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Md. lawmakers have taken steps to retrain workers | READER COMMENTARY

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visits students studying automotive repair service at the Technology Center, and talks with students in other disciplines about how Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville is helping them prepare for their careers. May 3, 2021. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun).
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visits students studying automotive repair service at the Technology Center, and talks with students in other disciplines about how Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville is helping them prepare for their careers. May 3, 2021. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun). (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

In your recent editorial, “Finally, an end to Maryland’s foolish fight over enhanced unemployment benefits” (July 13), you suggested “Funding apprenticeship programs” are among “the ways government can support employers desperate for qualified applicants.”

I — and my legislative colleagues — agree. That’s why when we allocated state funds from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, we invested $75 million in scaling up apprenticeships in worker-starved industries like health care and information technology. Funds go directly to local workforce agencies in every part of the state to help workers of all ages retrain, on and off the job, to meet the needs of employers now and in the future.

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Maryland has a workforce skills mismatch — and did before the COVID crisis. The solution is scaling up apprenticeships across occupations, not cutting off unemployment insurance benefits while the economy is not fully recovered.

Jim Rosapepe, College Park

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The writer, a Democrat, represents District 21 (Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties) in the Maryland Senate where he is vice chair of the Budget and Tax Committee.

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