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Mayor Scott Renews Efforts To Find Stable Employment For Squeegee Workers, Launches 90-Day Community Engagement Plan

BALTIMORE (WJZ) --Twenty-six-year-old Sieed has been a squeegee worker in Baltimore for three years but wants something more.

"I need to get off of the squeegee corner," he said Tuesday.

The father of two said he uses the money from squeegeeing to buy food and pay bills for his family. "I have two beautiful kids that I try to take care of," he said but added that this line of work doesn't have things he wants and needs like a 401-k.

It's why Sieed and other squeegee workers are excited for a new opportunity announced Tuesday by Mayor Brandon Scott. A new 90-day action plan helping workers like him by placing them in steady jobs.

"Providing them the support that they need," said Mayor Scott.

Deputy Mayor, Faith Leach, said the plan involves the city's outreach team engaging with young people working on street corners, "connecting them with resources and to employment."

The plan will give 10 squeegee workers a job at Canopy by Hilton Hotel in Baltimore's Harbor Point.

They'll have the chance to try their hand at being a bellhop or working in the hotel's restaurant. But not everyone wants to stay off the streets.

"I can make more money being out here," said Carlos, another squeegee worker. Carlos said he makes anywhere from $25-$50 per hour.

As a twenty-year-old, it's enough for Carlos to support himself and his music career. "I'm not trying to work for nobody else," he added.

Squeegeeing has been a point of contention in Baltimore. Last year, a viral video showed a squeegee worker punching a driver and earlier this month, another video showed a squeegee worker helping a woman from a car crash.

"They are resilient, they are passionate and they hold so much promise," said Leech of the squeegee workers. "They are all the things we all love about Baltimore."

But city officials believe this way of work should come to an end.

'Youth squeegeeing is a visible representation of broken systems," added Leech at a press conference Tuesday.

But Carlos says he isn't going anywhere. "We're gonna keep hustling, we're not robbing nobody, it's an honest hustle so we're gonna keep doing this," he said.

The Mayor's new plan is set to launch next month.

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