The Arc Baltimore

Project Name: The Catalyst Project

Contact Information:
Name: Terri Spurrier
Phone #: 410-653-3252  x5418
Address: 6151 Metro Dr.
City, State ZIP: Baltimore, MD   21215
Email Address:

Name: Christopher Knoerlein
Phone #: 443-279-3299  
Address: 7215 York Rd.
City, State ZIP: Baltimore, MD   21212
Email Address:

Project Goals

  1. Have 12 active participants in first year
  2. Grow to capacity at 24 participants in 2nd year
  3. 100% of participants will either be transitioning youth or in an Arc day/employment program who is unemployed or underemployed
  4. 75% of participants will be independently employed upon completion of the program and the balance will continue with The Arc on a supported work crew
  5. Cultivate and establish 16 host internships in first year
  6. Cultivate and establish 8 additional host internships in second year
  7. 24 vocational evaluations (VE) will be completed per year
  8. 12 VEs will be completed for active participants in The Catalyst Project
  9. 12 VEs will be completed by people seeking employment that are not candidates for The Catalyst Project
  10. Establish a business advisory group in first year with at least six business partners

Project Description

The Arc Baltimore’s latest initiative, The Catalyst Project, builds upon our 50+ years of experience of providing employment services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and the recent successes of our Project SEARCH program. This initiative begins the reinvention of our current Supported Employment program with a first year goal to provide individualized, non-traditional employment services to 12 working-age individuals with disabilities resulting in full-time employment with fair wages and benefits in the Hunt Valley business sector. This initial group will lay the groundwork for replicating subsequent groups on an ongoing basis.

The program has four components: vocational evaluation, skill development and education, internships, and job development. The difference from our current program is the focus on the initial job evaluation and the early, intensive investment of time in the employee. The ability to tailor a participant’s employment education and internship experience based upon their career interests and skills will be the key to each person’s success.  We will recruit participants split evenly between transitioning youth and unemployed or underemployed individuals already receiving Arc services. 

To support this project, we’ve developed partnerships with the Department of Rehabilitation Services, Community College of Baltimore County, Towson University’s Institute for Well-Being (Occupational Therapy), Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, the Business Opportunity Network (BON) and the Hunt Valley Business Forum.