City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Catherine E. Pugh
Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE)
Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE) is a US Department of Labor funded Workforce Innovations Fund grant. ACE is a four state, nine local Workforce Investment Area job training initiative designed to help low-skilled workers complete college occupational programs and enter employment in high-demand occupations. Baltimore County’s Department of Economic Development’s Division of Workforce Development is the grant recipient. The Maryland Workforce Corporation (MWC) is the project’s administrator and intermediary for all components of the ACE project outside of Baltimore County. ICF International will be conducting a study as part of this initiative.
The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) and the Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) collaboratively work as partners to implement and operate the ACE project in Baltimore City. BCCC will be offering classes in Multi-skilled Medical Technician, Dietary, Medical Billing, Pharmacy Technicians, and Advanced Manufacturing.
The ACE Model is built upon Washington State’s I-Best model (in Baltimore– MI-Best) and is a strategy for improving employment and earnings outcomes for low-skilled adults who typically are not successful in college training programs. Along with the occupational training classroom instructor, there will be a literacy instructor, and a MOED career navigator in the classroom. In Baltimore, this partnership brings together the local one stop operator and the community college to jointly meet the skills-building, support service and job placement needs of low- skilled workers. The career navigator will work closely with the customers to ensure their workforce service needs are met (résumé preparation, soft skills training, job search assistance, etc.) and collaborate with other partners to ensure support services are provided when necessary. Additionally, the career navigator will follow the customer for at least one year post program. They will continue to connect participants to resources that will help them secure employment, remain employed, and advance their careers, including encouraging them to continue their education.
Key goals for ACE include:
- Higher rates of occupational credential attainment
- Higher rates of employment
- Higher wages
- Higher Earnings
- Better Job Quality
- Better Employment Retention
What are the Eligibility Requirements for ACE?
Baltimore City conducts classes for customers for the following:
- Those who have a high school diploma or GED and whose reading and math TABE scores are between 6.0 and 8.0 (basic skills deficient defined by WIA);
- Do not have a high school diploma or GED and have passed at least 3 subjects on the GED exam;
- Do not have a High School Diploma or GED and TABE test in both Reading and Math between 7.0 and 10.0
There will also be classes offered specifically for English as a second language (ESL) students.
Additionally, students must have an interest in the career path offered by the training as demonstrated by Career Assessments; live within Baltimore City; be over the age of 18 at the time of training; be able to pass a criminal background check and drug screening; provide proof of immunizations and pass TB testing if applicable to the training; provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States; and be registered for Selective Service if applicable.
Community Job Hubs
To assist more Baltimore jobseekers reach their career goals, the Mayor’s Office of Employment
Development (MOED) has partnered with communities across the city to create Community Job Hubs. Anchored in centralized neighborhood facilities, the Hubs provide local residents direct access to a variety of employment readiness tools, including computer skills and online job search training, resume writing and interview preparation. The Hubs also allow residents access up to date information about the local labor market and job opportunities in the area.
In response to needs identified by community members, the Hubs focus on serving residents from the surrounding neighborhoods. This approach provides residents with more than just ease of access to job training and employment information. It engenders a sense of ownership in what MOED hopes will become genuine anchor institutions in at-risk neighborhoods throughout the city. A successful Community Job Hub is one that is not just well-used, but is locally embraced as a reliable and recognizable neighborhood asset.
We currently have four Hubs strategically located in low and moderate income neighborhoods throughout Baltimore City.