Employ Prince George's Celebrates Governor Moore's Signing of Key Workforce Development Legislation

LARGO, Md., May 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Employ Prince George’s is pleased to announce the signing of two crucial pieces of legislation by Governor Wes Moore on April 25, 2024. Employ Prince George’s was joined for this momentous occasion by leaders from WorkSource Montgomery, Harris Jones & Malone, and our House and Senate bill sponsors, all of whom partnered and advocated for these groundbreaking workforce development initiatives. These bills, House Bill 372/Senate Bill 354 (Rent Court Workforce Solutions Pilot Program) and House Bill 650/Senate Bill 511 (Report on Apprenticeship Mentoring Ratios), make significant strides towards enhancing opportunities and support for the job seekers and businesses in Prince George’s County and beyond.

House Bill 372/Senate Bill 354: Rent Court Workforce Solutions Pilot Program

The Rent Court Workforce Solutions Pilot Program is a pioneering initiative that will support residents who are navigating the intersection of housing insecurity and employment stability. Spearheaded by Senators Jeff Waldstreicher (Montgomery) and Michael Jackson (Prince George’s) and Delegates Kevin M. Harris (Prince George’s) and Vaughn Stewart (Montgomery), this legislation will provide targeted workforce development resources and support to individuals facing eviction proceedings. 

In a time when housing affordability is a growing concern, this innovative program provides the Prince George’s County and Montgomery County Workforce Development Boards with funding to place full-time staff in the District Courts of their respective counties on days when rent court is in session. These workforce development professionals will engage with and provide tenants facing eviction with access to financial resources, free upskilling opportunities, employment, and apprenticeship opportunities. Funding for this program will begin in FY2026 (July 1, 2025) and run concurrently through FY2028 (June 30, 2028).

“We are thrilled to see Governor Moore’s commitment to addressing the critical issues of housing insecurity and workforce development through the signing of House Bill 372 and Senate Bill 354,” said Walter Simmons, President & CEO of Employ Prince George’s. “This legislation allows us to address an underlying cause of evictions by reaching people who need workforce development services the most, when they need it the most,” he added.

Senator Waldstreicher remarked, “The passage of Senate Bill 354 represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to empower individuals and promote economic stability in our communities. This legislation will connect tenants who are behind on their rent to employment opportunities so they can stay in their homes.”

“The passage of this crucial workforce development/housing bill marks a significant step in Prince George’s County’s efforts to tackle root causes of eviction and the day-to-day hardships of those residents living right above the poverty line, while also rebuilding our labor force and building a strong economy. It was an honor to sponsor this legislation and bring these pivotal resources back to Prince George’s County,” said Delegate Harris.

House Bill 650/Senate Bill 511: Report on Apprenticeship Mentoring Ratios

The Report on Apprenticeship Mentoring Ratios was initially introduced as an effort to increase Maryland’s apprentice-to-journeyworker ratio from 1:1 to 3:1 for all nontraditional (i.e., non-building trades) apprenticeship occupations. This vital legislation, championed by Senator Alonzo Washington (Prince George’s) and Delegate Adrian Boafo (Prince George’s), saw broad support from businesses, nonprofits, Maryland’s local workforce development boards, economic development entities, and chambers of commerce. Ultimately the bill emerged from committee with a modified scope.

Under the amended bill, the Maryland Department of Labor must submit a comprehensive apprenticeship report to the General Assembly by October 1, 2024. The report will analyze Maryland’s apprenticeship programs and policies, including increasing apprenticeship mentoring ratios for nontraditional apprenticeships, waivers for increased apprentice-to-journeyworker ratios, industries and occupations best suited for higher apprenticeship ratios, and strategic recommendations for expanding mentoring ratios in newly registered nontraditional apprenticeships in Maryland. The goal will be to modernize apprenticeship operations in Maryland to ensure it is growing, inclusive, and equitable for all businesses and job seekers.

“One of the primary barriers to apprenticeship participation, particularly for small businesses, is the administrative burden involved. Navigating regulations, paperwork, registering apprentices with relevant bodies, and covering tuition costs all pose significant challenges. A higher apprenticeship ratio for industries like IT, food service, lodging, and healthcare would certainly incentivize more small businesses to participate,” said Walter Simmons. “That’s what this bill was about – meeting the lofty apprenticeship goals set by the General Assembly and the Apprenticeship 2030 Commission. As it stands, our State will struggle to reach those goals without expanding the apprenticeship ecosystem to include ALL Maryland businesses and job seekers. That’s why Employ Prince George’s eagerly anticipates reviewing the report’s findings and will continue to advocate for a higher nontraditional apprenticeship ratio next session.”

“House Bill 650 is an important first step towards ensuring equitable opportunities in our workforce,” said Delegate Boafo. “I look forward to the Maryland Department of Labor’s report on apprenticeship ratios and their recommendations for how to increase participation in apprenticeships. By making apprenticeships more accessible, we’re not just building careers, we’re constructing pathways to prosperity for all Marylanders.”

Along with the two landmark workforce development bills, Employ Prince George’s secured a total of $850,000 in funding for multiple workforce development efforts. Three capital projects received funding, including a Heavy Equipment Operator Training Program in Brandywine, MD and the renovations of Prince George’s County’s first reentry job center, the Bridge Center at Adam’s House, as well as the Prince George’s County Youth Career Center.

“It was a pleasure working with our regional partner, Employ Prince George’s, to advocate for these resources and policy changes. Both of these bills will surely bolster our local workforce development efforts to serve our most vulnerable residents and expand apprenticeship opportunities,” said Anthony Featherstone, Executive Director of WorkSource Montgomery “We are honored to have been able involved in the legislative process and are appreciative to the General Assembly and Governor for supporting these important pieces of legislation.”

Employ Prince George’s extends its sincerest gratitude to Governor Moore, the Maryland General Assembly, WorkSource Montgomery, and all stakeholders involved in championing these pivotal pieces of legislation. As a leading advocate for workforce development in the region, Employ Prince George’s remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing policies and initiatives that empower individuals, strengthen communities, and propel economic growth.

For further information about Employ Prince George’s and its workforce development programs, please visit www.employpg.org.

Employ Prince George’s (EPG) provides workforce intelligence and solutions for the job seeker and business. EPG’s mission is to contribute to the economic vitality of Prince George’s County by providing a demand-driven system that delivers qualified workers to business and provides job seekers with opportunities for careers in high-demand/high-growth industries.

For more information, please visit employPG.org.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/employ-prince-georges-celebrates-governor-moores-signing-of-key-workforce-development-legislation-302141561.html

SOURCE Employ Prince George’s

Employ Prince George's Celebrates Governor Moore's Signing of Key Workforce Development Legislation WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Political/Government News

World Reviewer Staff
World Reviewer Staffhttps://weeklyreviewer.com/
The first logical thought has to be "no way". I'm the World Observer! Ill find and share important news all day.

Latest articles

Earnings Disclosure

WeeklyReviewer earns primarily through affiliates and ads. We don’t encourage anyone to click on ads for any other purpose but your own. We recommend products and services often for our readers, and through many we will earn commissions through affiliate programs.

Related articles