Skip to Content Accessibility Information

Department of Labor EARN Maryland Program Recognized Nationally for Innovation, Effectiveness

BALTIMORE (July 24, 2018) – The Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland program has been named one of the Top 25 programs in the 2018 Innovations in American Government Award competition by The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, a leading research center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The Innovations in American Government Awards is the nation's preeminent program devoted to recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. The program highlights exemplary models of government innovation and advances efforts to address the nation's most pressing public concerns.

"The Department of Labor is honored that EARN Maryland has been recognized as a Top 25 program by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation," said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "This administration remains committed to ensuring that Maryland is open for business, and through innovative programs like EARN, we are doing just that."

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. The program challenges traditional workforce development models by placing employer and industry partners at the forefront of program implementation.

"EARN Maryland is an innovative model for effective workforce development. Through training partnerships driven by industry, employers are identifying pressing skills gaps and designing curriculum and programs that meet their workforce needs," said Eli Allen, director of Civic Works' Baltimore Center for Green Careers. "At Civic Works, we have seen firsthand the impact of EARN in employers that have expanded their operations, strengthened performance, and improved productivity. At the same time, Marylanders are developing in-demand skills, and building family-sustaining careers in growing sectors of Maryland’s economy."

The EARN program has helped more than 2,500 Marylanders obtain employment, and provided training to nearly 5,000 incumbent workers.

EARN is helping Marylanders like Yesi, a veteran living in Montgomery County. Yesi was making $12 an hour when he enrolled in the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy-Maryland, an EARN funded program. The program enabled him to earn two industry-recognized GIAC certifications that are highly valued by employers. Upon completion of the program, Yesi secured employment as a SOC analyst, nearly tripling his previous income.

"EARN Maryland has afforded our organization the unique opportunity to help bridge the gap between academic training and the actual job skills necessary for the cyber security workforce in Maryland," said Chairman Bruce Spector of the Baltimore Cyber Range. "EARN requires its members to form consortiums with private and public employers to identify skills gaps and help develop curriculum to address those needs. The critical involvement from employers ensures trainees have the skills to meet Maryland cyber employers’ tactical and immediate job requirements."

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.

"Not only is EARN impacting countless lives around the state, but the investment is a sound one," said Secretary Schulz. "Recognizing this, the governor has doubled the budget for the past two years, with investments in key industries like cybersecurity and green. This investment has allowed the program to reach more businesses and jobseekers and we look forward to continuing to grow the program in 2018."

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 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)