Maryland will invest $3.2 million in a new program to incentivize businesses and nonprofits to take on apprentices, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.
The new Employer Incentive Plan (EIP) is meant to encourage nonprofits and businesses to register new apprentices and grow the state’s Registered Apprenticeship program.
“By investing in this new Employer Incentive Plan, we are supporting the growth and future of Maryland’s highly successful Registered Apprenticeship programs, sponsors, employers, and apprentices,” Hogan said in a statement. “Maryland continues to be a national leader in workforce development, job training, and apprenticeships, and it is critical that we continue to invest in our skilled workforce. Apprenticeships have proven to be a tremendously successful workforce development strategy, and I encourage businesses from all industries to utilize this program.”
State officials said registered apprenticeships are beneficial to both job seekers and employers; they allow job seekers to earn a salary while undergoing on-the-job training and classroom instruction, and employers can grow their talent pipeline by developing a workforce that is skilled in that industry.
Businesses that have more than 50 employees can be reimbursed 50% of the wage rate of an apprentice, up to $3,120 for a maximum of 30 hours a week, under the apprenticeship incentive program.
Small businesses that have 49 or fewer employees can be reimbursed 75% of an apprentice’s wage rate, up to $4,680 for a maximum of 30 hours per week.
Maryland has more than 11,000 registered apprentices currently participating in the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program, the highest participation rate in state history, state officials said.
There have been at least 27 registered apprenticeship programs that were newly approved during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hogan announced in April.
Applications for the Employer Incentive Plan are open to private, public and nonprofit employers.
Funding will be disbursed on a first come, first served basis to employers that meet the plan’s eligibility criteria.
Employers should submit their initial EIP application as soon as they register a new apprentice.
After the Maryland Department of Labor verifies the newly registered apprentice, the department will send an initial award letter to the business.
Businesses can seek reimbursement after the apprentice has completed six months of the apprenticeship.
The EIP is being funded by a $6 million State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant that the U.S. Department of Labor awarded to Maryland’s labor department in 2020 for the state’s Apprenticeship and Training Program.