Governor Moore Announces $3.7 Million in Funding to Expand Maryland Department of Labor’s Employment Advancement Right Now Program

Published: 4/17/2023

Funding will support Maryland’s nationally-recognized EARN program and help businesses cultivate skilled workforces

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today announced $3.7 million in funding to expand the Maryland Department of Labor’s Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland program. EARN Maryland is the state’s nationally-recognized workforce solution that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete while preparing Marylanders for meaningful careers.

“It is through sustained and invaluable partnerships that Maryland’s economy will thrive,” said Gov. Moore. “Through programs like EARN, we can both meet the demands of businesses and support workers by cutting through red tape and providing access to resources that will create meaningful opportunities for growth.”

EARN Maryland awards funding to strategic industry partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations, higher education, and local workforce development boards. Based upon employer-identified training needs, partnerships provide education and skills training to unemployed and underemployed Marylanders as well as career advancement training opportunities for incumbent workers. 

“The Department of Labor is delighted to announce the growth of the EARN program through support to 18 experienced partners who are working to meet the needs of nearly 400 employer and industry partners,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu. “These investments will provide life-changing opportunities for individuals and drive economic growth by providing Maryland businesses with highly-skilled talent.”

The funding announced today will support entry-level and incumbent worker training for more than 1,000 Marylanders to prepare a highly skilled workforce for in-demand careers in industries such as information technology, healthcare, and construction. The awardees will begin training this spring and summer.

Since the creation of the program in 2014, nearly 8,200 individuals trained through EARN have obtained employment and over 11,000 incumbent workers have participated in in-demand training opportunities. A recent study on the economic impact of EARN found that for every dollar the state invests into the program, an additional $17.43 in economic activity is created. 

"Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership is excited to continue to partner with the Maryland Department of Labor and is grateful for the continued support for the manufacturing sector, particularly those in rural areas," said Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership Executive Director Mike Kelleher. "EARN has been instrumental in helping Maryland manufacturers to train and upskill their current workforce while building the workforce of the future.”

For more information on EARN, please visit the Maryland Department of Labor’s ​website.