Johns Hopkins rolled out an initiative to hire local residents as a response to the issues brought to the fore by last year’s unrest. As the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death nears, they’re being joined by 24 other businesses in the area.

Launched on Monday, BLocal is a commitment to help Baltimore through jobs. Specifically, the businesses said they would look to hire more residents from distressed neighborhoods, sign more minority and women-owned businesses for construction contracting and purchasing agreements.

The HopkinsLocal program is one example of such an effort. According to the JHU Hub, Brown Advisory CEO Mike Hankin saw that effort, and wanted to expand it to other businesses.

Along with Hopkins and Brown, the group of 25 companies includes familiar Baltimore names like BGE, Under Armour, Cordish, 1st Mariner Bank, Legg Mason, Beatty Development and T. Rowe Price. The full list is on the BLocal website.

As members of BLocal, the other companies are pledging to create similar initiatives. Some of the businesses are also pooling resources to provide construction and other training programs to small businesses through a program called Contractors College.

“You cannot have a healthy community and a safe community unless you have jobs. That’s real,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Technical.ly Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.