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State Accepting Applications for EARN Maryland Implementation Grants

Business-led initiative is designed to bridge Maryland’s skills gap and drive economic growth

BALTIMORE, MD (October 22, 2014) – EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland, the state-funded competitive workforce and economic development grant initiative, releases a new Solicitation for Implementation Grant Proposals. Today’s Solicitation marks the third round of EARN Maryland grants and the second round of implementation grants, and is targeted at industry partnerships who have not already received an EARN Maryland Implementation Grant. Proposals will be due on November 24, 2014 and Implementation Grant awards will be announced in January 2015.

EARN Maryland, managed by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), is the State’s first skills training and economic development initiative that is business-led. EARN Maryland is flexible and collaborative, and is designed to ensure that Maryland employers have the talent they need to compete and grow while providing targeted education and skills training to Maryland workers.

"Through EARN Maryland, we're helping more Marylanders get the skills and credentials they need to qualify for the most in-demand jobs, while helping our companies compete in a 21st Century, global Economy,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “We remain committed to building the best, most highly-skilled workforce in the country, and we're achieving results for Maryland’s middle class families by creating jobs, improving access to education and training, and expanding opportunity."

"Here at the Maryland Department of Labor, we're very proud to be entering our second round of grant solicitations for EARN Maryland. Now, more Maryland strategic industry partnerships will be able to offer in-demand job training services to connect Marylanders to jobs by closing critical skills gaps and growing vital sectors of Maryland’s ever-changing 21st century economy," said Maryland Labor Secretary Leonard Howie.

In the first round of Implementation Grants, announced in June, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) awarded over $5 million to 28 strategic industry partnerships spanning numerous regions and industries throughout the state. The more than 400 organizations that make up these partnerships are collaborating to develop and implement the most effective strategies to improve Maryland’s workforce and economy.

With the release of today’s Solicitation for Implementation Grant Proposals, strategic industry partnerships who have not previously received EARN Maryland grants may apply for funding to fully implement their industry-led workforce strategies and begin the training process.

EARN Maryland is based on a successful national model. Among similar initiatives around the country, this approach led to skills advancement, career building opportunities and increased wages. Sector strategies are among the few interventions with a growing body of evidence showing improved employment opportunities and wages for workers as well as increased productivity and other positive outcomes for employers. More than 25 states are exploring or implementing sector strategies as a way to address industry needs through education and training initiatives.

On Thursday, October 30, DLLR will host a statewide Implementation Grant Pre-Proposal Conference from 10 AM to 11:30 AM at the Department of Housing and Community Development in Crownsville. More information and the solicitation are available on our website.

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.