On August 23, MACo will host a webinar with the new Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation on how counties can fill vacancies by participating in the new Service Year fellowship program.
Maryland’s new Department of Service and Civic Innovation and the Service Year Option program are now up and running. 2023 legislation supported by MACo created both. The law and program specifically target local governments to host fellows in various fields, providing hands-on experience in public service and strengthening the pipeline to county government and filling open positions.
August 23 webinar for counties
On August 23, MACo will host the Department of Service and Civic Innovation in a free webinar to discuss the Service Year Option program and how counties can apply to host a fellow. Details are below.
- Date/Time: Wednesday, August 23, 3:30 pm -4:30 pm
- Presenter: The Maryland Department of Service and Civic
- Attend the Zoom webinar here.
About the Service Year Option
The Department explains the program as the following:
The Service Year Option is an opportunity for those who recently completed high school, received their high school completion certificate, or earned their GED in Maryland. Members will serve across the state of Maryland in organizations that will provide job training, mentorship and other resources to be successful all while earning $15 an hour plus focused professional development time each week.
Service Year Option fellows will be paired with an apprenticeship program, nonprofit, business, or government agency, including county governments. The following sectors will be prioritized during the 2023-2024 service term (beginning October 25, 2023, through August 30, 2024):
- Climate—work on clean energy projects like home weatherization and windmill energy.
- Education—serve in classrooms as tutors for children, youth recreation assistants, or as a nutrition assistance professional. Serve in or out of classrooms to help youth connect to knowledge about health, well-being, and life skills.
- Community Health—serve in a public health organization helping Maryland residents access vaccines and other preventative medicine or as a mental health advocate, helping connect people to the care they need.
- Public Service—spend a term working in state or local government offices as a potential pathway into future work in a state or local agency in a professional position.
- Apprenticeships/Building Trades—serve in a defined pathway to obtain hard skills in a specific high-growth industry – like construction management or advanced manufacturing.
- Information Technology—gain skills in competitive fields like web development, artificial intelligence, and software/coding.
- Public Safety—serve alongside police and law enforcement to build strong partnerships with communities to identify individuals at risk of violence, connect them to essential resources and co-produce public safety.
What does being a Service Year Option Host look like?
- Hosting at least 2-3 members, and potentially more based on organizational capacity, from October 2023–August 2024.
- Supporting wrap-around services to members when available and needed (examples include childcare, transportation, financial literacy skills, and job search and college application support).
- Committing to strengthen the talent pipeline into high-demand jobs, state and local government positions, and to fill present and future employment needs in Maryland.
- Providing meaningful work and ongoing supervision for the members including on-site professional development, job training, and mentoring.
Fellows who successfully finish their full term earn a $6,000 completion payment from the state that can be paid out as a taxable cash stipend or deposited into a Maryland 529 account toward future tuition costs.