Workforce Development

DHR and its workforce development partners believe that a great job opens doors to financial independence, self-sufficiency, and thriving families. That’s why we’re working closely with our partners at the federal, state, and local levels to establish strong career pathways for unemployed and underemployed people across the state. DHR offers several programs that are dedicated to helping eligible participants find, train for, and obtain employment that will pave the way to a lifelong career.

Food Supplement Employment and Training Program (FSET)

Maryland’s FSET program connects people who receive food stamps to industry-specific training programs. These programs are free, run for an average of 12 to 16 weeks, and train participants for employment in welding, construction, machining, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, and more. Many FSET employment programs also offer job placement, retention and support services that help program graduates find and keep employment.

Supporting, Training, and Employing Parents Program (STEP UP)

STEP Up is a pilot program that serves Baltimore City noncustodial parents with a child support obligation. The program offers free job-training and support services to help parents overcome employment barriers and jumpstart their careers in industries that include welding, green construction, machining, healthcare, and hospitality. Participants who successfully complete their STEP Up program can earn forgiveness for child support arrears owed to the State of Maryland.

Hiring Agreements

This program offers eligible applicants the opportunity to apply for qualifying jobs before the employment announcements are made public. Through state Hiring Agreements legislation, current and former Temporary Cash Assistance recipients, youth in foster care, and noncustodial parents have access to employment opportunities offered by participating companies that operate under a State procurement contract. Applicants are prescreened, thereby providing Maryland businesses with a ready workforce as well as tax credits for hiring targeted populations.

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