An innovative workforce initiative led by Baltimore County is drawing attention across the country. New data from a five-year program demonstrates that low-skilled job seekers can improve their employment potential and earnings through dynamic programs that go beyond the normal technical training.
According to a press release:
Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE) incorporated employability training, financial literacy and computer literacy with occupational certification training to improve the marketability of job seekers.
ACE program participants included individuals with limited English proficiency and job seekers with low reading, writing and math skills.
“The ACE jobs innovation program has changed lives for job seekers who need a little extra support as they prepare for a new career. Baltimore County is proud to have lead the national team that clearly delivered results in getting people back to work in family-supporting jobs,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Baltimore County led the multi-state ACE collaboration, funded through a $11.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund.
In Baltimore County, the Department of Economic and Workforce Development delivered the local program in partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County.
An independent evaluation firm concluded that after graduating from the program, ACE participants worked more hours in a week, earned higher wages, and were more likely to achieve occupational credentials than those not participating in the program.
ACE served 1,258 low-skilled individuals in nine sites across four states: Maryland, Connecticut, Georgia and Texas. The individuals who received ACE services were randomly selected from a group of potential participants, ensuring that results were due to the impact of ACE services.
Baltimore County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development administered the five-year initiative in five Maryland jurisdictions [Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Upper Shore] and cities in three other states.
Read the full press release for more information.