Maryland’s Fostering Employment Program - Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program (MATP)
Section 128(a) of WIOA allows up to 15 percent of funds allocated to the State, known as Governor’s Set Aside funds, to be used at the discretion of the Governor to fund innovative, State-led job training initiatives. Recognizing the need to reach foster care recipients and unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness with workforce system resources that will facilitate a smooth transition to gainful employment, Maryland has allocated $500,000 of these funds to create the Maryland Fostering Employment Program.
Foster care recipients and unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness often face unique employment barriers that affect their ability to secure jobs on career pathways with opportunities for advancement. Addressing these barriers requires collaboration and coordination of services across multiple agencies within the State’s workforce system. The Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Fostering Employment Act of 2018, codified as § 4-305 of the Human Services Article of the Maryland Code, to ensure that state agencies work together to expand access to Registered Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs for these populations.
Registered Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships offer a unique, flexible training system that combines related instruction with structured On-the-Job Learning. By focusing on the excellent career opportunities afforded through these programs, Maryland is helping under-resourced youth overcome barriers to employment on their way to building solid careers.
The Maryland Fostering Employment Program is structured as two, interconnected projects:
1. Registered Apprenticeships - Project #1 is designed to subsidize a portion of the training and supportive services costs incurred by Registered Apprenticeship employer Sponsors who hire work-authorized foster care recipients or unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.
2. Pre-Apprenticeships - Project #2 is designed to support pre-apprenticeship programs that equip enrolled participants with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully advance into a Registered Apprenticeship. Maryland’s Fostering Employment Program funds will be used to subsidize a portion of the training and supportive services costs of pre-apprenticeship programs. Like Project #1, Project #2 targets services to work-authorized foster care recipients and unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.
For complete information, please refer to the Policy Issuance for this initiative provided below.