Benchmarks of Success Issue 34, March 2022

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Monthly Newsletter  -  Issue 34, March 2022

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Maryland's Workforce System Helps Women Facing Barriers to Employment Prepare for Career Success

Maryland's Department of Labor (Labor) received a grant from the United States Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau to pilot workforce solutions for women affected by the opioid epidemic. Below are some of the programs these grant funds supported.

Hospitality Pre-Apprenticeship at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women

Labor launched the Hospitality Pre-Apprenticeship program in 2019 at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in partnership with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). This program functions as a Pre-Apprenticeship for its connection to the AHLA, a Registered Apprenticeship sponsor.

Students will have the opportunity to earn up to a total of 9 certifications through the 10 training modules aligned with employer needs, as identified by the AHLA employer network. Three cohorts of 10 to 15 women will ultimately receive training through the program. Upon completion of training and release, trainees work closely with Reentry Navigators, a Correctional Education Occupational Coordinator, and other partners to connect to employment opportunities with AHLA members.

Grant Award to Maryland New Directions (MND)

MND is a service provider located in Baltimore City that used its award to provide women with training for careers in transportation and logistics. In addition to job training, case management and support services, MND provides participants with wellness services. To date, 21 women have obtained employment following participation in this program.

Grant Award to PIVOT Baltimore

PIVOT is a community reentry and workforce development program that has used grant funds to serve women returning home from incarceration and/or struggling with substance use disorders. The 8-week program includes job readiness training, group therapy, and intensive case management. Participants who complete the program are placed into employment or referred, as appropriate, to occupational training opportunities or employment.


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March is National Women's History Month

Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. Here are some great websites where you can read more about the many contributions American woman have made:

Celebrating Women's History Month, the St. Louis Federal Reserve produced a Dashboard to highlight women's presence in the U.S. economy. The Women's History Month Dashboard highlights women's contributions to the labor force, population, earnings, school enrollment, and more.


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Maryland New Direction (MND) gave Patrice a springboard for a promising future...


Ms. Patrice W. came to MND during the height of the COVID pandemic in February of 2021. A single mother, Patrice had recently become unemployed and needed to find work to support herself and her 8-year-old daughter. Motivated and skilled, Patrice knew she could find a new job, but she didn’t want just another job. She wanted a career that would provide her with new challenges, opportunities for development, and the promise of a higher standard of living for herself and her daughter.

Patrice joined MND’s Maritime Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics training program beginning on February 8, 2021 and started a part-time job on the same day to help support herself and her daughter during training. Despite the challenges presented by training and working at the same time, Patrice maintained perfect attendance and completed training on February 28, 2021.

The pandemic slowed Patrice’s job search, but with MND’s ongoing support and her determination, she accepted a full-time position in early April with Sysco Baltimore/Capital Region in Jessup, Maryland. In her new role as a Warehouse Selector, Patrice earned $19.93 an hour with benefits and union membership. Patrice attended the Chesapeake Region Safety Council’s Sit-Down Forklift Training in her first month on the job, increasing her value to Sysco and expanding her career opportunities.

As Patrice describes in her own words: “After completing training and earning my forklift certification, I realized I had not only changed my financial life, but I was setting a real example for my 8-year-old daughter. Now, working full time with Sysco, an international company, I have been promoted after just four months to a Cycle Counter in the Inventory Department. I received a raise too!  Today, I make more in two weeks than what I used to have for an entire month.”

“I have always been assertive when it comes to growth in my life. But finding the right resources and opportunities isn’t always easy. My focus now is to continue to work hard, advance in my company, and be a high achiever so that my daughter, and others, can be inspired to make it, too. I feel like I have achieved a very big goal, set a great example, and have found a ‘home’ for my long-term career.”

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

  • MD Labor Sponsors Construction Camp for Girls -

    Women have moved into many occupational areas once considered the exclusive domain of male workers. Unfortunately, the construction industry continues to lag behind, with women representing only a small fraction of the total workforce. Labor’s Apprenticeship and Training Program is working hard to increase opportunities for women and other groups not traditionally represented in construction-related occupations. For a second year, Labor will be a proud sponsor for the National Association of Women in Construction Construction Camp, which will run the first week of August.

    The Construction Camp introduces girls in grades 7 through 12 to the diverse occupational opportunities open to them in the construction industry. The camp will be held at the Associated Builders and Contractors Baltimore Metropolitan Training Facility, where 25 campers will engage in hands-on training, learn safety practices, hear from guest speakers, and take field trips.  

