The Baltimore City Board of Estimates approved the $250,000 American Rescue Plan Act, (ARPA) funds for the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s (MOED) apprenticeship initiative. MOED’s Employer Services division will lead the apprenticeship program as part of MOED’s overall workforce strategy to help Baltimore employers and residents overcome the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds offer incentives to Baltimore City employers to create apprenticeship opportunities that provide paid on-the-job skills training to workers.
MOED will provide Baltimore City employers with $2,500 per apprentice to pay for training, wages, or support services. Funding is now available for up to 100 apprenticeships. In addition, the Maryland Department of Labor will provide up to $4,000 per employer and assist with applying for apprenticeship authorization with the state.
Apprenticeships are an effective hiring tool that aids employer recruitment to meet staffing needs and develop a stable, reliable pipeline of skilled workers. It also helps employers gain workers with specific in-demand skills and helps reduce employee turnover to improve worker retention.
“Apprenticeships are an extremely valuable tool for employers and workers,” said MOED Director Jason Perkins-Cohen. “They help employers attain the skilled labor they need and provide quality assurance in training. That training leads to viable resources and employment opportunities for workers so they are ready to take on well-paid jobs. It’s a win-win for Baltimore City.”
Apprenticeships help jobseekers develop pathways to build skills as they receive personalized instruction from experts in the field while being paid. The Maryland Apprenticeship program requires an employer to provide at least 2,000 hours per year of on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of related instruction. Apprentices earn industry certification and a job with the employer upon satisfactory completion.
MOED will help employers recruit Baltimore City residents for apprenticeship opportunities under this new apprenticeship initiative and will also provide or connect apprentices to support services.
To be eligible for an apprenticeship, a worker must be over 18 and live in Baltimore City.
Neil Wilford Jr., Training Director of Baltimore Electrical JATC, said “Apprenticeship has served as a training model for centuries. He further stated, “Graduates become an asset to their industry, their family, and their community.”
Chris Hadfield, Vice President of Workforce Development, ABC Greater Baltimore|The Construction Academy added, “The mix of classroom learning combined with on-the-job training under the direction of a mentor creates the perfect balance of accountability and results to accelerate the onboarding and training processes.”
The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development is committed to building a strong Baltimore City workforce by developing meaningful partnerships with the local business community and connecting citizens of all ages and backgrounds with jobs and pathways to careers.