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Press Release: New Apprenticeship Pilot Program Seeks Grant Proposals

Two School Systems to be Selected for Innovative Career Training Opportunities

For Immediate Release                                          

Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486, Dr. Lynne Gilli, 410-767-0518

Baltimore, MD (September 18, 2015)

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) today announced it is soliciting proposals to establish a new “Apprenticeship Maryland” pilot program in two school districts—one urban, one rural. Up to $10,000 in competitive grant funds will be awarded to create up to 120 high quality youth apprenticeships that prepare high school students to enter employment in high-skilled, high-growth sectors, such as healthcare, biotechnology, information technology, construction and design, banking and finance, and advanced manufacturing.

“Apprenticeship Maryland” is a collaboration between three Maryland agencies. MSDE will administer the grant funds awarded through the Longview Foundation; the Department of Economic and Business Development (DBED) will coordinate with the state’s business community on developing apprenticeship opportunities; and the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation will administer the apprenticeship programs.

“One of my administration's main goals is to attract and retain more job-creating businesses in Maryland; and in order to do that, we need to educate and train a skilled workforce that is ready to hit the ground running upon graduation,” said Governor Larry Hogan, who signed House Bill 942 into law, creating the pilot program. “Apprenticeships offer a solid path from school to career, which will help more youths find employment and strengthen Maryland’s economy.”

“Maryland’s educational system is poised to prepare all students for entry into rewarding careers and further education,” said Dr. Jack R. Smith, Interim State Superintendent of Schools.  “Youth apprenticeships provide an outstanding opportunity for students to ‘earn and learn,’ while gaining credit toward graduation and industry-recognized credentials.”

“Apprenticeship Maryland” is designed to begin eliminating disparities in access to the training and skills that all children need to be successful; ensure that all students graduate high school focused on a career pathway; and provide all students with on- and off-ramps that lead to employment and/or postsecondary education.

“Our highly talented and well-educated workforce is one of the greatest strengths that Maryland has as a state. And that starts with our world-class schools, colleges and universities,” said DBED Secretary Mike Gill. “Apprenticeship Maryland will align our schools with the needs of our private sector and strengthen the pipeline of talent from the classroom to the businesses and other organizations that power our State with the products, technologies, and jobs of the future.”

"The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is committed to bridging the gap between education and employment through Apprenticeship Maryland," said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "We are working with the business community to implement a successful apprenticeship program for Maryland's youth that will directly translate to more opportunities for Maryland's workforce."

Funding was made possible by a grant to MSDE from the Longview Foundation for World Affairs and International Understanding.  Founded by William L. Breese, the foundation has been helping young people in the U.S. learn about world regions and global issues since 1966.

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