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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION
GOVERNORíS WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD
June 30, 2004
FINAL REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
THE MARYLAND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM
During the 2003 Maryland legislative session, the General Assembly included language
in the Governorís Workforce Investment Board (GWIB) FY
2004 Operating Budget requiring the GWIB to "Identify
Inefficiencies within the Stateís Own Workforce
Development Delivery System" (full text of the budget
language is in the Appendices). An interim report was
submitted to the General Assembly on December 31, 2003. This
final report provides information on the development of the
ten opportunities for improvement that were identified in the interim report.
The GWIB is the Stateís
chief coordinating body on workforce development, composed
of approximately 41 members, with more than 50 percent
coming from business. It is responsible for developing a
strategic plan and policies to help forge a coordinated
workforce system from a multiplicity of education,
employment, and training programs. The following partner
agencies collaborated with the GWIB as part of its
Sub-cabinet, to develop the interim and final reports.
- Department of Human Resources (DHR)
- Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR)
- Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)
- Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)
- Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED)
- Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH)
A successful workforce system is demand-driven, delivering services as needed. The
GWIBís new motto is "Workforce development is
economic development," because businesses
cannot expand or locate in Maryland unless there is an
available highly skilled workforce. In Maryland, as in other
states, Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) directly
provide employment and training services and serve as the
primary coordinator for the provision of workforce services
in each jurisdiction. These Boards are required to
coordinate their services with the local Job Service
offices, 24 Departments of Social Services, the sixteen
community colleges, State-operated rehabilitation services, and adult literacy programs.
The local delivery of services and the coordinating role of the LWIBs are funded
almost entirely by the Federal government with some local
government contributions. Eight state agencies also oversee
components of both Federal and State workforce programs for
Maryland. The GWIBís role is to ensure that this system is
aligned with the economic and educational goals of the State
of Maryland, resulting in a qualified workforce available to Maryland employers.
The GWIB works towards accomplishing this goal by, among other things, coordinating
with its agency partners, to make Maryland a cutting edge
state because of its workforce development system. This
coordination encompasses economic development, the K-16
education system, social services, and labor. The GWIB and
its agency partners have made great strides to meet the
needs of business, help incumbent workers upgrade their
skills to match the needs of their employers, and help job
seekers get the skills they need to work in industries
facing significant shortages. The GWIB and its partners are
working diligently to close some of the existing gaps and
create a more demand-driven system. They have met with
several recent successes, which are described in both the interim and final reports.
The General Assemblyís mandate to the GWIB comes at a key time for the GWIB and its
partners. The Governor has reorganized the GWIB, made it a
division within DLLR, and recently appointed industry
leaders in the manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace,
education, and hospitality industries. Governor Ehrlich has
charged the GWIB and its partner agencies with the task of
making Marylandís workforce system truly responsive to
businesses so they are able to find the skilled candidates
they need, and results in a vibrant economy to propel citizens on their career paths.
The GWIB recognizes that although many great strides have been made, through
initiatives such as public-private partnerships formed to
address workforce concerns, there are still many
opportunities for improvement. In an effort to accelerate
our progress and create a more demand-drive workforce
system, Sub-cabinet members have made a commitment to
improve cooperation, collaboration and communication among
the departments. Ten opportunities for improvement have been
identified and are highlighted below.
- Identify businesses or business sectors with growth potential that are
currently experiencing or projecting worker shortages
and determine how to service their workforce needs (the
"Industry Cluster-Based Approach").
The Industry Cluster-Based Approach to Workforce
Development is a demand-driven model for connecting
specific industry needs with the workforce development
system. The GWIB is addressing the problem in the
healthcare industry with an industry cluster-based
approach and is replicating the healthcare workforce
initiative process in other industries.
- Identify interagency collaboration for the Maryland Career Cluster system in
order to fully align workforce preparation at all
education and training levels.
Career clusters are groupings of interrelated occupations
that represent the full range of career opportunities in
Marylandís economy. They reflect all levels of education
and include a common core of academic, technical and
workplace knowledge and skills required for education and
training. There is a long history of interagency
collaboration related to the development of Marylandís
career cluster system within MSDE, but more needs to be
done. Resources have already been earmarked for training
and curriculum writing associated with interagency
cooperation as well as in the development of content standards.
