Education and Workforce Committee

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Chair: David Warnock, Managing Partner, Camden Partners

Staff: Brian Levine, 410-727-2820

Description: The Education and Workforce Committee seeks to identify, support and promote programs, policies and new training and educational initiatives, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and vocational programs, designed to ensure an educated, well-trained and highly-skilled workforce that meets the needs of the Baltimore region’s diverse industries.

Membership: Membership in the Education and Workforce Committee is open to all GBC members.


Activities:

2018 Education and Workforce Committee news:

The GBC Education and Workforce Committee’s April 12, 2018 meeting featured a presentation from Phil Rogofsky, Director of the Maryland STEM Festival Blue Collar STEM Conference. Rogofsky recapped the 2017 festival and updated the Committee on planning efforts for the 2018 event, which is slated to be held on October 29, 2018 at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City. The 2018 festival will again include multiple tracks related to enhancing blue collar STEM and will add a job fair. He cited the GBC/Associated Black Charities report, STEM:  Middle-Skill Career Pathways in the Baltimore Region, as in influence for the festival.

The Committee also heard a presentation about the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, better known as the Kirwan Commission after its chair, Dr. William E. “Brit” Kirwan. The Commission is charged with addressing two critical issues: review and update the current funding formulas for the schools in Maryland and develop policies and practices so that Maryland’s schools perform at the level of the world’s best systems. These issues are of critical importance to Maryland, including the creation of a well-educated populace that is able to meet current and future workforce requirements. It is imperative that the efforts of the Kirwan Commission have support from the business community.

Finally, the Committee received a presentation about the 2018 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly, which concluded Sine Die on April 9, 2018. Regarding education and workforce initiatives, the legislature passed bills to institute a computer science curriculum in schools, ensure reliable funding for Baltimore City schools, improve career education and enhance opportunities for apprenticeships.

The GBC Education and Workforce Committee convened on February 8, 2018 to hear two presentations. First, Michael Thomas, Vice President for Workforce Development and Continuing Education for Baltimore City Community College (BCCC), discussed the institution’s efforts to provide for the training and workforce development needs of the region. BCCC plays an important role in meeting Baltimore City’s current and future workforce needs.

The Committee also received a presentation from two members of Governor Larry Hogan’s Legislative Office, Keiffer Mitchell, Special Advisor, and Ali Keane, Deputy Legislative Officer. Mitchell discussed Governor Hogan’s education and workforce priorities and accomplishments, including a Fiscal Year 2019 budget pending in the Maryland General Assembly that provides $6.5 billion for K-12 education. Keane briefed the Committee on the Governor’s legislative agenda for education and workforce. She focused on SB300 and HB350, which are identical bills entitled “Achieving Computer Science Collaborations for Employing Students Statewide (ACCESS) Act of 2018”, which seek to implement a computer science curriculum in Maryland public schools.

2017 Education and Workforce Committee news:

The Education and Workforce Committee’s final meeting of 2017, held on November 17, 2017, featured two discussions. First, Demaune Millard, Interim President and CEO of the Family League of Baltimore, delivered a presentation about his organization’s efforts with community schools, which serve more than 23,000 Baltimore City students. Millard also shared information about the upcoming Community Schools National Forum’s three-day conference, which will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center starting May 2, 2018.

Brian Levine, the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Vice President and Special Assistant to the President and CEO, followed Millard’s presentation with a discussion about career and technical education, a growing focus of the Education and Workforce Committee. Levine’s presentation focused on one school, the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, in Leonardtown, Maryland. The Forrest Career and Technology Center prepares its students to be career and college ready as they learn skills in one of 24 specific career areas. The Committee is examining ways to expand non-college options for Greater Baltimore region students. This topic is also an area of interest to the Commission on Innovation and Excellence and Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission, which is working on recommendations regarding the adequacy of school funding and ways to improve education in Maryland.

The Education and Workforce Committee’s October 5, 2017 meeting featured a presentation from Michael Kelly, Executive Director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC).  BMC is in the process of an extensive study of middle-skill employment in the Baltimore region.

Middle-skill employment opportunities are an important issue to the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC).  With the support of the Abell Foundation and BMC, the GBC and Associated Black Charities produced in 2016 the workforce report STEM:  Middle-Skill Career Pathways in the Baltimore Region.  The study examined opportunities and recommended strategies to increase the talent pipeline of workers in middle-skill STEM careers.

In BMC’s effort, they define a middle-skill job as one that requires less than a Bachelor’s degree but more than a high school diploma and has wages at or near $22 per hour. Greater Baltimore’s middle-skill talent development pipeline, according to BMC’s initial findings, includes healthcare, construction, information technology/cybersecurity, transportation/logistics and business services.

The committee followed BMC’s presentation with a group discussion about training, certifications and other non-college options for the regional workforce.

At its May 4, 2017 meeting, the Education and Workforce Committee met and heard from Brian Levine, the GBC’s Vice President and Special Assistant to the President and CEO. Levine provided an overview of the 2017 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly and the impact it had on the overall state and the education and workforce community. Following  the presentation the committee discussed ways to support the expansion of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) schools in Baltimore City.

The Education and Workforce Committee discussed how to connect the business community with the various social enterprises throughout the region at its April 6, 2017 meeting. Following the discussion, the committee decided to create subcommittees which will focus on preparing youths for the transition to college or the workplace. At the conclusion of the meeting, Committee Chairman David Warnock asked each member to sign up for a committee before its next meeting.

At its March 17, 2017 meeting, the Education and Workforce Committee heard from Sarah Hemminger, Co-Founder and CEO of Thread, and Julia Baez, Executive Director of Baltimore’s Promise.

Hemminger and Baez presented to the committee information about the work of their respective organizations. Following the presentations the committee had an open dialogue with Hemminger and Baez to share their ideas and recommendations.

The Education and Workforce Committee held its first meeting of the year on February 24, 2017. The committee had a lively discussion about education issues that are of major concern in the Greater Baltimore region as it works to select an issue the committee plans to work towards improving.