State Agency Funds New EARN Maryland Partnerships

The 15 partnerships receiving funding consist of more than 80 employer partners and will train nearly 600 Marylanders in in-demand careers, including cybersecurity, health care, and the construction trades.

Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz on Oct. 9 announced more than $1.6 million in state funds are being awarded to 15 projects to grow the Department of Labor's Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland program. EARN Maryland is a nationally recognized workforce solution that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete while preparing workers for meaningful careers. EARN Maryland awards funding to strategic industry partnerships consisting of employers, non-profits, higher education, local workforce development boards, and local governments.

The 15 partnerships receiving funding consist of more than 80 employer partners and will train nearly 600 Marylanders in in-demand careers, including cybersecurity, health care, and the construction trades.

"The partnerships funded under this recent solicitation exemplify the capacity of collaboration and partnership to effect great change in people's lives. The work of these industry partners will lead to a more highly trained, highly skilled workforce," Schulz said. "We are grateful to Governor [Larry] Hogan for his support of this nationally recognized program and look forward to its continued success with our new partners."

The state funding has been increased by $4 million for cyber and green training in FY18 and FY19. The program has nearly doubled its number of strategic industry partnerships during the past year.

"The Maryland Food Bank's FoodWorks Program is proud to partner with the nationally recognized EARN program," said Maryland Food Bank Executive Director Carmen Del Guercio. "Through FoodWorks, our students learn in-demand culinary skills by creating healthy meals for hungry Marylanders. This partnership is a win-win for our state because we’re addressing some of the root causes of hunger – lack of workforce training and job opportunities – while alleviating food insecurity."

According to the department, more than 900 employers have participated in the EARN Maryland program, which has resulted in nearly 3,000 Marylanders obtaining employment and more than 5,200 incumbent workers advancing their skills. "EARN Maryland is a natural extension of the College of Southern Maryland's collaboration with local employers, our workforce development partners, higher education, and DLLR to tackle specific workforce challenges," said Dan Mosser, vice president of continuing education and workforce development at the College of Southern Maryland. "The Construction Workforce Partnership for Southern Maryland, CSM's new EARN grant, is a two-year effort to increase the pipeline of trained professionals entering careers in the skilled trades and to improve the safety performance of our construction workforce."

The new projects are scheduled to begin in October 2018 and January 2019.

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