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About the Acting Secretary

James E. Rzepkowski, Acting SecretaryJames E. Rzepkowski, Acting Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor

James E. Rzepkowski was appointed acting secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor in January 2019. Rzepkowski serves the state in two capacities: In his current role as assistant secretary for Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning, and as acting secretary over the agency, leading the Maryland Department of Labor in protecting and empowering Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, and cultivating a thriving workforce that meets the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy.

The Maryland Department of Labor has several divisions including unemployment insurance, occupational and professional licensing, financial regulation, labor and industry, workforce development and adult learning, the Maryland Racing Commission, and the Governor's Workforce Development Board. The agency employs nearly 2,000 workers and has an operating budget of more than $375 million.

In his role as assistant secretary of workforce development, Rzepkowski works to develop and implement important workforce development programs throughout the state, in adult education and literacy services, correctional education, fiscal administration, and workforce information and performance.

Rzepkowski’s work history exemplifies his passion for building a pipeline of skilled, talented workers. Prior to his appointment as assistant secretary in 2015, he served eight years as the corporate director of workforce development at Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, headquartered in Baltimore. There he developed and implemented mission-critical workforce development initiatives that leveraged strategic partnerships with educational institutions to address the growing talent needs of the energy industry.

Prior to that, he served 12 years in state government in both executive and legislative roles: three years as an assistant secretary with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (now the Department of Commerce), and nine years as an elected member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing the 32nd legislative district in Northern Anne Arundel County. He served on the House Ways and Means Committee where he dealt with a vast array of business issues including business fees and tax proposals, and horse racing.

Acting Secretary Rzepkowski holds a bachelor’s degree in government and politics with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of Maryland College Park. He resides in Anne Arundel County with his wife, Laura, and two children.