Benchmarks of Success Issue 39, September 2022

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Monthly Newsletter  -  Issue 39,  September 2022

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Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Robinson Leads State's Celebration of Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) Week

September marked Maryland’s 2022 celebration of AEFL Week. Check out Secretary Robinson recent remarks on the impact of low literacy levels and the resources Maryland has available for adult and English language learners.

Visit the Maryland Department of Labor’s Office of Adult Education and Literacy Services website to learn more about the services available to Maryland workforce system customers. An interactive map of local programs is available here, and you can also access this printable directory.

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Adult Learners Thank the Committed Educators who have Helped them Achieve their Goals

It is hard to overstate the impact adult educators have on the lives of the students they serve. Adult educators across Maryland work hard every day to instruct and inspire learners, and to help them meet their personal and professional goals through education. American Family Literacy Week is the perfect opportunity to give students the floor to thank the instructors who have helped them so much.

Ms. Weng

Xiaolin Weng is a student attending Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) who recently completed a GED® Preparation Program Completer and is currently enrolled in AACC's English language course for Speakers of Other Languages.

“I decided to complete my GED® because I wanted to improve my English skills," says Xiaolin. "I also wanted to have GED® in case there was anything I wanted to do in my life that required having a high school degree. The most challenging thing was being able to balance out all the studying with family and work. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed and tired because studying took a lot of time that I didn’t have. I am glad I persisted through it all. The program provided me with so many resources along the way. I was really struggling to pass the English portion of the test, so AACC set me up with one-on-one tutoring to help me prepare. I felt very supported, and it benefited me greatly."

Xiaolin is so thankful for the role her instructors have played in her growth: "I would like to give a shoutout to Ms. Mary and Ms. Stephanie. I really enjoyed having them as my instructors, and they were very supportive.”


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!

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Success Stories


Joann knows that it’s never too late to achieve new career goals!

If there is one thing Maryland’s Adult Literacy programs prove, it is that it is never too late to set and pursue new career goals. Joann Godwin-Raheem is a great case-in-point. Joann had worked for 35 years in the healthcare industry when she decided she wanted to pursue a new career pathway, one that required her to gain new skills and assume new responsibilities. Read the rest of Joann’s story…


Yvonne earns her high school diploma and starts a new career in healthcare with help from the South Baltimore Learning Center’s PATH program.

After 14 years working with the same retail company, Yvonne Bankston’s position was eliminated. Finding herself out of work, Yvonne was looking to take her career in a different direction, and she knew the first step was to earn her high school diploma. She started classes at the South Baltimore Learning Center (SBLC) in 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began, and earned her diploma the next year. Following graduation, she was among the first group of learners to complete the Career Skills Academy, a new SBLC program that helps adults leverage their existing skill sets to move into new careers and equips them with the new skills and connections they need, whether they are career changers or they are entering the workforce for the first time. Read more about Yvonne’s journey…

Adult Learners

Adult Learners Celebrating Success

Gaining a high school diploma and pursuing career goals isn’t easy for adults also supporting families. When graduation day arrives, it is truly a day to celebrate! Read about the accomplishments of an impressive roster of adult learners, beginning with the Worcester County Class of 2022!


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

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month is Coming Up!

    Are you ready for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)? Held every October, NDEAM is a great time to learn about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The 2022 NDEAM theme will be “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” Learn more…

  • September is International Update Your Résumé Month - 

    The old adage about the cobbler's children having no shoes is true! Workforce specialists help jobseekers refine competitive résumés every day, but when is the last time you took a close look at your own résumé to ensure it is updated with all of your skills, expertise, and credentials? To jog you into action, this is your reminder that September is International Update Your Résumé Month!

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

    Maryland workforce system staff had a rich variety of professional development opportunities this September!

    Raising the Bar 2022

    Early in the month, workforce system staff from all over Maryland came together for the Raising the Bar 2022 (RtB) conference, the Maryland Workforce Association's signature annual professional development event. Not only was this the first RtB since before the pandemic, but it was also the state's first time holding the conference at the Live! Casino venue. People were clearly happy to be able to see colleagues and engage in a rich menu of 30+ workshop sessions: more than 700 were registered for each of the three days the conference ran.

    2022 Reemployment Summit

    The 2022 Reemployment Summit was held in Annapolis only a few weeks after RtB. The Summit is also an annual professional development event that was held for the first time since the pandemic. Co-hosted by the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning and Division of Unemployment Insurance, this year’s Summit brought together workforce system staff who help Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claimants quickly return to employment. Diverse sessions during the three-day Summit covered the latest workforce development strategies and provided opportunities for colleagues learn about the latest developments within partner programs.

    Upcoming Training Opportunities and Conferences: 

    National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) 2022 Annual Training Conference -

    The NASCSP conference will be held October 24 - 28, 2022. The NASCSP 2022 Annual Training Conference offers valuable opportunities for professionals from around the country to come together and discuss strategies for meeting new challenges in improved performance, innovation, and accountability in the fight to change the face of poverty across the nation. Visit the conference website to learn more about pre-conference, core conference, sponsor/exhibitor opportunities, and COVID protocols.

    Maryland Rehabilitation Conference 2022 - 

    The Maryland Rehabilitation Association and Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services will hold the Maryland Rehabilitation Conference 2022 on November 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Baltimore North in Towson Maryland.

    For more information, contact John at                                                                                                     ______________________________  

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 September 26, 2022. The next meeting is scheduled for October 31, 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 held a joint meeting with the Policy Committee on August 8, 2022. The group's next meeting is scheduled for November 1, 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 September 8, 2022. The group's next meeting is scheduled for October 13, 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 jointly with the Data and Dashboard Committee on August 8, 2022. The Committee also has a follow-up meeting scheduled with the Data and Dashboard Committee on November 1, 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 September 21, 2022 and has the next meeting scheduled for November 16, 2022. You can learn more about the Professional Development and Technical Assistance Committee’s activities here.


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