A win for workforce development, P-TECH expansion passes

(April 9, 2019—ANNAPOLIS, Md.) On the final day of session, the Pathways in Technology Early College High School Expansion Act of 2019 (HB440) passed through the Senate, opening the door for additional P-TECH planning grants in Maryland.

During the 2015 General Assembly, there was unanimous, bi-partisan approval to bring the P-TECH model to the state. With a $600,000 commitment from the governor’s budget, it began. However, under the original version of the law, no new P-TECH schools would have been allowed until the 2016 cohort of students graduated from the six-year program.

With the passage of HB440, and the Governor’s signature , three new P-TECH planning grants will be awarded come fiscal year 2020. It will still stand that each local school system would only be allowed one planning grant, but the implementation of a new school will be allowed before 2022 with the amendment.

The P-TECH model marries school districts, higher education institutions, and committed business partners, to offer a high school diploma and an industry focused two-year associates degree—at no cost. For grades nine-14, the program incorporates academic, technical and workplace skills to satisfy the growing demand for skilled workers. It also focuses on inclusion and providing opportunities for students of every background.

The President and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Christine Ross said, “The P-TECH program has a track record of success in states across the country. The Maryland Chamber has 11 members from the business community that are currently involved in the program and more that have expressed interest.”

“I believe P-TECH has great potential to both improve the employment pipeline and set these underserved students up for success. This is definitely a win for Maryland.”

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