WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) announced today that the Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded more than $5 million in funding to the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to support on-the-job training programs in Maryland for the long-term unemployed. The grants are part of the DOL’s Job-Driven National Emergency Grant (JD NEG) program, which uses funds from the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund.
“We cannot afford to let anyone fall through the cracks as we continue to strengthen our local and regional economies. This latest federal investment will help Marylanders, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, to get the training they need to rejoin the workforce and make their families whole again,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance and Small Business Committees. “We have a responsibility to educate and train our workers to fill the skilled jobs of our knowledge-based economy.”
“I believe that in America, if you’re ready to work and want a job, you should have one,” Senator Mikulski said. “Families who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own need a hand to help get back on the job so they can pay food, housing and day-to-day needs. These funds in the federal checkbook will help Marylanders who have been looking for a job get the on-the-job training and know-how they need.”
The (DLLR) will receive $5,137,155 to enhance and expand the provision of services to long-term unemployed dislocated workers in the fields of construction and manufacturing, health care, information technology, and transportation and logistics by focusing on employer partnerships that create employment opportunities through various integrated work-based learning models, including the creation or expansion of Registered Apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs; on-the-job training programs; and customized and occupational skills training.
Maryland will coordinate a state-led effort to streamline and standardize policies and processes resulting in enhanced outreach efforts to employers and eligible participants. The State plans to build on active interagency relationships with the State Department of Business and Economic Development, Department of Transportation and Department of Human Resources. These enhanced partnerships will continue industry-led initiatives, such as the EARN program, Career Pathways, and the Highway and Transit Construction programs, as well as strengthen their Business Engagement and Apprenticeship Roundtable initiatives.
This grant also supports a Welcome Back Center program to leverage a strategic state investment targeted to provide a comprehensive approach in addressing the needs that foreign-trained healthcare professionals encounter when obtaining their Maryland licenses. The Welcome Back Center is an innovative model that builds on the personal and professional assets of immigrants living in the United States to: further address health professional shortages; diversify the health workforce; provide economic opportunities to underutilized individuals as they return to work in the health field; and enhance health outcomes of the entire community. The Welcome Back Center is one of several centers comprising the national “Welcome Back Initiative” network.
These grants are part of more than $154 million in funding through the Job-Driven National Emergency Grant program. Thirty-two states, Puerto Rico and the Cherokee tribal nation will receive funding to provide education, training, and job placement assistance for workers who lost a job through no fault of their own in high-demand industries. Through these programs, employers will get the skilled workers they need, and American workers will be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in new and emerging occupations in high-growth industries.