- Execute a plan to market
Local Workforce Investment Areas to area businesses. Many
Maryland employers are unaware of the One-Stop system. The
system must have a clear identity, message and
standardized approach. Additional resources and stronger
business linkages are also needed. A plan has been
developed that will bring together education, economic
development and workforce development to devise a new marketing strategy.
- Eliminate duplication and reduce costs through improved consolidation and
coordination of Federal and State workforce dollars
and programs. There is considerable overlap in the
services provided through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
and the Wagner-Peyser Act (Job Service). Through
consolidation, duplicative efforts can be eliminated and
cost savings realized and/or services improved. Efforts
are already underway to identify and eliminate duplicative
activities through the reorganization of the Division of
Workforce Development within the Department of Labor,
Licensing and Regulation. Savings realized from
consolidation will be passed on to the local areas for direct service activities.
- Improve connections with Marylandís business community and job seekers by
focusing attention on updating and integrating the
workforce Management Information System.
The WIA-funded One-Stops and the Maryland State Job
Service had been using an antiquated mainframe-based
information and job matching system that needed replacing.
A new system, the "Maryland Workforce Exchange,"
was implemented on Monday, March 29, 2004. Staff is
becoming skilled at its use and the system is undergoing
debugging. Plans are underway to make the system available
on the Web to job seekers and employers. Expansion plans
include creating access for other workforce development system partners.
- Identify opportunities for the Department of Social Services and Local Workforce
Investment Areas to combine resources in a collaborative
and efficient manner to improve services to low-income
individuals. Combining Temporary Assistance to Needy
Families (TANF) and WIA resources is a long-standing
concern for many service delivery areas in Maryland and
has been recognized as a gap in the workforce development
system that should be addressed rapidly to ensure that our
labor supply keeps pace with the demands of our growing
economy. Plans are underway to develop a facilitated
meeting between WIA and TANF service delivery agencies to
develop a joint plan and policy for improved coordination.
- Fully integrate adult education into Marylandís workforce development
system. It is important that all partner agencies understand the roles
and services of Marylandís adult education programs.
Partner agencies have begun meeting to discuss the
integration of adult education programs with traditional
workforce training programs. It is recommended that the
Sub-cabinet develop specific plans for program
integration. These should include opportunities for
increased customer referrals, expanded literacy services
in Maryland One-Stops, adult education representation on
local boards and improved connections between agency systems.
- Design a strategy to expand support for transitioning ex-offenders into the
Maryland workforce. There are currently many barriers impacting
ex-offendersí abilities to re-enter the workforce.
Agencies are looking at reallocating resources for
programs and services with documented performance outcomes for ex-offenders in the community.
- Increase job opportunities for persons with disabilities. The
high rate of unemployment for persons with disabilities is
a long-standing and significant problem both nationally
and in Maryland. Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs)
and One-Stops are working to become more accessible and
welcoming to persons with disabilities. The One-Stops will
eventually become a primary service point of entry for persons with disabilities.
- Build capacity among workforce development system partners. Efforts
are underway to expand the role of the Maryland Institute
for Employment and Training Professionals (MIETP) to
include training that will facilitate closer working
relationships and cooperation among the various workforce
development partners. Interagency efforts are underway to
position MIETP to be the "trainer of choice" for
the industry cluster-based approach for public and private
sector personnel involved in "cluster initiatives."
The effective and swift implementation of these GWIB recommendations will require
the full attention, participation, and cooperation of all
parties committed to improving the Stateís workforce
development system. It will also require that Maryland
businesses be engaged on a strategic and operational level
throughout the workforce investment system.
A glossary of acronyms/abbreviations can be found in Appendix III.
- The Mission, Focus, and Structure of the GWIB
- Partner Agencies on the GWIB
- Marylandís WorkforceóA Key Economic Asset for the State
- Marylandís Workforce Drives Economic Development
- Marylandís Workforce Development System
- Recent Successes
- Opportunities for Improvement
Appendix I. Adopt the following narrative
Appendix II. Agency Services and Funding Information for Ex-Offenders
Appendix III. Glossary of Acronyms