Benchmarks of Success Issue 40, October 2022

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Monthly Newsletter  -  Issue 40,  October 2022

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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2022!

Observed annually in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices. In recognition of the important role people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce, the theme for NDEAM 2022 “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” Learn more… 

Read the press release from Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) here.


Maryland Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15, 2022

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the culture and contributions of Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. The observance of Hispanic Heritage Month was born in 1968 when Congress authorized the president to issue an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week.

Check out this flier issued by the New Americans Initiative at Maryland’s Department of Labor to learn more about the important role Maryland’s Hispanic community plays in the state’s workforce, and read about some of the exciting celebrations that took place around the state.

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year’s campaign theme — “See Yourself in Cyber” — demonstrates that while cybersecurity may seem like a complex subject, ultimately, it’s really all about people. This year's observance of Cybersecurity Awareness Month focused on the “people” part of cybersecurity, providing information and resources to help ensure all individuals and organizations make smart decisions whether on the job, at home, or at school – now and in the future.

Cybersecurity jobs are an important part of Maryland’s economy, pay well, and are distributed across a wide range of industries. Because many cybersecurity jobs require shorter-term certifications as qualifications, they may be the perfect fit for jobseeker customers interested in pursuing this promising career pathway. The EARN Maryland program supports multiple cybersecurity training programs located throughout the state. If you are serving jobseekers you think could benefit, reach out to


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 Story


An innovative partnership with Sephora is helping Quinton build a career.

Things are looking up for Quinton, a consumer at the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS). He just marked his one-year anniversary as a Sephora Warehouse employee on October 4, 2022.

Last year, Quinton successfully completed a 9-week training Warehouse Associate training course offered through an innovative partnership between DORS’ Workforce & Technology Center, the Community College of Baltimore County, and Sephora. Sephora is a multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products with stores around the world. The training program, which prepares individuals with disabilities for jobs at Sephora's Aberdeen, Maryland Distribution Center, consists of a one-week soft skills course, followed by 8-weeks of on-the-job training in the warehouse.

Quinton’s primary job functions as a Warehouse Associate were to safely pick, put and pack products per Sephora’s standards, and he became so good at these tasks that he was promoted to a supervisor position just six short months after being hired! These days Quinton is not only supervising other workers, but he is responsible for training new employees on warehouse tasks.

The Harford County Commission on Disabilities Employment Committee recently took note of Quinton’s success, recognizing him as their Employee of the Year, and selecting Sephora as the winner of the Large Employer of the Year Award.

Quinton’s DORS Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Jan Stauffer, reports that it is easy to see that Quinton’s personality plays a major role in his success. “He is very well liked by his coworkers and supervisors.” She adds that Quinton shared that the job she helped him get has very much changed his life for the better, which truly delighted her: “This is why I do what I do; we changed this man’s life!”

Congratulations Quinton!


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

  • DORS Offers Specialized Workforce Services for Adults with Autism -

    DORS’ Autism Program Planning Success for Employment (APPS) Program assists individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders in developing self-determination and employment readiness skills that will help them find and thrive in employment. The program, which is offered at the Workforce & Technology Center in northeast Baltimore, includes small group, interactive learning sessions that focus on: self-determination, self-advocacy, decision making, career interests and skills, job exploration, work expectations and responsibilities, employer expectations, employee responsibilities, and job readiness.

  • Partnership Recently Established between DORS and the University of Maryland College of Education to Expand Access to Career Planning and Exploration Services for Students with Different Abilities - 

    DORS announced in July of 2022 that the organization has awarded of a two-year $1.6 million grant to the University of Maryland College of Education to study methods for improving DORS’ Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) program, a program that works with students, families, and partner organizations to prepare students for employment and promote successful transition from school to adult life. The innovative grant will improve engagement, information gathering, and case processing in the Pre-ETS program. Read the press release for more information.

  • Adult Education Support Services for Individuals with Disabilities

    Many times, in order to succeed in workforce training for career advancement, individuals must first refresh on their basic skills, including numeracy and digital literacy. Individuals may need to increase their math or reading skills, earn their high school diplomas, or improve their fluency with the English Language. Therefore, disability employment awareness begins with equitable and inclusive access to these types of essential adult educational services.

    Across Maryland, WIOA Title II-funded adult education programs provide these vital services through both internal support and strategic partnerships within their communities. Individuals with disabilities, including sensory, physical, and mental conditions, who enroll in adult education classes can access referrals to support service providers. These support service providers can, in turn, document reasonable accommodations, including frequent breaks during class time, use of a calculator for coursework and assignments, extra time during testing, and accessible parking, to name a few. The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is just one such example of an adult education program providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. Judy Walsh, Coordinator, Student Support Services at CCBC, outlined a wraparound referral process starting at class intake and registration. With documentation from appropriate professionals, learners can begin to acquire the support necessary to have an equal opportunity to succeed. “The services are available, and the nature of the disability determines the support,” says Ms. Walsh. With valid documentation, adult educational program staff, instructors, and coordinators can exchange information to furnish a learning environment inclusive of all individuals.

    For more information about Title II-funded adult education programs near you, please visit

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

    A new module is coming soon in the Benchmarks of Success eLearning series! Stay tuned for the release of Module 8 in the series, “Understanding the Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program.”

    Meanwhile, have you completed all of the modules in the Benchmarks of Success eLearning series released so far?

    • Introduction to the HUB
    • Benchmarks of Success
    • The Governor’s Workforce Development Board
    • Understanding Title I – The Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Programs
    • Understanding Title II – The Adult Education and Family Literacy Programs
    • Understanding Title III – Wager-Peyser Employment Services
    • Understanding Title IV – Vocational Rehabilitation Program

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

    Upcoming Training Opportunities and Conferences: 

    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.                                                                                                                                     ______________________________  

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 October 13, 2022. The group's next meeting is scheduled for December 8, 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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