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State Announces Second Round of Strategic Investments in Career Pathways

Workforce Funds Foster Innovative Collaborations for Adult Learners

BALTIMORE (Sept. 11, 2018) - Secretary Kelly M. Schulz of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation today announced the award of nearly $500,000 in federal funds to local workforce entities. This second round of career pathway grants will be made to workforce boards in Anne Arundel County, and Western Maryland (Washington, Garrett, and Allegany counties). These targeted funds will support local boards in developing career pathways that will increase adult learners’ access to training and/or career opportunities, and will expand the talent pipeline for the business community.

“Literacy, numeracy, and English language requirements are often a barrier to adult learners looking to access occupational training opportunities,” said Secretary Schulz. “The career pathways developed through this funding will help Marylanders increase their earning capacity while working towards their educational goals. Participants will be able to access training and career opportunities which, in turn, will help us meet the workforce demands of our industry partners.”

Historically, educational prerequisites have prevented adult learners from enrolling in job preparation courses due to requirements related to minimum levels of academic proficiency. The career pathways developed through this funding will create integrated education and training opportunities that ensure accelerated access to industry credentials and work opportunities for adult learners.

"This investment in our workforce is also an investment in the business community," said Secretary Schulz. “By strengthening our adult learners through industry-driven training, we grow the talent pipeline, and Maryland employers will benefit from a larger pool of trained, capable workers.”

Developed by the Department of Labor, this grant program offers expanded opportunities for adult learners throughout the state. It is a part of Maryland’s implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which serves both jobseekers and businesses. WIOA addresses the needs of jobseekers by establishing a workforce system that helps them access education, training, and support services to gain employment and succeed in the labor market, and employer needs by matching them to the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

This solicitation gave local workforce boards the opportunity to apply for up to $250,000 in funding to develop innovative demonstration projects with a consortium of local partners, including adult education providers and business partners. Eligible applicants were provided a menu of recommended interventions that were selected by the department after careful consideration and a review of national best practices. These interventions include:

  • Registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship,
  • Integrated education and training,
  • Integrated English literacy and civics education,
  • Transition support specialist between local workforce and adult education entities,
  • English language acquisition, and
  • Distance learning.

Both Anne Arundel County and the Western Maryland workforce areas will continue to grow and strengthen career pathway models through the use of new or expanded Registered Apprenticeship programs and other integrated learning opportunities. These will connect adult education to the range of workforce services available through the department and its local counterparts.

In March, the Department of Labor announced nearly $1 million in first-round funding, which was granted to local workforce boards in Baltimore City, mid-Maryland (Howard and Carroll counties), and Prince George’s County. Through innovative strategic investments like this, the department is changing the way the state approaches workforce development.

For more information on Maryland’s workforce system or training opportunities provided for those who qualify, please visit Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning web page or contact the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning.

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor 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 the Maryland Department of Labor on Twitter (@MD_Labor), Facebook and visit our website.

Theresa Blaner
Director, Communications and Media Relations
410-230-6241 (office)
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