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EARN Maryland Annual Report Reveals Extremely High Return on Investment

Nationally-Recognized Workforce Program Provides Economic, Employment, and Fiscal Benefits

BALTIMORE (Feb. 28, 2018) – Kelly M. Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation today announced the release of the 2017 EARN Maryland Annual Report, which highlights the program’s profound impact on the state’s business community. EARN Maryland is an industry-led initiative that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete while helping prepare Marylanders for meaningful careers. In a recent study on the economic impact of EARN Maryland, it was determined that for every dollar the state invests into the program, an additional $18.97 in economic activity is created. In comparison, the nationwide average return on investment for workforce development programs is $3.41.

“The EARN annual report confirms what we already knew: this program works,” said Secretary Schulz. “By partnering directly with employers and industry partners, we can identify workforce shortages and develop training plans that efficiently bridge those gaps. Employers see increased productivity, increased opportunity, significant cost savings, and expansion, which in turn increases economic activity in the state.”

ROI calculations look at a variety of factors including wage improvements by program participants, increases in firm outputs attributable to an improved workforce, and reductions in public expenditures as workers attain jobs or retain better paying jobs. Additionally, the calculation takes into account the number of participants placed into jobs, net new jobs created, and net new wages created per $100,000 investment, and the total economic, employment and fiscal impact of the program. This analysis shows an ROI of $18.97 in economic activity for every dollar the state spends on the program, a slight increase over the return on investment for the program last year.

EARN challenges traditional workforce development models by placing employer and industry partners at the forefront of program implementation. Employers establish training needs, develop curriculum, design programs, and place successful participants. Regardless of industry and region of the state, employers identify a similar challenge around recruiting candidates with the appropriate skill sets for employment. Intimate involvement in the process provides employers with confidence that EARN participants have the relevant, in-demand skills to help grow their business, while providing valuable opportunities for the state’s workforce.

“A workforce system disconnected from business fails to meet the needs of jobseekers,” said Secretary Schulz. “That’s why EARN places employer and industry partners at the forefront of program implementation. Intimate involvement in the process produces confidence that EARN participants have the relevant, in-demand skills to help grow their business, while providing valuable opportunities for the state’s workforce.”

Recognizing the success of EARN Maryland, Governor Hogan doubled the investment in the program in 2018 to ensure Maryland employers have the talent they need to compete and grow in key industries. In addition to the previous $4 million grant for a variety of industries, $3 million was earmarked for investments in cyber and information technology and, over the next three years, $1 million annually will be available for EARN Maryland green jobs training. Given this investment, the program grew nearly 50% in 2017 and is currently investing in 58 strategic industry partnerships comprised of over 850 employers.

“The department is proud to house a program that has received national recognition for its innovative and forward-thinking program design,” said Schulz. “We are grateful for Governor Hogan’s investment in EARN, which will ensure more employers have the talent they need to compete and grow in Maryland. With the level funding proposed by Governor Hogan in the FY19 budget, we look forward to the continued growth and success of EARN Maryland.”

Since October 2017, 2,323 unemployed and underemployed Marylanders have obtained employment, and more than 4,400 incumbent workers have increased their skillsets through EARN, leading to improved business outcomes for employers, such as increased cost savings, productivity, and retention.

View EARN Maryland for more information - including how you can get involved as an employer, partner, or jobseeker.

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR), Facebook and visit our website.

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