BALTIMORE, MD – The Institute for American Apprenticeships (IAA) and its three partners have been awarded a $999,850 Maryland Works grant by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The grant aims to fund the launch of professional youth apprenticeship programs to address employment barriers among underserved and underrepresented populations in Maryland.

The IAA is collaborating with AICPA & CIMA (finance/accounting), the SHRM Foundation (human resources), and the College of Southern Maryland (technical trades) to register three new youth apprenticeships. This partnership addresses areas with a high demand for skilled talent across multiple industries.

As part of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the state has mandated that by the 2030-2031 academic year, 45% of high school graduates must have either completed a registered apprenticeship program or received an industry-recognized credential. President and CEO of IAA, Matt Mckenney, said, “We are doing our part to set the tone and lay the groundwork for achieving this goal by creating a pipeline into careers in finance, human resources, and cybersecurity.”

The grant comes from Maryland Works, a highly competitive program that uses one-time State set-aside American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Relief Funds (ESSER III). The objective is to invest significantly in creating an industry-aligned apprenticeship infrastructure for Maryland’s schools and businesses. Several school districts in Maryland, including those in Baltimore and Montgomery Counties, will be involved in these programs.

CSM President Dr. Yolanda Wilson expressed her institution’s excitement, stating, “Our regional businesses, tech companies, and trade industries have told us they need a stronger workforce pipeline, and this funding will allow us to collaborate with them to position our students to thrive in these critical careers.”

Tom Hood, EVP of Business Growth & Engagement at AICPA & CIMA, emphasized the importance of skills development in today’s rapidly changing business environment. “Companies are increasingly seeking to ‘grow their own’ and to train and develop new hires and existing staff to meet the challenges they face as they transform to become the finance function of the future,” he said.

The SHRM Foundation also highlighted the necessity of apprenticeships in developing a diverse talent pool. Wendi Safstrom, President of the SHRM Foundation, noted, “It’s more important than ever for employers to develop diverse talent with the skills and experience needed to manage the realities of the 21st-century workplace.”

The IAA has built apprenticeship programs in various sectors, including healthcare, IT, advanced manufacturing, and business services, for over two decades. The organization works with several agencies, including the US Department of Labor, state agencies, federal contractors, and Fortune 500 companies.

For more details about the Maryland Works grant, visit the MSDE website.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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