ANNAPOLIS, Md. (June 22, 2011) – Maryland officials announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the State a $7.66 million National Emergency Grant to assist more than 6,500 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees, contractors and military spouses who have been impacted by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions. The grant will allow the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia to implement an integrated approach to help jobseekers navigate the federal hiring process and compete for BRAC jobs and other federal jobs across the region.
The National Emergency Grant will be administered by the Maryland Department of Labor (DLLR) Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning (DWDAL). DWDAL will administer funds to Maryland One Stop Employment Centers in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s and Talbot Counties. The Maryland Workforce Corporation will administer funds to the District of Columbia. In 2008, Maryland received a separate $4 million National Emergency Grant that helped develop a number of nationally-recognized best practices.
“In Maryland, BRAC means more jobs, a stronger economy and an opportunity to invest in our most valuable commodity – our highly-educated, highly-skilled workforce,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure. “With more and more federal jobs arriving on our military installations every month, we have a responsibility to the country to ensure that Maryland’s workforce is prepared to fill the positions. This grant will help us build on our progress and protect a workforce pipeline for years to come. I thank Senator Mikulski, Senator Cardin and all of Team Maryland for their leadership in helping to secure these vital funds for our State.”
“BRAC brings great opportunities, but it also brings great challenges,” Senator Barbara Mikulski said. “That’s why I will continue to fight for funding in the federal checkbook to meet the increased demands on our communities in Maryland. Helping Marylanders prepare to fill BRAC positions not only means jobs, jobs, jobs for Maryland – it means a strong economy for our state.”
“Maryland stands to gain as many as 60,000 new jobs thanks to BRAC,” said Senator Benjamin Cardin. “This funding is welcome news for thousands of Marylanders hoping to take advantage of the many new jobs and economic opportunities that BRAC will provide in our state.”
BRAC will create as many as 20,000 direct federal jobs in Maryland by September 2011 and up to 40,000 indirect and induced jobs by 2015. In 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly established the BRAC Subcabinet, which Lt. Governor Brown chairs, to prepare the state for the arrival of new jobs and new residents. The Subcabinet developed a BRAC Action Plan to manage the state’s efforts to maintain and improve the necessary physical infrastructure and develop the workforce pipeline to ensure Maryland reaps the full economic benefits of BRAC. The Maryland Department of Labor has led the state’s BRAC workforce development efforts and, through a $4 million U.S. Department of Labor Workforce ONE grant, has partnered with various state agencies to strengthen Maryland’s educated and skilled workforce.
“This grant is an important reminder that we must continue pushing ahead to prepare the BRAC workforce. We’re already seeing BRAC jobs arrive in Maryland. While the direct realignments must conclude by mid-September, BRAC will continue to create jobs in the coming years,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. “Like many other states, Maryland is in economic recovery. Because of BRAC, because of the tough choices Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown have made and because of the strength of our workforce, we are poised to recover more quickly and more permanently than most other states.”
Earlier this year, Lt. Governor Brown and Secretary Sanchez launched the Mil2FedJobs Web portal to more easily connect transitioning veterans with federal jobs – including BRAC jobs coming to Maryland. The Mil2FedJobs portal, available through the Maryland Workforce Exchange website (https://mwejobs.maryland.gov/) uses a veteran’s military occupational code (MOC) to query Federal openings they would qualify for on the USAJOBS web tool. In part because of the large number of vacancies posted on USAJOBS, navigating the site without a tool like Mil2FedJobs can often be an overwhelming task to a first-time Federal applicant. In addition, Mil2FedJobs allows civilian hiring managers to identify specific military occupations that share attributes with specific jobs in their agencies.