The Maryland Department of Labor has awarded more than $11 million in grants to help workers through the state’s Jobs That Build Initiative. The state started the $15 million, first-in-the-nation policy in October to eliminate real-world barriers to careers in infrastructure and to help keep pace with capital projects being funded by record levels of federal and state investments.

The Initiative provides employers up to $10,000 per employee, which can be used to offset costs associated with housing, child care or transportation needs. Grants can also be used to offer sign-on and retention bonuses for new or existing employees, as well as necessary worker training programs.

More than 1,800 Maryland workers will receive support from this policy initiative and more than 40 employers in all 24 Maryland jurisdictions have been awarded funds. The Department of Labor continues to accept applications on a first-come, first serve basis.

“As anticipated, the Jobs That Build Initiative is successfully addressing a critical workforce need for infrastructure workers in Maryland,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “The pandemic has changed the way we work and for this critical industry that cannot provide the flexibility that other industries can, this policy is a proven way to recruit and retain the workers who will rebuild our state and country.”

Hogan also recommended an additional $15 million for the program in the fiscal 2024 budget.

Jobs That Build is the latest expansion to the state’s ongoing workforce development and training initiatives. In September 2002, the governor announced that Maryland had achieved the record milestone of 12,000 apprentices statewide; in March, he announced that the state would become the first in the nation to remove the four-year degree requirement for thousands of state jobs, which has led to a 41% year-over-year increase in non-degree hires, as well as becoming a model for other states and employers across America.

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