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Maryland Department of Labor Seeks Applications to Grow Nationally-Recognized EARN Maryland Program

BALTIMORE, MD — (December 4, 2023) - The Maryland Department of Labor today announced that the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland program, the industry-led, competitive workforce and economic development grant initiative, is now accepting Implementation Grant Proposals. Proposals will be due on March 15, 2024, and awards will be announced in May 2024.

"EARN makes a meaningful difference to the lives of residents and the success of businesses across our state," said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu. "It brings an opportunity for residents to acquire the skills they need to advance to a high-wage career and for employers to gain access to a trained workforce that can grow their business."

Partnerships funded through EARN provide in-demand, relevant training to unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers based on industry-identified needs. Designed to be collaborative, EARN invests in Strategic Industry Partnerships comprised of five or more employers and various other organizations, including non-profits, higher education, local workforce development boards, and local governments. Successful applicants will develop a comprehensive plan to bridge employer-identified skills gaps in a given industry while demonstrating the ability to address the holistic needs of workers and eliminate barriers to employment.

EARN currently funds more than 60 Strategic Industry Partnerships across the State in diverse, high-growth industries, such as information technology, healthcare, transportation and logistics, and biotechnology. As a result of its industry-led model, nearly 9,300 individuals have obtained employment, and more than 13,000 incumbent workers have acquired new skills, certifications, or credentials since the program's launch in 2014. EARN is a national best practice for its innovation in sector strategies by organizations such as the National Skills Coalition and the Urban Institute.

Maryland Department of Labor will hold a virtual Pre-Proposal Conference on Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. For more information about EARN and for a link to the Solicitation for Implementation Grant Proposals, please visit: EARN Maryland webpage.

The Department of Labor strives to create an equitable and inclusive Maryland where all residents have the opportunities and resources to attain financial stability, reach their career potential, and contribute to their communities; where businesses have access to capital and the skilled workforce they need to succeed; where workplaces are safe and well-regulated; and where the economy is resilient and growing. For updates and information, follow Labor on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and visit our website.

Jamie Mangrum