New Md. workforce training program provides entry into green jobs, careers

BALTIMORE — Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, together with Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton, recently announced a joint investment in Maryland’s workforce.

The Work2Live WELL program is a workforce development, skills and training program administered through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that provides entry for unemployed, underemployed and incumbent workers into the emerging fields of the environment and natural resources, according to a news release from the state Labor Department.

The program will be funded through EARN Maryland, the state’s nationally-recognized workforce solution. EARN helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete, while preparing Marylanders for meaningful careers and providing advancement opportunities for the existing workforce. Work2Live WELL is the EARN program’s first direct investment into the public sector, with a fellow state agency — Natural Resources — as the lead applicant.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources on the Work2Live WELL program,” Schulz said. “Bringing together employers from both the private and public sector, the program embodies the intent of EARN Maryland, ensuring that industry needs are met by placing employers at the helm of program development. I am confident that through the Work2Live WELL program, these partners will benefit from a more highly skilled workforce.”

Work2Live WELL is a workforce development and skills accelerator program that provides personal and professional training in emerging career fields. The eight-week program offers entry, exposure, opportunity and training in fields such as aquaculture, boating, commercial fisheries, forestry, restoration and wildlife management.

“Work2Live WELL is more than a technical skills training program, it’s about connecting citizens with real-world positions we need filled to enhance, protect, and restore our environment and natural resources,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Those selected for this innovative program will be on the fast-track to ‘green’ jobs and careers, be it monitoring the health and quality of the Chesapeake Bay, managing and protecting our fish, forests, and wildlife, rebuilding and restoring our coastlines, and much, much more. This program aims to develop a new generation of ecological stewards in a way that better reflects the diversity of our communities, environment, and state.”

Work2Live WELL is recruiting 30 adult applicants in Baltimore City and Cambridge for two distinct tracks, with Baltimore City trainees focused on land resources and Cambridge focused on water resources. The selected individuals will receive classroom instruction, field training, mentoring, and a weekly stipend.

Training will begin this spring, with graduation slated for May 2018.

For more information on EARN Maryland — including how you can get involved as an employer, partner or jobseeker — visit www.dllr.state.md.us/earn.