    WBAL-TV (channel 11) did a great report on last year’s Construction Camp. Check it out!

  • Statewide Water Assistance Program - 

    The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is available statewide and provides Maryland households with financial relief for water and/or wastewater bills. Eligible households may receive up to $2,000. LIHWAP funding is limited, and applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

    Applications for LIHWAP assistance can be submitted online using the consumer portal at A printable paper application can be found here.

    The LIHWAP customer service hotline is available Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-5PM at 1-800-332-6347.

  • The United States Department of Labor's Women's Bureau is 101 Years Old! 

    The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) established the Women’s Bureau on June 5, 1920, by Public Law No. 66-259. The law gave the Bureau the duty to “formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.” It also gave the Bureau the authority to investigate and report to USDOL upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of women in industry. The Women’s Bureau is the only federal agency mandated to represent the needs of wage-earning women in the public policy process. Learn more about the Women’s Bureau…

  • COVID-19 Disability Employment Trends 

    The Office of Disability Employment Policy released “Employment of Persons with a Disability: Analysis of Trends during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Findings in Brief.” This report examines the unprecedented changes in employment for America’s workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. It uses data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey to provide insight into key labor force statistics, employment across industries and occupations, and the effect of the easing of social distancing and the ability to telework on occupational employment change.

    Read “Employment of Persons with a Disability: Analysis of Trends during the COVID-19 Pandemic– Findings in Brief”
  • From the desk of the Chief Learning Officer for Maryland's Workforce System, John Feaster III - 

    I’m pleased to announce the release of another module in the Benchmarks of Success eLearning Series. Module 7: Understanding Title IV is targeted for release in May.

    This latest addition to the eLearning series joins the previously released modules below:

    • Introduction to the HUB
    • Benchmarks of Success
    • The Governor’s Workforce Development Board
    • Understanding Title I
    • Understanding Title II
    • Understanding Title III

    For more information on these learning opportunities, feel free to reach out to me at

    Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities!


Benchmarks of Success Newsletters


Benchmarks of Success Committee Updates

Committee Chairs welcome questions from newsletter readers regarding the work in which their groups are involved! To be connected with a committee's leadership team, feel free to contact the Communications Committee at

All committees are currently meeting virtually.

  • The Executive Steering Committee is composed of the agency leaders of the partner agencies who meet periodically to provide the WIOA Alignment Group with high-level guidance. You can learn more about the Executive Steering Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • The WIOA Alignment Group is composed of the department and division-level leaders of partner agencies who meet on a monthly basis 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. The WIOA Alignment Group typically meets on the last Monday of each month. The most recent meeting was held on March 28, 2021. The next meeting is scheduled for April 25, 2022. You can learn more about the WIOA Alignment Group’s ongoing activities here.
  • The Data and Dashboard Committee is comprised of representatives from partner agencies who possess subject matter expertise in program-based performance requirements and data collection methodologies and tools. The Committee meets on a quarterly basis to develop a consistent, sustainable system all workforce partners can use to measure, analyze, display, and apply Benchmarks data to continuously improve the quality and effectiveness of services. The Committee’s most recent quarterly meeting was held on February 15, 2022. The group's next meeting is scheduled for May 10, 2022. You can learn more about the Data and Dashboard Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • The Communications Committee is comprised of representatives from partner agencies who possess subject matter expertise in programs and communications methods and tools. The Committee meets on a monthly basis to foster the integration of Maryland’s workforce system by broadly promoting the activities of the Benchmarks of Success committees and the services and resources of partner agencies and programs. The Benchmarks of Success newsletter is the committee's main deliverable. The newsletter serves as a central forum targeting frontline service providers, where partners can share information on important developments that impact the system. The Committee held its most recent meeting on March 10, 2022. The group's next meeting is scheduled for April 14, 2022. You can learn more about the Communications Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • The Policy Committee is comprised of representatives from partner agencies who possess subject matter expertise in workforce system policy issues. The Committee meets on a monthly basis to research policy issues and produces an annual Policy Recommendations Report. The recommendations included in the Report help to guide system priorities and initiatives. The Committee’s most recent meeting was held on in March via email to conduct group-editing of the 2021 report. The Committee’s next meeting will be held on April 28, 2022. You can learn more about the Policy Committee’s ongoing activities here.
  • The Professional Development and Technical Assistance Committee works 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. The Committee typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month. The group held its most recent meeting on February 16, 2022 and has the next meeting scheduled for April 19, 2022. You can learn more about the Professional Development and Technical Assistance Committee’s ongoing activities here.


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