MACo Requests Amendment to Community College Workforce Training Bill

On March 17, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to support SB 894 Post Crisis Jobs Act of 2021 with amendments. This bill authorizes individuals to complete certain education requirements through a digital learning program and establishes grant programs with the purpose of improving workforce training.

From the MACo Testimony:

While well-intentioned, this bill also imposes a uniform mandate requiring that 75% of any increase in the total state operating funds granted to Maryland’s community colleges in fiscal 2023 through fiscal 2025 be allocated to workforce training only.

Maryland’s counties recognize the desire to create stronger workforce training opportunities in light of the pandemic, and each community college board and leadership surely takes such matters seriously. However, SB 894 would substitute a one-size-fits-all state policy for that local judgement. It is pertinent to allow community colleges to continue to have flexibility to allocate operating funds in a way that best serves the interests of all students.

Community colleges are a valuable strategic asset to our state and local communities and as a partner in helping get Marylanders into the workforce, counties know that community colleges are a critical provider of Maryland’s workforce training programs leading to licensure, certification, and credential achievement.

As written, this bill would inhibit community colleges’ abilities to allocate already scarce operating funding where it is needed the most by mandating 75% of increased funding go only to workforce training.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.