A new workforce development initiative by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will eliminate the requirement for a four-year college degree for thousands of jobs in the state.
Hogan said the state would create job opportunities in information technology, administration, and customer service for thousands of job seekers with relevant training and experience.
The Maryland Department of Budget and Management is working with DC-based non-profit Opportunity@Work to review how job seekers who are “Skilled Through Alternative Routes” can be employed to mitigate labor shortages caused by the pandemic.
“There are over one million Marylanders who do not have bachelor’s degrees, but do have skills for jobs that are in demand,” CEO of Opportunity@Work, Byron Auguste, said. “These Maryland workers are STARs – Skilled Through Alternative Routes – such as community college, military service, workforce training, and on-the-job learning.”
Hogan’s announcement comes as students reconsider postsecondary education in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Tremendous pressure, uncertainly about the future, and high student loan debt have led to plummeting undergraduate enrollment for the second year in a row in 2021.
Under the initiative, anyone 25 or older who has a high school diploma and acquired skills through alternative routes such as apprenticeships, community college, or on-the-job training qualifies as a STAR and is eligible to apply.
Nearly 40,000 employees work for the Maryland government. The government estimates that more than half of those jobs do not require a four-year college degree, which can be substituted with relevant experience, training, or community college education.
Over 300 jobs have already been listed on Stellarworx, the nonprofit’s employment platform.
“We really want an economy where if you can do the job, you can get the job. And if you can learn new valuable skills, you can earn more,” August added at the press conference.
The College Post is part of Globe Post Media, a US digital news organization publishing the world’s best targeted news sites.
Get the latest news about higher education in the US straight to your inbox.
© Globe Post Media | All rights reserved