State to Begin Taking Applications for EARN Maryland Workforce Training Initiative


Business-led initiative is designed to ensure Maryland employers have the talent they need to compete

BALTIMORE, MD (October 11, 2013) -- EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland, the state-funded competitive workforce and economic development grant initiative, will begin soliciting for Planning Grant proposals on Tuesday, October 15. Tuesday’s solicitation marks the beginning of EARN MD’s Planning Grant phase. Applications will be due on November 12 and Planning Grant awards made by the end of December.

EARN Maryland, managed by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), is a first-of-its-kind State skills training and economic development initiative that is business-led, flexible and collaborative. EARN MD 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.

“In Maryland, we’ve built up one of the most highly-skilled workforces in the nation,” said Governor O’Malley. “Every choice we make is about creating jobs, expanding opportunity, and strengthening Maryland’s middle class. We chose to invest in EARN Maryland to ensure that Maryland companies will compete and win in the New Economy.”

“EARN Maryland encourages regional workforce training collaborations among businesses, non-profits, two and four year institutions of higher education, local workforce investment boards, local governments, and various types of workforce training providers,” said Leonard Howie, DLLR Secretary. EARN Maryland is a proven strategy for providing employers with a skilled workforce.”

The first year’s funding of $4.5 million will be disbursed in two phases:

  • Planning Grants will provide modest seed funding to allow potential partnerships to develop the best possible strategic industry partnership plans.
  • Implementation Grants will fund the education and training to meet industry’s workforce needs.

Applications for EARN Maryland Planning Grants will be available online at 2 PM Tuesday, October 15.

The solicitation for Implementation Grants will be released in early January 2014, with those applications due by March 31, 2014.

With the release of the solicitation for Planning Grant proposals, interested stakeholders in every region of the state can begin building the necessary partnerships to collaboratively identify industry workforce needs and design strategies to meet them.

Successful strategic partnership applicants will be provided up to $25,000 to allow partnerships to form, to work together and to spend sufficient time to develop the most effective strategies to improve Maryland’s workforce and economy.

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. An estimated 1,000 regional sector partnerships are operating across the country. More than 25 states are exploring or implementing sector strategies as a way to address industry needs through education and training initiatives.

DLLR will host a statewide Pre-Proposal Conference open to any potential EARN Maryland Planning Grant applicant. The Conference will take place at 1 PM on October 18, 2013, at the Anne Arundel Community College, Robert E. Kauffman Theater, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, MD 21012.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland's dynamic economy. For updates and information, follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR), Facebook and visit our website . Get more information on EARN Maryland.