MACo to General Assembly: Local Workforce Development Boards Best Suited to Manage Blueprint Career Counseling

On March 28, 2023, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 879 – Job Help for All.

This bill clarifies details about one of the primary goals of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future: career readiness and counseling. SB 879 details cost share expectations for Blueprint funds dedicated to providing students with career counseling services. It also clarifies that partnerships to do so should form between local boards of education, local workforce development boards, and community colleges. Additionally, it specifies that local workforce development boards should receive these and manage these funds and implement these programs, as the best equipped entities to do so.

Counties are eager to see these alternative education and workforce development aspects of the Blueprint implemented, and further appreciate the clarity SB 879’s provides on the per pupil funding requirements to carry out these programs.

From the MACo Testimony:

One way that the Blueprint envisions [developing alternative career pathways] is by creating Local Career Counseling Agreements in each county between the local board of education, local workforce development board, and the county’s community college. The law currently dictates that “Each county board [of education] shall distribute to the local workforce development board for the county…” a per pupil funding amount based on enrollment to provide career counseling and related programming. SB 879 would require county boards of education to distribute these dedicated funds to local workforce development boards beginning in fiscal year 2025 to carry out this aspect of the Blueprint. In doing so, the legislation clarifies any confusion on which entity is to receive and manage these funds. Counties strongly agree with the Blueprint that local workforce development boards are best equipped to manage such programs, and many have already started partnering with their local workforce development boards and community colleges on CTE and career readiness.

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