After nearly a decade of leading workforce development initiatives in Baltimore, Jason Perkins-Cohen has taken on a new role as Deputy Secretary at the Maryland Department of Labor. Secretary Tiffany Robinson Wu announced the appointment, praising Perkins-Cohen’s track record of success in connecting residents to economic opportunities.
In his previous role as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), Perkins-Cohen oversaw initiatives aimed at meeting the needs of Baltimore’s businesses, citizens, and youth. Among MOED’s successes under his leadership was the creation of One Baltimore for Jobs, a partnership with 19 community-based organizations that provided occupational training in industries offering family-supporting wages. MOED also oversaw YouthWorks, a summer jobs program that served 8,000 Baltimore youth annually.
“Jason brings over 25 years of leadership and commitment to public service to this position,” said Secretary Wu. “His experience and ability to bring diverse stakeholders together to develop and implement critical workforce initiatives will be a huge asset to advancing the Department’s mission and I am delighted that he is joining the team.”
Before joining MOED, Perkins-Cohen served as the Executive Director for the Job Opportunities Task Force, a nonprofit workforce intermediary. In recognition of his work in social and economic equality, he was awarded an Atlantic Fellowship by the British Council in 2001.
Perkins-Cohen has also served on a number of state and local task forces focused on issues such as unemployment insurance, prisoner reentry, and adult literacy. He currently sits on the Maryland Adult Literacy Advisory Council, the city’s Journey Home Board, and the board of the Baltimore City Foundation.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor,” said Perkins-Cohen. “I am excited to join this team that is working toward the creation of a more inclusive and skilled workforce and an economy that promotes shared prosperity and that leaves no one behind.”
Perkins-Cohen holds a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master’s degree in Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He resides in Baltimore city with his wife and two children.
As Deputy Secretary of Labor, Perkins-Cohen will be responsible for advancing the Department’s mission to promote economic growth and protect workers in Maryland. The Department oversees a wide range of programs related to workforce development, unemployment insurance, occupational safety and health, and labor law enforcement. Perkins-Cohen’s experience in developing partnerships and initiatives aimed at building a more skilled and diverse workforce will undoubtedly serve him well in this new role.