Education and Workforce Committee

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Goal: The goal is to influence the academic curriculum throughout the education continuum to prepare Maryland students, including adults and career changers, for careers in these industries.

Implementation: Start by expanding the composition of the workgroup to include leaders from the industries that use the emerging technology.

Gather information on how the technology is used by Baltimore industries and the current capacity of Maryland’s schools and industries to prepare students for success using the technology.

Establish workgroups to develop curricular recommendations at various educational levels:

  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Community colleges
  • Universities

Measure success: If successful, the workgroup will facilitate changes in the education curriculum and influence the establishment of new academic programs or certificates. These changes will better prepare Maryland students for jobs using emerging technologies.

Eventually, the GBC can measure success by the evaluating the preparedness of students to work in technology-related jobs, the impact these workers have on industries in the Baltimore City region, and the reputation the region gains as a leader in emerging technologies.

Recommended focus for the first two years – 3D technologies:

This technology impacts:

  • gaming
  • construction
  • manufacturing
  • architecture and design
  • medicine
  • others

Spend the first year expanding the composition of the Education Workgroup to include members from these industries and gathering information from industries that use 3D technologies. Invite industry leaders to discuss the use of 3D imaging and the technological needs of its workforce and invite leaders of schools and higher education institutions to discuss their efforts to educate students to use 3D technologies.

Possible guests include leaders of:

  • Baltimore Design School
  • Under Armour
  • Gaming companies
  • Construction companies
  • Medical facilities
  • Design firms

In addition, the workforce members want to meet with the executive director of Baltimore Promise (Thomasina Hiers) and the executive director of the Fund for Educational Excellence (Roger Shulman) to learn more about their missions to determine if their objectives are aligned with the workgroup’s mission.

In the second year of this project, the workgroup will meet in subcommittees to develop recommendations to change curriculum and/or develop new academic programs and certificate programs to prepare students to succeed using 3D technologies.

After completing the 3D project, the workgroup will select a new emerging technology and reconstitute the Education Workgroup Committee membership to reflect the industries that utilize that emerging technology.


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.

2016 Education and Workforce Committee news:

Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan spoke about the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education at the Education and Workforce Committee’s October 6, 2016 meeting. Dr. Kirwan, who previously served as the Chancellor for the University System of Maryland, was appointed by Maryland’s Governor, Senate President and House Speaker to chair the commission. It is charged with assessing Maryland’s K-12 funding formula and making recommendations to ensure students are prepared to succeed.

Dr. Kirwan spoke to the committee about the commission and its upcoming work for the next year. Following the presentation the committee had an open dialogue with Dr. Kirwan to share their ideas and recommendations. At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Kirwan provided the committee with a timeline for how the commission will operate for the remainder of the year. The commission will meet twice more this year and submit a preliminary report to the General Assembly by December.

The Education and Workforce Committee heard from Ellie Mitchell, Director of Maryland Out of School Time (MOST), at its September 1, 2016 meeting. Mitchell’s presentation focused on the opportunities for cross-sector learning and high quality programming in the STEM field. In addition, the committee reviewed its draft report on 3D technology which details the state of 3D technology in Maryland and offers recommendations on next steps. The draft will be submitted to the GBC Board of Directors for review.

The Education and Workforce Committee discussed the P-TECH model at its June 2, 2016 meeting.

At the May 5, 2016 Education and Workforce Committee meeting, Bob Ayduhovic, Executive Director of the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation, gave a presentation on the center’s history, background, accomplishments and publications. He also spoke about the need for more skilled trade workers and the challenges faced by the construction industry in recruiting people into construction trades. The committee also heard from Rachel Hise, Senior Policy Analyst for the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, who gave an overview of education funding and issues that came up during the 2016 Maryland General Assembly legislative session.

State Senator Bill Ferguson (D-46) spoke to the Education and Workforce Committee during its March 14, 2016 meeting about his initiatives in Annapolis during the current legislative session and about the many education and workforce issues being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. Senator Ferguson spoke specifically about the Maryland Education Development Collaborative (SB 910/HB 1399) which would create a quasi-governmental agency to advance innovations in K-12 education.

The committee also discussed proposed legislation to create a strategic partnership between the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park. That bill (SB 1052) was recently approved by the Senate and will now go to the House of Delegates.

Finally, the committee also heard about the GBC’s legislative agenda and efforts during the legislative session.

The Education and Workforce Committee learned about the recently released “STEM: Middle-Skill Career Pathways in the Baltimore Region” at its February 4, 2016 meeting.

The Greater Baltimore Committee and Associated Black Charities released the innovative new report that details the many opportunities that exist in Baltimore for current or aspiring middle-skilled Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workers at a Jan. 6 event in Baltimore.

The report has seven recommendations:

  1. Strengthen career pathways.
  2. Offer effective basic skills upgrading.
  3. Bridge gaps with support services.
  4. Create ways to gain work experience.
  5. Build stronger pathways for advancement.
  6. Build a stronger employer value proposition and promote employer leadership.
  7. Boost awareness and realistic access to middle-skill STEM careers.

Shaina Hernandez of the GBC and Tanya Terrell of ABC presented the report to the committee.

The committee also heard from its chair Tina M. Bjarekull, who provided an overview of the Maryland FY2017 Proposed Budget.

“A lot of focus right now is on the governor’s budget,” Bjarekull said.