Benchmarks of Success Issue 35, April 2022

View this bulletin as a webpage

Benchmarks banner with tag

Monthly Newsletter  -  Issue 35, April 2022

new americans 2

Helping English Language Learners Excel as Citizens and Professionals

If you have ever had lunch with a workforce system colleague who provides adult basic education services for new Americans and at some point found yourself staring blankly as they reeled off a long string of letters, we are here to help. Prepare to be initiated into the mystery of what all of those letters mean!

Integrated English Language and Civics Education (IELCE) services, which are funded under Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Adult Education and Family Literacy Act program, help adult English language learners, including professionals with degrees or credentials in their native countries, achieve competency in the English language and acquire the basic and more advanced skills needed to function effectively as parents, workers, and citizens in the United States. IELCE services include instruction in literacy and English language acquisition and instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and civic participation. IELCE services may also include workforce training, which is where IET comes in.

Now let’s add in a few more letters! Integrated Education and Training (IET) services provide adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement.

For more information on IELCE/IET services, check out this great overview.


Maryland Community Colleges - Stats

According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce report “Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements,” 65% of the jobs in the nation were expected to require post-secondary education by 2020. Maryland’s educational requirements hover slightly higher, at 69%.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission’s 2021 Data Book indicates that:

  • In the 2019/2020 school year, Maryland community colleges awarded 3,440 certificates and 14,472 Associate’s degrees;
  • Over 113,000 Marylanders enrolled in the state’s community colleges in 2019;
  • Of that total, 33% were 25 years of age or older;
  • More than 60% were women;
  • 11% were Hispanic/Latino; and
  • 30% were Black/African American.


Quick Resources

Benchmarks of Success Resource Page

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Resource Page

Maryland’s State Workforce Plan



Download and share the Benchmarks of Success poster, rack card, and two-sided flyer!

PosterRack Cardflyer

Anne Arundel Community College

Success story pic

In the spring of 2018, Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) launched its first cohort of Central Sterile Processing Technician training designed for English Language Learners. This opportunity was funded by the Maryland Department of Labor and implemented through a partnership between AACC’s departments of Adult Education & English Language Learning and Apprenticeship and Applied Learning.

Since that time, AACC has offered a total of six IELCE/IET programs for English Language Learners in the fields of Sterile Processing and Dental Assisting & Radiology. To date, 73 participants have been enrolled in these training programs with a 96% program completion rate.

Coursework for both programs includes a technical training course required for industry certification which is complemented by a contextualized IELCE course designed for multilingual students to enhance their proficiency in occupational terminology and concepts. Students also enroll in a Workforce Success Skills class to help them prepare for the job application and interview process in the United States, and particularly within the healthcare industry. Together, these three courses provide students with the skills and resources they need to be successful healthcare professionals. Upon completion of the training program, certification exams, and required field experience, students are prepared to start their family-supporting careers in either the Sterile Processing or Dental Assisting fields, of which annual wages are typically $42,420 and $41,950, respectively, according to the May 2020 BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey.

When it comes to recruitment, students have proven to be the best ambassadors for sharing the benefits of the IELCE/IET programs. Daniela Riccardi, a recent graduate from the Dental Assisting and Radiology program shared:

“This program [Dental Assisting and Radiology for English language learners] has helped me to restart my career in the health field, here in the United States. I learned more than I could have ever imagined, and all of the instructors were really helpful. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have gained and for the position as a dental assistant that I started in a week after graduation. I would highly recommend this program to any English language learner who wants a career as a Dental Assistant.”

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

  • Resources to Support Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities -

    The Community College (CC) Promise Program

    The CC Promise program is a relatively new program that covers the costs of qualifying credit and non-credit post-secondary educational programs. It is a need-based grant for eligible middle-income students, funded by the State of Maryland that can pay eligible applicants’ tuition and mandatory fees from $200 – $5000/year, based on remaining unmet need after other financial aid is applied. To find out more about eligibility criteria and how to apply for funding under the CC Promise program, visit the website.

    The Maryland Near Completer Grant Program

    The state of Maryland has created a grant program to assist eligible students who have already completed 75% of their academic degree requirements. Grant funds are for tuition only. An eligible student enrolling in a community college will be allocated up to one third of the in-county resident tuition rate. An eligible student enrolling in a 4-year institution will be allocated up to one third of the in-state resident undergraduate tuition rate. The 2022-2023 Near Completer Grant application is now available through the Maryland College Aid Processing System (MDCAPS).

  • College or Apprenticeship - Why not both? 

    Jobseekers pondering their next move on a career path may think of pursuing a college degree or an apprenticeship as mutually exclusive choices. To the contrary, the reality is that the two are not an either/or proposition. A person can work towards an apprenticeship while also gaining post-secondary credentials that they can use for a college degree. For example, many registered apprenticeship sponsors in the skilled trades (construction) industry have had comprehensive articulation agreements with local community colleges for many years. These articulation agreements allow an apprentice to not only graduate as a highly skilled steamfitter, plumber, electrician or Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration journey worker, but can also provide between 18 and 35 college credits towards an Associate’s Degree.

