Community College Programs Enhance Workforce Development

A bill authorizing counties to opt-in to tuition waivers for vocational and apprenticeship programs, in addition to a tuition assistance program for Associate’s degrees, would help develop a stronger and more skilled workforce. MACo Policy Associate Kevin Kinnally testified in support of Senate Bill 261, “Community Colleges – Vocational Certificates, Apprenticeship Training Programs, and Associate Degrees – Tuition Assistance”, in front of the Education and Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on February 7, 2018.

This bill helps to achieve a stronger workforce and shows investment on the part of counties striving towards that goal. It also includes a mechanism for the State to match funding for tuition reimbursement, significantly reducing the burden on local governments.

From MACo Testimony:

Counties are invested in having strong and vibrant economies. A robust, well-trained, and educated workforce encourages businesses to locate to and grow in Maryland. This bill helps build relationships between local businesses and community colleges. It properly leaves the decision for establishing a program in the hands of the local government and community college who are best situated to determine whether a program is in their best interest. If a program is established, it requires both the county and the State to split the reimbursement of tuition assistance, disbursing financial burdens and ensuring that the State is equally invested in the advancement of its students and workforce.”

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.