What's New with the Governor's Workforce Development Board

 

Governor Releases Biosciences and Information Technology Industry Initiative Reports

 

BALTIMORE (March 11, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley today joined the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board to announce the release of two critical workforce reports on the Bioscience and Information Technology (IT) Industries. The reports represent the culmination of effort s by two respected groups of business and industry leaders and other key stakeholders dedicated to identifying and addressing the current and future workforce challenges of Maryland’s high-growth, high tech industries.

Principal recommendations from the Biosciences and IT reports relate to attracting, recruiting and retaining skilled workers to fill the current and future workforce demands, training and retraining current and future workers, and aligning industry needs and education. Industry leaders and partners from both committees agree there is a need to create strong education and workforce incentive programs that appeal to a wide range of populations, and support ongoing promotion of Maryland’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, initiatives. Both Steering Committees also cited the need to supplement in-house training with academic and technical skills training that can be quickly developed and deployed by Maryland’s higher education institutions.

“Bioscience and IT are two industries that are critical for Maryland’s future prosperity, and we are committed to educating, training and preparing our workforce to meet the needs of 21st century employers,” said Governor O’Malley. “Even with the national recession, we continue to look towards the future to ensure Maryland is prepared to compete. The job creation that will result from BRAC, and skill shortages within high-demand industries like Biosciences and IT, represent an opportunity to prepare the State’s current and future workers with the skills that allow them to compete and win in the new global economy.”

Some of the recommendations made by the IT committee included:

  • Develop education and workforce incentive programs that appeal to a wide range of target populations.
  • Expand internships statewide through the development of a simple and streamlined process for connecting interns and companies.
  • Create partnerships between education institutions and businesses to develop new, flexible online delivery systems for cutting edge training.
  • Market existing training funding programs and resources, and develop new programs.
  • Create better alignment between the IT industry and education institutions through structured opportunities for communication and collaboration.
  • Develop programs and procedures that pave they way for streamlined security clearances.

Recommendations made in the Bio Industry report include:

  • Establish a biosciences skills alliance task force board.
  • Create a statewide and unified marketing plan for biosciences with Maryland’s Life Science Advisory Board.
  • Create a bioscience workforce website.
  • Promote and support Maryland’s STEM initiatives.

Establishing workforce development policies that ensure Maryland will remain competitive in the increasingly global and high-tech economy of the 21st century is a top priority for Governor O’Malley. The GWIB will continue working with leaders in the Biosciences and IT communities to connect them to the workforce system and other partners, in an effort to ensure that Maryland’s high tech workforce is prepared to grow and successfully contribute to Maryland’s economy.

“The increasing mobilization and globalization of the IT industry has created both new opportunities and workforce challenges for Maryland’ IT firms. It is imperative that we grow and develop our pipeline of future IT workers to meet industry demand,” said William "Bill" Robertson, Chair of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and President & CEO of Adventist HealthCare, Inc.

“IT is a fast growing industry worldwide, and Maryland, boasting a highly educated workforce and world class research institutions, has developed a stellar reputation for IT innovation. Maryland has consistently ranked among the top states for its investment in human capital, IT research and development performance,” said Eric Seleznow, Executive Director of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board.

These reports are part of the GWIB’s Center for Industry Initiatives, which engages industry, education and government, and workforce development communities to develop solutions to workforce challenges that face high growth industries.

The mission of the GWIB is to guide a nationally-recognized workforce development system that aligns with the economic and educational goals of the State of Maryland and will result in a qualified workforce available to employers across the State. The GWIB is a business-led board of individuals who represent the business community and serve as the governor’s chief policy-making body for workforce development with a demand-driven and supply focused approach. The GWIB is responsible for developing policies and strategies to form a coordinated workforce system from a variety of education, and employment and training programs. It brings together and focuses various workforce development partners and stakeholders on two key outcomes - a properly prepared workforce that meets the current and future demands of Maryland employers, and providing opportunities for all Marylanders to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

Maryland's Bioscience Industry Initiative Workforce Report and Recommendations (PDF document, 660KB, download Adobe Acrobat for free)

Maryland's Information Technology Industry Initiative Workforce Report and Recommendations (PDF document, 408KB, download Adobe Acrobat for free)