During the 2017 MACo Summer Conference session, “Second Chance for Workplace Success: A Good Program is Good for your County,” attendees learned about innovative practices local governments and nonprofits are using to incentivize, train, and support many of Maryland’s jobless and challenged residents. By preparing these individuals to succeed in the workforce, public and private programs are working together to develop a community built on self-reliant individuals.
Melissa Jones-Harris, Child Support Lead Supervisor for the Caroline County Department of Social Services presented on Mid-Shore Rise, a joint effort between the mid-shore counties to help people obtain and retain well-paying jobs. She also discussed Caroline County’s Ready for Work program which operates within the county detention center and helps inmates obtain job certifications behind bars.
Washington County Department of Social Services Director, Michael Piercy, Jr., discussed Washington County’s DADs program and CAPE program. The programs target young fathers and non-custodial parents and provides them with assistance in obtaining jobs. Participants are also provided job coaching, clothes, haircuts, and hygiene products. The goals of the programs are two-fold – help participants find good jobs and help them meet familial obligations.
Carnitra D. White, the director of Anne Arundel Department of Social Services, and Ernestine Chambers, the director of Anne Arundel Workforce Development’s JWA/SNAP programs jointly presented on a county program that combines workforce development and social services to assist those on SNAP and TANF.
Last, but certainly not least, Executive Director of the Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF) Caryn York tied together the previous presentations with a discussion on JOTF and their statewide legislative advocacy efforts to eliminate the barriers, such as expungements, ban the box, occupational licensing, faced by the individuals the programs seek to help.
The session was moderated by Delegate Cory McCray and held on Thursday, August 17, 2017.