Governor Martin O'Malley today visited Tulkoff Food Products in Dundalk to highlight the EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland workforce training initiative, which creates industry-led regional job creation and workforce development partnerships that help to identify common workforce needs for high-demand occupations such as construction, traditional and advanced manufacturing, cyber security, and health care; and develop and implement education or training strategies to address workforce shortages.
Today's event comes on the heels of news last week that Maryland has recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost in the national recession.
"Thanks to our dynamic private sector, Maryland has recovered the jobs lost during the recession a year earlier than our end of 2014 goal. But we do not think of it as a mission accomplished -- we're now focused on moving beyond 100 percent, to continue to expand opportunity and to grow our increasingly diverse middle class," said Governor O'Malley. "Homegrown companies like Tulkoff are the backbone of our economy, and it's in our interest to help ensure their success. The EARN Maryland initiative will help Maryland workers develop the skills they need for today's high-demand industries, and help employers find skilled workers. I remain grateful to Senator Kathy Klausmeier, Delegate John Olszewski, Delegate Keiffer Mitchell, and Delegate Luke Clippinger for all of their incredible work on this bill to create this program last session -- because of their hard work we are able to provide this investment to ensure that Maryland companies will compete and win in the New Economy."
Tulkoff Food Products is a family-owned business that produces condiments and sauces, such as horseradish, cocktail sauce, and pesto, primarily for the food-service industry.
"Tulkoff Food Products is the quintessential small business that's the backbone of our state and our country. We pay an honest wage for a day's work. But without the right people; qualified, motivated and skilled, we can't compete in today's economy," said Phil Tulkoff, CEO and President of Tulkoff Food Products. "That's why the EARN Maryland program is a great step toward providing employers like Tulkoff Food Products and sectors like manufacturing, with the talent we need to continue our success and grow our business right here in Baltimore."
The EARN Maryland initiative is managed by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), and encourages regional workforce training collaborations among businesses, non-profits, institutions of higher education, community college, local workforce investment boards, local governments, and various types of workforce training providers. Supported by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, EARN Maryland is a proven strategy for providing Maryland's employers with skilled workers. 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 programs.
EARN Maryland planning grants will be awarded on a competitive basis through an application process. DLLR will release the EARN Maryland planning grant solicitations by October 15 and awards will be announced by December 2013. For more information on the planning grant process, please visit www.earn.maryland.gov.
"EARN Maryland will allow employers to lead workforce training programs designed to create jobs and expand opportunity," said State Sen. Kathy Klausmeier. "I am pleased that we were able to work together to provide this investment to ensure that Maryland companies, like Tulkoff Food Products, will compete and win in the new economy."
"I'm proud to have played an active role in EARN Maryland's development from the very beginning. This program will create a system that facilitates state collaboration with businesses, local governments, and non-profits to establish industry partnerships that will advance the skills of our state's workforce and grow Maryland's economy," said Del. John Olszewski, Jr. "EARN Maryland can be a powerful program for our residents because it will both allow existing workers to propel from their current positions to more technical, better paid jobs, and because it will also provide additional employment opportunities for others who are currently unemployed or underemployed."
"EARN Maryland will help bridge the gap between workforce needs and the skills possessed by Maryland workers. It's a smart way for businesses to develop a workforce with the exact skills they need -- and for unemployed and underemployed Marylanders to gain the skills they need to succeed on the jobs of today's economy," said Del. Keiffer Mitchell. "The initiative is bringing together state and local government, businesses, and nonprofits to compete for grant money that will enable them to create workforce training programs for their industry sectors, and to create new opportunities for more Marylanders."
"Many thanks to Governor O'Malley and my legislative colleagues for making EARN Maryland a reality. As a co-sponsor of the EARN legislation last session, I'm extremely proud of what this program will do for Maryland families and for Maryland businesses. The workforce training collaborations established through EARN Maryland will enable Maryland workers to gain the skills necessary for employment and advancement into sustainable jobs," said Del. Luke Clippinger. "As a result of more coordinated and targeted training, EARN Maryland will create sustainable jobs by closing the gap between the needs of employers, and the skills of Maryland's workforce. It's an economic win-win."
The O'Malley-Brown Administration is making the better choices that are delivering better results to create jobs, expand opportunity, and strengthen Maryland's middle class. In the first quarter of this year, Maryland created jobs at the fastest rate in our region. Over the past 12 months, Maryland has created 43,300 jobs, with the private sector creating nearly 9 out of every 10 new jobs. Maryland's unemployment rate of 7 percent remains below the national averag