Hike on the Hill
On a picture-perfect day on Oct. 18, a delegation of seven of us met with representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss the innovative programs taking place in Montgomery County surrounding workforce development, such as our County’s vibrant hospitality, healthcare, construction and life sciences sectors, and our Re-Entry for All program, our partnership with the Montgomery County Correctional Institute that has received national attention from President Obama. We also ask for a continuation of funding to ensure a viable talent pool to meet employers’ current and future hiring needs.
We are so appreciative of Montgomery County Lobbyist Sara Morningstar who arranged visits with the offices of Sen. Ben Cardin and Congressmen Chris Van Hollen, John Delaney and John Sarbanes during this critical appropriations time on the Hill. And we are appreciative of these representatives who took the time out of their busy schedules to meet with us and hear our story.
Also assisting us in our advocacy efforts were Workforce Development Board (WDB) members Debbie Murphy, vice chair of the WDB Board, business consultant for Ernest Maier, and a board member of the National Association of Workforce Boards; Dawn Weglein, legislative chair and vice president of human resources for Educational Systems Federal Credit Union; Jill Hoyt, vice president of human resources and administration for Novavax; Barbara Ebel, labor exchange administrator for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; and Pam Klahr, WSM Vice President and staff liaison to the legislative committee.
“It was a phenomenal day on so many fronts,” said Ellie Giles. “I was especially excited that Congressman Sarbanes shared his proposal to amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to include apprenticeships for in-school youth, a group that is currently excluded from the legislation but one that is so essential to include to ensure don’t overlook a critical segment of the population.”