BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland Department of Labor on Friday announced that it would be increasing the maximum funding request amount for its nationally-recognized Apprenticeship Innovation Fund (AIF) grants from $50,000 to $100,000. The AIF is designed to provide seed money to businesses committed to creating new and innovative apprenticeship opportunities to meet their workforce talent pipeline needs.
“Since its creation, the Apprenticeship Innovation Fund has created or expanded 15 apprenticeship programs and registered approximately 415 new apprentices in Maryland,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson. “By increasing the maximum funding amount, we are equipping grantees with the additional resources they need to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities while investing in the state’s future workforce.”
The Maryland Department of Labor has utilized the AIF to invest in proposals that seed the implementation of new and promising ideas, or adapt proven strategies to expand the reach of both pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs in Maryland. The nearly 30 applicants awarded to date have focused on connecting Maryland’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA) target populations to apprenticeship opportunities.
The Mid-Atlantic Carpenters Training Center (MACTC) used the AIF grant they were awarded in May 2017 to fund their pre-apprenticeship program proposal. MACTC designed and implemented an eight week pre-apprenticeship training program that included 320 total hours of instruction. This program provided non-traditional training to individuals seeking employment within the pile driver, welding, and concrete form occupations, with an emphasis on recruiting more women to diversify the industry. Of the eight individuals that participated in MACTC’s training program, seven individuals, including four women, successfully completed the program and were placed into employment as registered apprentices.
AIF funding also helps entities create registered apprenticeship programs and register new apprentices. After receiving an AIF grant in December 2017, the Education Foundation for Baltimore County Public Schools (EFBC) developed and registered four new registered apprenticeship programs for the occupations of IT Technology, Cyber Security, Digital Media, and Administrative/Para-Professional Service Provider. EFBC had commitments from 30 participating employers and registered 21 new apprentices during the grant period.
Since receiving funding from the United States Department of Labor’s ApprenticeshipUSA grant, Maryland has invested more than $1.2 million in AIF. These funds were originally awarded to the Maryland Department of Labor in October 2016 with a continuation award granted in the spring of 2018. Maryland was the only state awarded funding from the United States Department of Labor to create a fund to expand innovative and sustainable programs aimed at expanding registered apprenticeship strategies.
Eligible grantees for AIF awards include the following types of organizations.
- For-profit, private sector businesses;
- Non-profit organizations;
- Labor organizations;
- Industry associations;
- Local and regional economic development entities;
- Registered Apprenticeship sponsors;
- Local Workforce Development Areas; and
- Institutions of postsecondary education.
To apply for the AIF or learn more information about Maryland’s apprenticeship programs, please contact the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning by visiting their website, e-mailing email@example.com, or calling (410) 767-2173.