Friday Five | October 16, 2020

Each Friday, the Maryland Chamber will bring you the top five news stories from the intersection of business and government. Here are this week’s top five stories.

 1. Governor Hogan Announces Over $2.8 Million in Grant Awards to Create and Expand Apprenticeship Opportunities

Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Labor has awarded over $2.8 million to assist businesses and organizations creating and expanding apprenticeship opportunities in Maryland. The total number of registered apprentices has increased by more than 35% under the Hogan administration.

This $2.8 million grant is the third in a series of federal expansion grants that Labor has competitively secured for Maryland. Labor allocated $1.75 million of its State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant to create the Apprenticeship Innovation Fund (AIF) 2.0, which has successfully seeded the implementation of innovative ideas and expanded the reach of Registered Apprenticeship programs in Maryland.

For more on this story, click here.

2. University System of MD. Joins State Health Info. Exchange to Improve Contact Tracing

To help improve contact tracing for students who have tested positive for COVID-19, the University System of Maryland announced Wednesday that it will join a regional health information exchange called Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), which connects health care providers and the Maryland Department of Health.

All testing results will be shared with USM campuses partnered with CRISP, but in aggregate and unspecified ways in order to protect student privacy. To avoid repeated outreach efforts, contract tracers at state and local health departments will be told if the infected person is a student.

Find the full story here.

3. Maryland’s First Bus Rapid Transit Service Opens

In launching Flash, a new bus service, along the congested Route 29 corridor on Wednesday, Montgomery County officials pledged the line would open job and educational opportunities to residents of the diverse eastern portion of Maryland’s largest subdivision.

They also made history. Flash is Maryland’s first Bus Rapid Transit service.

For the full story, click here.

4. State Launches PR Blitz to Urge Marylanders to Get Their Flu Shots

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has launched a statewide multimedia campaign, “Fight the Flu,” to encourage Marylanders to get flu shots as soon as possible — especially as COVID-19 continues to rage.

“Getting vaccinated for the flu every year is important, but this year it’s critical,” said Maryland Health Secretary Robert R. Neall in a statement. “Make sure you make time to get your flu shot — it’s a simple, safe, and effective way to help protect yourself, your loved ones, and the most vulnerable in your community from the flu.”

For the full story, click here.

5. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity & Inclusion Coalition Sends Formal Letter to the White House & Department of Labor

The Diversity and Inclusion Coalition developed a formal letter to address concerns with Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. Many members of the Chamber are federal contractors and subcontractors that will be covered by this E.O. As currently written, they believe the E.O. will create confusion and uncertainty, lead to non-meritorious investigations, and hinder the ability of employers to implement critical programs to promote diversity and combat discrimination in the workplace. The Chamber urges both the White House & Department of Labor to withdraw the Executive Order and work with the business and nonprofit communities on an approach that would support appropriate workplace training programs.

Full letter here.

Check out our Maryland Chamber Events Page for all of our Upcoming Webinars, Briefings, and Sponsored Events!

Upcoming calendar of legislative briefings and hearings

Monday, October 19, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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