BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced a new workforce development initiative that eliminates the four-year college degree requirement for thousands of jobs in the state.
The governor said Maryland was the first state to officially eliminate the four-year college degree requirement for so many jobs in the state.
“It’s more important than ever that we work together to find new ways to build a stable pipeline of talented, well-trained skilled workers for the jobs of the future,” Hogan said. “It means pursuing bold, innovative ideas and committing to leaving no skilled worker behind.”
Maryland partnered with Opportunity@Work, a DC-based nonprofit, to develop the initiative. The company calls those who are “qualified through alternative pathways” STARS.
Opportunity@Work will work with the Department of Budget and Management to identify STARS in the areas of IT, administration and customer service.
Hogan said he believes these STARS will help ease labor shortages caused by the pandemic.
“One of the many costs of the COVID 19 pandemic has been the impact on our workforce, where we are still seeing significant shortages across many industry sectors, Hogan said. And STARS represents an untapped pool of employers and a potential long-term solution to these shortages and other labor challenges like the skills gap.
The state today released 300 new jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, and the governor said more than half of the 38,000 jobs in the Department of Budget and Management could go to STARS.
“There will now be dozens of very talented and experienced state employees who will be considered for positions and promotions that in the past required a four-year degree,” said Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Tiffany Robinson. “This new career path is the recognition that expertise, education, accountability and commitment to excellence can and are developed through many diverse avenues.”