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Local Governments Leverage Apprenticeship to Address Hiring Shortages

Five programs created in July marks resurgence

BALTIMORE (Aug. 6, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation today announced five local governments across Maryland have launched registered apprenticeship programs, demonstrating a resurgence of interest in the training program by local government. At its July meeting, the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Council approved programs sponsored by the following counties and municipalities: Baltimore City, Harford County, Howard County, Washington County, and St. Mary’s County. These programs are the first in five years to be launched by a Maryland county or municipal organization. Prior to that, no county or municipality created a registered apprenticeship program in Maryland since 1988.

“Our administration is committed to supporting our local partners by providing the resources they need to succeed,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Adding these five counties to our incredibly successful registered apprenticeship program will increase our coordination with our local governments to maximize our state’s ability to provide a talent pipeline of engaged, qualified employees.”

“Maryland’s local governments are discovering what many of our businesses have known for decades: registered apprenticeship works,” said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “Apprenticeship is a great way to build your workforce, whether you are in the private or public sector. Due to our tight labor market, government entities, as well as private companies, face challenges finding the right candidates. Through apprenticeship, employers can mold a candidate into their perfect employee by training them on-the-job while the employee also receives classroom training.”

The Baltimore Police Department’s Cadet-Apprenticeship program, approved at the July MATC meeting, will address the growing Baltimore City police shortage by creating a pipeline of committed, skilled, and experienced Baltimore police officers. The structure, education, and mentorship of the program makes it an effective tool for recruiting and training future law enforcement officers.

“Building a 21st century police department that reflects constitutional, community-based policing is central to our efforts to reform the Baltimore Police Department and re-establish the trust and confidence of our citizens,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “With the launch of this new Cadet-Apprenticeship program, I am confident that we will attract and cultivate a new generation of quality young men and women who will also help create the new culture and approach that is essential.”

Currently, there are 11 cadets in the program, with anticipated growth by the end of the year.

St. Mary’s County is also implementing apprenticeship to fill its public safety positions, including the occupations of deputy sheriff and corrections officer. Washington County’s program will employ apprentices for its water/wastewater occupations; while Harford and Howard Counties will utilize apprentices for its facilities management jobs, such as electrician, plumber, and HVAC-R technician.

“Howard County, among other jurisdictions, is losing some of our best tradespeople in the workforce to attrition and retirement,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Before those skills and expertise are gone, we hope to help transfer those abilities to a new generation of electricians, plumbers, and HVAC-R technicians. These are solid career paths that will always be needed in public, commercial, and residential settings.”

The apprenticeships being developed in Howard County are full-time, paid positions with benefits. Candidates in the 4-year program will attend trade school for free with 144 classroom hours per year, as well as complete 2,000 on-the-job training hours, in exchange for a commitment to remain employed with the county for at least two years after the program.

Also at July’s MATC meeting, McLane Foodservice Distribution, Carter Enterprise Solutions, Baltimore City Community College, and Chesapeake Maritime Ship Program became new apprenticeship sponsors, while Liberty Electric, Berry Plastics, and Pacific Architects and Engineers reactivated their sponsorships. These additions will bring such new apprenticeship occupations as truck driver, industrial maintenance technician, shipwright, and engineering technician.

“This has not been a sleepy summer for the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program,” said Secretary Schulz. “With this month’s new programs and sponsors, we are on track for another record year for apprenticeship. Fueling this growth is the governor's commitment to apprenticeship and the team's consistent outreach to all industries throughout the state."

Since the beginning of the Hogan administration in January 2015, the number of registered apprentices has grown by nearly 20 percent. Today, approximately 9,600 apprentices are learning and earning throughout Maryland. In 2017, a total of 15 new registered apprenticeship programs were created and seven were re-activated, resulting in a record year for the program. Already thus far in 2018, 20 new registered apprenticeship programs have been created and nine have been re-activated.

Apprenticeships are full-time jobs that include on-the-job training and classroom instruction, allowing apprentices to earn while they learn. Anyone 18 years of age or older can be a registered apprentice. Businesses and job seekers interested in apprenticeships are invited to contact or call 410-767-2246.

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)
443-721-8637 (cell)