Apprenticeship in Maryland

Posted by John Griffin - On June 22, 2011 (EST)





 Apprenticeship Maryland Action Summit


Apprenticeship Maryland is committed to strengthening Maryland’s workforce by supporting employers and labor organizations in establishing industry driven apprenticeship and training programs designed to enhance job performance, increase employee retention, and provide stable employment opportunities for citizens in and around Maryland. 


For those of us involved and familiar with apprenticeship, this mission is familiar and we have a working knowledge of the benefits associated with structured training and the opportunity to “earn while you learn.”  Unfortunately, many are unaware of the benefits of apprenticeship, or mistakenly identify it as an alternative to college giving it only minor consideration as a primary tool in workforce policy.  In Maryland, we have re-branded and re-energized our efforts to expand the scope and value of apprenticeship and have been greeted with very positive responses, and many workforce partners beginning to understand the full value of apprenticeship and joining us in introducing the concept to businesses representing a multitude of industries.  Under the leadership of our Commissioner of Labor and Industry, we have broadened the scope of our outreach efforts and saw an opportunity to unite a number of stakeholders together in support of apprenticeship. 


On June 1, 2011 over 200 people participated in the inaugural Apprenticeship Maryland Action Summit at Towson University representing a variety of organizations including business, apprenticeship, workforce, education, and government.  The meeting provided the opportunity to reintroduce apprenticeship in Maryland as a 21st Century workforce strategy capitalizing on the experience and expertise of a dynamic group of individuals with the shared goal of establishing strategies designed to strengthen apprenticeship training through practical policy recommendations.  The event was kicked off with introductory remarks by our Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Alex Sanchez, and Commissioner Ron DeJuliis.  Guest speakers included Dr. Robert Lerman, Urban Institute Fellow and Economics Professor at American University and Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, Region Two Administrator for USDOL, all who shared a commitment to the importance of expanding apprenticeship as a tool to both business and employees. 


The Event included facilitated break-out sessions along five critical areas: Aligning P-12 Education and Apprenticeship Programs, Expanding Higher Education and Apprenticeship Partnerships, Developing Apprenticeship in Non-Traditional Occupations, Aligning the Workforce System and Apprenticeship, and Meeting the Needs of Traditional Apprenticeship Programs.  Each group developed a set of recommendations that will be synthesized into a report later this summer that will serve as Apprenticeship Maryland’s Strategic Business Plan for FY 12-13.  The following is a condensed list of specific recommendations coming from the event:


  1. Enhance outreach and education efforts to employers and job seekers
  2. Enhance the web presence of apprenticeship and training to provide accurate and timely information
  3. Provide training to local Workforce staff to serve the needs of job seekers and businesses
  4. Identify stable funding sources to maintain apprenticeship staff and enhance outreach efforts
  5. Expand the pipeline from K-12 to apprenticeship and link to industry certifications
  6. Establish regular regionally based apprenticeship career fairs
  7. Convene industry specific Roundtable meetings between business, workforce, education, and apprenticeship sponsors
  8. Improve data tracking and reporting to provide real-time apprenticeship statistics
  9. Expand partnerships between apprenticeship and higher education to standardize curriculum and create formalized transfer opportunities.
  10. Develop opportunities to provide credit options for apprenticeship programs highlighting career pipelines for advancement within specific occupations
  11. Develop business model to present apprenticeship to non-traditional businesses interested in enhancing staff skill levels
  12. Ensure that apprenticeship programs maintain rigor and produce highly skilled employees
  13. Host annual Apprenticeship Conference
  14. Incentivize apprenticeship participation for Maryland businesses


In 2012, Maryland will celebrate 50 years of apprenticeship and a second summit will be held not only to celebrate our past, but to take these recommendations and develop a formalized business model to address each of the recommendations and establish goals and outcome measurements that will serve as our roadmap for the future. 

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Modified On : June 29, 2011
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