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State Announces Strategic Investments in Career Pathways

Workforce Funds Dedicated to Innovative Collaborations for Adult Learners

BALTIMORE (March 7, 2018) – Under the leadership of Governor Larry Hogan, Secretary Kelly M. Schulz of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation today announced the award of nearly $1 million in federal workforce funds to local workforce entities. The first round of awards will be granted to local boards in Baltimore City, mid-Maryland (Howard and Carroll Counties), and Prince George’s County to develop innovative career pathways that will increase adult learners' access to training and/or career opportunities.

Literacy, numeracy, and English language requirements often make it challenging for adult learners to access occupational training opportunities. Historically, educational prerequisites have prevented this group from enrolling in job preparation courses due to requirements related to minimum levels of academic proficiency. The career pathways developed through this project will create integrated education and training opportunities that ensure accelerated access to industry credentials and work opportunities for adult learners.

"Learning is a lifelong pursuit, and growth should come at any age," said Labor Secretary Schulz. "That is why Maryland invests in adult learners who need literacy and English language skills, training opportunities, or a pathway to a Maryland high school diploma. This latest funding will finance contextualized, industry-driven training that gives adult learners valuable skills to help them grow in their careers. Further, through this investment, the business community will benefit from a strengthened pipeline of skilled workers to fill their employment needs."

Developed by the Department of Labor, this grant provides greater opportunity for adult learners throughout the state. It is a part of Maryland’s overall effort to implement the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which helps 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 interventions that were selected by the department after careful consideration and 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.

Through strategic investments like this, the department is changing the way the state approaches workforce development. The projects created with this funding will begin April 1, 2018, and will commence for a period of two years.

For more information on Maryland’s workforce system or training opportunities provided for those who qualify, please visit the Maryland Department of Labor website or e-mail 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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