Project Seeks to Aid Baltimore's Black Middle Class

Ten years ago, Thomas Young, was languishing in a dead-end job manufacturing glass bottles at a factory here.

"It was almost like I was a slave," says Mr. Young, now 36, of his position as a machine operator. "I had no skills, so I was stuck."

He had dropped out of college and accepted the $36,000 salary so that he could support his first child, but after seven years of boredom and frustration, he needed a change. He took a job at the customer-service desk of the University of