MACo Supports Workforce Development Grants, Fears State Fiscal Implications

MACo Policy Associate, Kevin Kinnally, sought to amend legislation of SB 869, “Higher Education – Community Colleges – Workforce Development Sequence Grants and Scholarships” on March 1. The bill would establish workforce development grants and scholarships for community college students, however doesn’t include how the funding of the grants and scholarships would be mandated.

MACo’s testimony states,

This bill encourages community college training opportunities that promote workforce development, minimize the shortage of skilled workers, and raise economic opportunities in Maryland. Not only are community colleges an accessible and affordable choice for many Marylanders, they also work directly with employers to provide training for incumbent workers, and are flexible and adaptable to the needs of their local labor markets.

While MACo supports the premise of this bill, counties are cognizant of the fiscal challenges at the state level, which could make a concrete spending mandate untenable.

The cross-file to the bill, HB 868, will be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee on March 7, 2017.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.