As state and local governments get ready to spend billions of federal dollars on new infrastructure projects, Maryland is trying to help companies find the labor to do the labor.
“Nearly every infrastructure project in Maryland is being slowed down by the lack of construction workers,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. That’s spurring him to launch the “Jobs That Build” initiative.
It’s a $15 million investment that contractors based in Maryland can apply for. Depending on the size of the company, they’re eligible for as much as $300,000 to $500,000 total.
Then, they can turn around and offer up to $10,000 per employee, “for such things as sign-on retention bonus, or to pay for a training program, or to help defray childcare and housing costs,” Hogan said.
He’s hoping it’ll help companies around the state hire thousands more workers.
“The industry has the work, it just needs the workers,” said Hogan.
State labor secretary Tiffany Robinson called the new plan “a creative workforce solution designed specifically to knock down barriers that are keeping talented workers on the sidelines.”
“When we incentivize the worker and knock out the barriers such as transportation, housing and child care costs, we will not only have a more robust economy, but we will also have the most modern and advanced infrastructure in the country,” Robinson added.
Companies that apply have to either already have a contract with a state or local government for a federally-funded infrastructure project, or show that they are likely to secure one of those contracts. The money they secure then has to go directly to employees.
Interested companies can apply through the Maryland Department of Labor.