Benchmarks of Success Issue 17, February 2020

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Monthly Newsletter  -  Issue 17, February 2020

Maryland Department of Human Services Welcomes Christina Church as Maryland's new Two-Generation Program Officer

Christina Church

Christina Church was recently appointed to the Maryland Department of Human Services as the newly established Two-Generation Program Officer. She carries out the recommendations of the Two-Generation Family Economic Security Commission, established by Governor Hogan and led by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, with the goal of breaking the cycle of multigenerational poverty to help ensure a better quality of life for all Maryland families.

Christina's duties include evaluating pilot sites and serving as a connection point for state agencies, executive staff, the legislature, and federal partners in furthering the Two-Gen mission and ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the “Two-Gen” approach in Maryland.

She is well-versed in social services and legal policy within the state government, having previously worked as both a Consultant and a Senior Policy Analyst respectively in the Governor’s Office for Children.

As the Two-Generation Program Officer, Christina is responsible for coordinating service delivery to multiple generations within the same family. She also serves as the primary administrator and liaison for coordinating activities among the Lt. Governor’s Office, Maryland Department of Human Services, the 24 Local Departments of Social Services, philanthropic organizations, businesses, and nonprofits.

To learn more about Maryland's Two-Generation Family Economic Security Commission, go to

Maryland's Food Supplement Employment and Training (FSET) Program - connecting people who receive monthly food supplement benefits to free job-driven training programs.

“I would refer anybody to this training!” exclaimed Khadjah, referring to the Maryland Department of Human Service’s FSET program she graduated from earlier this year. Khadjah, a mother of four and a Baltimore native, was seeking positive life change and growth in a new direction. She decided to take her neighbor's suggestion to contact Humanim, a FSET provider that offers a range of trainings, from culinary arts, to hospitality, to healthcare. Ambitious, creative, and determined, Khadjah chose the culinary path.

In addition to getting transportation assistance, computer support, and Internet access form Humanim, Khadjah also made use of the opportunity they provided to intern at a busy restaurant. This on-the-job experience allowed her to try on the cook’s career, while equipping her with invaluable know-how for her new path. Khadjah further boosted her skills with coursework and certificate training in retail and communications. Upon graduating, she was primed for the job search!

“The program is sensitive to your ideas for your future. They don’t stop helping until you arrive where you want to be,” Khadjah emphasizes. She’s been proven right, because shortly after completing her culinary arts training, Khadjah accepted the position of Cook Supervisor at a nearby senior care facility. Her story is just one example among many about how FSET and our training providers will get you where you want to be. Marylanders can learn more about the FSET program by visiting The Department of Labor also partners with Humanim, a highly successful EARN Maryland (EARN) grantee. For more information on EARN, visit



Quick Resources

Benchmarks of Success Resource Page

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Resource Page

Maryland’s State Workforce Plan


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Maurice Finds Success through the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Program


Maurice came to the Maryland Department of Labor at Eastpoint after being laid off from an Owings Mills company as a Senior Loss Analyst. He had supervised staff plus analyzed financial data to minimize company loss while developing a positive work environment.

At the Eastpoint American Job Center in Baltimore County, he met with staff member Dan Withey who enrolled him in the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program to allow him to further his education. After a career assessment, labor market research, and discussion of his goals, Maurice decided to pursue an Associate's Degree in business from the University of Phoenix online. Read more...

Workforce Partners

Maryland Department of Labor                                                                  Maryland Department of Human Services

Maryland State Department of Education                                                Governor's Workforce Development Board

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development                            Maryland Workforce Association

Did You Know...?


Maryland's Latest Workforce Development Updates 

  • Focus on Youth Apprenticeship - the Apprenticeship Maryland Program
    • Save the date for the Second Annual Youth Apprenticeship Conference being held on Thursday, April 30, at Turf Valley Conference Center in Ellicott City. Secondary and postsecondary educators, apprenticeship sponsors and employers, and other key stakeholder groups will be there. Cost is $30/person. For more information, contact Jennifer Griffin at 410-767-0635. Register... 
    • See the Apprenticeship Maryland Program in action! Dorchester County Public Schools...
    • First high school student hired through the Apprenticeship Maryland Program - Read more...
  • Governor's Budget Provides $7.5 Million for EARN Maryland and a Record $3 Million for the State's Apprenticeship Program - The Maryland Department of Labor announced that the Hogan administration's proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget provides $7.5 million for the nationally-recognized Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland grant program and a record $3 million for the state's apprenticeship program. Read more...

