temporary Port office will move to the Eastpoint American Job Center located at 7930 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224. The office will be open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The office will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

Resources for Workers

Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program

If you regularly worked at the Port of Baltimore and have lost job hours or income due to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse and the Port of Baltimore’s reduced operations, you may be eligible for the Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program. The program will provide $430 weekly temporary relief payments during the Port’s reduced operations, while funds are available. Port workers who receive unemployment insurance benefits are eligible for this program, as well as independent contractors and self-employed workers who meet criteria.

Learn more about the Port of Baltimore Worker Support program here.

Apply for the Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program here.

Unemployment Insurance

If you are a Maryland-based employee who has been laid-off or working less hours due to the Key Bridge collapse, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. Unemployment Insurance offers up to $430 weekly as income replacement until work resumes. Eligibility depends on how you are classified as an employee; self-employed workers and independent contractors are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance but may be eligible for the Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program.

A special phone hotline has been established to help Port of Baltimore-related workers file for Unemployment Insurance: 667-930-5989. The hotline is staffed Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Online filing is available 24/7 through the Department of Labor’s Beacon website: beacon.labor.maryland.gov. The site has instructional videos and other materials to help you file your claim.

In-person help filing an Unemployment Insurance claim is closer to home at Maryland's 34 American Job Centers. The Eastpoint American Job Center in proximity to the Port's Dundalk terminals has added Division of Unemployment Insurance staff to assist you with claims.

Additional services at the centers include job search assistance, career exploration, training referrals, résumé help, and access to essential resources like computers and printers.

For more information on how to file an Unemployment Insurance claim, visit the Department of Labor’s Information for New Claimants webpage.

Resources for Businesses

Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program

Program Update, 5/18: The last day to apply for the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program was Friday, May 17, 2024. The program is no longer accepting applications. Businesses interested in economic aid in response to the bridge collapse and Port disruption can find further resources at https://response.maryland.gov/bridge/support-for-businesses

If you are a business facing a reduction in revenue and potential layoffs or reduction in workforce due to the Port of Baltimore’s reduced operations, you may be eligible for the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program. This program can provide up to $200,000 in grant funding to pay for wages (up to $7,500 per worker) and subsidize supportive services, such as skills training for current workers, contributions toward transportation, childcare, and housing costs for workers. Eligible entities include small businesses (defined as having 2-499 workers) , unions, trade associations, and other organizations that have experienced a decline in revenue and operations directly related to the Port slowdown. As part of the grant agreement, employers must maintain the hours, pay, and benefits workers had prior to the bridge collapse on March 26. This program is funded through a mix of federal and state dollars.

Learn more about the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program here.

Rapid Response Services

If you own or operate a business affected by the reduction in Port operations, you may benefit from Rapid Response services offered by the Maryland Department of Labor. Rapid Response provides tailored assistance to workers and businesses, including counseling, job placement support, and regulatory guidance. These services are available at no cost, regardless of company size or the number of employees being laid off.

View more information on Rapid Response and contact information for your area
Respuesta Rápida

Business Services

Your business can also take advantage of Maryland’s Business Services representatives. This team helps coordinate workforce programs, ensuring that businesses have skilled employees and that individuals have access to employment and training resources and services.

View more information on Business Services and contact information for your area
Soluciones de Servicios Empresariales

Temporary SBA Recovery Centers

If you are a worker or business with questions about resources available to help during the Port’s reduction in operations, there are also three temporary Small Business Administration Recovery Centers currently open. Various federal, state and local agencies are represented at the sites. Workers can get questions answered about unemployment insurance, and businesses can get questions addressed about loan assistance and other help.

The three sites are in Canton and Dundalk.

Canton: CareFirst Engagement Center, 1501 S Clinton Street in Baltimore City

Dundalk: Community College of Baltimore County, Garden Annex Building, 7200 Sollers Point Road

Glen Burnie: 710 Aquahart Road, Glen Burnie

Operating Hours for all sites are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Additional Resources:

BGE Energy Assistance

CASH Campaign of Maryland