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Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Press Conference

Baltimore, MD

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Mark.

MAPCorp has done really great work training your employees on the job, and would be able to do much more of that through the EARN Act.

Thank you all for being here today. Mayor Rawlings-Blake, who has one of the best jobs out there, it’s great to stand here with you.

And a special word of thanks to Senator Kathy Klausmeier, Delegate John Olszewski, Delegate Keiffer Mitchell, and Delegate Luke Clippinger.

We wouldn’t be here today without their work to make this new law a reality.  And they are actually so dedicated to the cause that they are currently all at a national EARN conference – looking for new opportunities to get more Marylanders the skills2compete.

Bridging the Gap

We’re here to talk about jobs, opportunity, and a stronger, growing middle class.

There is no progress without a job – and ultimately, our greatest assets for job creation are the talents and skills of our people.

Maryland has built up one of the most highly skilled workforces in the country.   We have the nation’s most PHD scientists and researchers per capita.  We have done more to hold down tuition at our states colleges and universities than any other state.  Working together, we’ve helped our lower-income students achieve the greatest improvement in student achievement anywhere in America.  And for an unprecedented five years in a row, we’ve built America’s #1 best public school system.

Better choices; better results.

But the reality is that too many of the new jobs being created in our new economy still go unfilled. Why? Because too many of our people lack the skills to fill them.

Employer-led skills training

We launched Skills2Compete to fill this gap.

One of our most promising initiatives is the EARN Act, which I signed last month.

Through EARN, the state invests in employer-led skills training initiatives in some of our most high-demand sectors: construction, advanced manufacturing, cyber security, and wellness.

These skills trainings are offered free-of-charge to Marylanders looking to obtain new skills and the good jobs which utilize them.

Business and industry, four-year colleges, community colleges, local workforce investment boards, local government, state government, worker training providers—all of us have a role to play. EARN brings together all these stakeholders on a common platform.

The most important investment we can make as a State is in our most precious resource—our people. Working together, we can ensure that our companies and our workforce have what they need to compete and win in the New Economy.

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