Economic opportunity

BLocal BUILD College Alumni Reverse Vendor Fair sparks connections and opportunities

Event brings BUILD College alumni businesses together to showcase their work and forge new partnerships

Johns Hopkins Media Relations
Office phone

Thirteen local businesses came together earlier this year for the annual BLocal BUILD College Alumni Reverse Fair at Johns Hopkins University's Keswick complex, an opportunity for those within the BUILD College alumni network to showcase their businesses.

The fair celebrates the achievements of the BUILD College alumni and also amplifies their voices, providing a vital gateway to new markets, partnerships, and growth opportunities with a diverse array of businesses in the design and construction industry and BLocal BUILD College partners.

"The Reverse Vendor Fair has been instrumental in bridging the gap and connecting us with valuable vendors," said an attendee from the Confident Cleaning team, a local business that is a part of the BUILD College alumni network. "The small setting encourages meaningful conversations that allow us to understand needs better and explore opportunities for collaboration. We're grateful for this experience and exposure, and the doors it opens for us to both offer our services and find solutions that benefit our operations."

Small groups of people converse in a large room

Launched in 2016, BLocal is a commitment by local businesses and anchor institutions—including Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System—to leverage their collective influence to strengthen the city by creating economic opportunities in Baltimore. The BUILD College is part of this initiative.

With businesses exhibiting their capabilities and services, the fair gave BUILD College alumni a chance to shine. Following graduation, these businesses become an integral part of BUILD College's alumni network, and this fair serves as a testament to their ongoing success and contribution to the wider Baltimore community.

Representatives from Johns Hopkins Facilities and Real Estate (JHFRE) and the Johns Hopkins Health System Facilities, Design, and Construction (JHHS FD+C) were also in attendance, eager to engage with BUILD College alums and learn about their businesses and potential collaborations.

"In the spirit of fostering business sustainability and growth, making new relationships, and fostering existing ones, we look forward to future iterations of this event and the opportunities they will bring for our alumni companies, university and health system, and the wider Baltimore community," said Alexandra Brice, economic and inclusion manager for JHFRE, and Hope Smith, economic inclusion and vendor relations program director for JHHS FD+C.