    Employers in occupations and industries that had not traditionally utilized the apprenticeship model are increasingly seeing the value of building comprehensive registered apprenticeship programs that integrate the opportunity to earn college credits along with structured on-the-job training.

    For example:

    • Apprentices in the GlaxoSmithKline registered apprenticeship program not only earn and learn in occupations just as Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing and Instrumentation and Electrical work while in their apprenticeship but they also graduate debt free with an Associate’s Degree and career wages. This program has only been registered since 2017 and has already graduated two apprentices with another two on the path to completion.
    • The Better Business Bureau of Greater Baltimore has developed an apprenticeship program for Sales Representatives that will allow their apprentices to graduate debt free with an Associate’s Degree in addition to career earnings. They are expected to register their first apprentice in 2022.
    • Frederick Community College (FCC) has developed a program for Biological Technicians that will result in an Associate's Degree and career earnings. The employer sponsors for FCC’s program allow their apprentices to graduate with an Associate’s Degree debt free while advancing in careers in the industry.
    The Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program (MATP) anticipates continued interest in registered apprenticeship models that incorporate opportunities for apprentices to gain post-secondary degrees. To learn more about the latest innovations in apprenticeship and the diverse career pathways available using the Registered Apprenticeship model, visit MATP’s website.
  • Maryland Agency Selected to Participate in Federal Project to Assist Families - 

    The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is excited to share that the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services (AACD DSS), with the support of DHS Secretary, Lourdes R. Padilla, was selected to participate in the federal Office of Family Assistance Leveraging America’s Social & Economic Resilience Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Learning Community (LASAR TLC) project. 

    Administered by the DHS, the TANF program provides cash assistance to Maryland families with dependent children when available resources do not fully address the family’s needs, and while preparing program participants for independence through work.

    The vision of the LASER TLC project is to implement program improvements and service delivery innovations that prepare the workforce for new post-pandemic economic realities and lead to better and more equitable outcomes for TANF families. The AACD DSS proposal focuses closely on families who have received TANF benefits for 60 months or longer. During this collaborative 18-month project, a holistic partnership approach to servicing the targeted population will include the following:

    • Extensive and comprehensive assessment of skills, aptitudes, barriers, and interests
    • Development of Success Plan for each participant that includes objectives, goals, and strategies for achievement
    • Braiding of programmatic processes and funding to assist everyone
    • Establishing/improving a system of partner alignment when it comes to addressing barriers, and exploring a “results team” approach

    This work is a team effort between the AACD DSS and JobsWork!. Arundel. For more information on Maryland's TANF program, visit Marylanders may apply online at or in person at their Local DSS office. 

  • New Report on Impact of the Pandemic on Workers with Disabilities

    If you are interested in learning more about the impact the COVID pandemic had on workers with disabilities, a new report was just released that takes a close look at the topic. The United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy recently released Employment of Persons with a Disability: Analysis of Trends during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Findings in Brief.

  • Thursday, April 28 is "Take Our Children to Work Day 2022" - Each year on the fourth Thursday in April, National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day encourages parents to take their children to work. This annual event is an educational program in the United States and Canada where parents take their children to work with them for one day. The day is designed to help children explore the workforce. It inspires children to see the different roles required to run a business or to build a project. They may find an interest in engineering, accounting, or art while spending the day with mom or dad. Perhaps a child’s natural proclivity for order leads them into logistics someday!
  • Celebrating Neurodiversity During National Autism Awareness Month

    April is National Autism Awareness Month. There are approximately 6.5 million people in the U.S. with autism, intellectual, and/or developmental differences, and there is a growing movement to include these individuals in a more neurodiverse workforce. (The term “neurodiversity” describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one "right" way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.) Best Buddies, Special Olympics and Autism Speaks organizations are partnering on the Delivering Jobs campaign, an inclusion campaign dedicated to creating pathways to one million employment and leadership opportunities for people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences by 2025. Learn more…

  • From the desk of the Chief Learning Officer for Maryland's Workforce System, John Feaster III - 

    The release of the next module in the Benchmarks of Success eLearning Series, Module 7: Understanding Title IV, is targeted for release in May. Keep an eye on your inbox for your notification to complete it!

    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 April 25, 2022. The next meeting is scheduled for May 23, 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 26, 2022 and will be a joint meeting with the Policy Committee. 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 April 14, 2022. The group's next meeting is scheduled for May 12, 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, and the May 26, 2022 meeting will be a joint one with the Data and Dashboard Committee. 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 April 19, 2022 and has the next meeting scheduled for June 15, 2022. You can learn more about the Professional Development and Technical Assistance Committee’s ongoing activities here.


Contact us!

Have a story you would like to see featured? Email us at