  • Opioid Operational Command Center Holds 2020 Best Practices Conference to Focus on the Power of Collaboration - Opioid Crisis Response Professionals Share Promising Techniques - Maryland's Opioid Operational Command Center hosted its 2020 Best Practices Conference on February 24, 2020 in Annapolis. The theme of the conference was "The Power of Collaboration," and the event brought together professionals from across Maryland to share information on the programs and initiatives that ae helping our state make progress against the opioid crisis. Read more...
  • Light House Bistro Awarded a $75,000 Maryland Department of Labor Opioid Workforce Innovation Fund Grant - This much needed support will provide individuals who have been impacted by the opioid epidemic with the job training and work opportunities at Light House Bistro. Read more...
  • Baltimore County's Youth Services program is gearing up for its Summer Youth Employment Program with some exciting events. 
    • Baltimore County hosted/will be hosting two Youth Employment Summits to promote Baltimore County Government as an employer. The first was held on February 15, 2020 at the Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). The second will take place on February 29, 2020 at the Catonsville campus of CCBC.
    • On March 21, 2020, a youth employment event focused on youth ages 14-15 will be held at the Towson library. Topics covered at the event include: career and vocational interests; strategies on effective presentation and interviewing skills; money management and responsible use of social media; and identifying barriers to educational and employment success as well as the social assets needed to overcome those barriers. Youth will also have the opportunity to apply for summer employment.
    • On April 28, 2020, the Baltimore County Workforce Development Board will host an evening Youth Networking event for out-of-school youth who are eligible for services under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The goal of the event is to help youth build networking skills.


Benchmarks of Success Newsletters


Benchmarks of Success Committee Updates

  • The Executive Steering Committee is composed of the leaders of the partner agencies that work together to help Maryland job seekers achieve self-sufficiency through employment and help Maryland employers access the skills their businesses need to compete and thrive in a global economy. You can learn more about the Executive Steering Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • The WIOA Alignment Group brings together the leaders of partner programs to collaboratively address issues, plan joint efforts, make recommendations to the Executive Steering Committee, and manage and guide the activities of the Benchmarks of Success committees. You can learn more about the WIOA Alignment Group’s ongoing activities here.
  • The Data and Dashboard Committee has spent countless hours establishing shared definitions for workforce system terminology, exploring the differences in data collection and performance tracking across different partner programs, and finding new ways to combine data from multiple sources to analyze the performance of Maryland’s workforce system more holistically. The WIOA Alignment Group will be working closely with the Committee in 2020 to determine how the workforce system can use this data to continuously improve Maryland’s outcomes for job seekers and employers. You can learn more about the Data and Dashboard Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • The Communications Committee publishes an online monthly newsletter for the Benchmarks of Success initiative that provides the latest-greatest on what’s happening across the system. It’s a great resource for news of upcoming partner events and success stories. Stay tuned in 2020 for additional feature articles on the work taking place in the Benchmarks of Success Committees, too! The March Newsletter will feature the Data and Dashboard Committee, a feature on the Policy Committee will run in the May newsletter, and the Professional Development and Technical Assistance Committee will be featured in the July/August issue. In addition to the newsletter, the Communications Committee has produced three important collateral documents to promote the Benchmarks of Success initiative across the state. Feel free to download and share the new posterrack card and flier! Printed versions of these materials will soon be distributed statewide to service sites operated by the Maryland Department of Labor, the Maryland Department of Human Services, the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services, and the Maryland Department of Community Housing and Development. You can learn more about the Communications Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • The Policy Committee researches a variety of workforce policy issues throughout the year and produces an annual Policy Recommendations Report based on its findings. The recommendations included in the Report help to guide system priorities and initiatives. The Committee presented its 2019 Policy Recommendations Report at the January 2020 meeting of the WIOA Alignment Group, which positively recommended that it be passed along to the Executive Steering Committee for review. Stay tuned for more about this important report! You can learn more about the Policy Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • Professional Development and Technical Assistance - with a new Chief Learning Officer (CLO) now onboard to guide statewide professional development activities, a March Kick-off Meeting is on the calendar for the Professional Development and Technical Assistance Committee. The Committee will work to advance a unified professional development program that helps all partner programs: maximize access to and use of skills and credentialing and life management skills; eliminate barriers to employment through the use of supportive services; and strengthen and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the workforce system. You can learn more about the Professional Development and Technical Assistance Committee’s ongoing activities here.


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