A four-year college degree will no longer be a requirement for many state jobs in Maryland, the governor announced Tuesday.
The state employs more than 38,000 people. Officials estimate that more than half of these jobs can be filled by people with relevant training and experience or community college coursework, rather than a bachelor’s degree.
“We are ensuring that qualified, non-degree candidates are regularly being considered for career-changing opportunities,” Gov. Larry Hogan said at a news conference, calling the initiative the first of its kind in the country.
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The state Department of Labor and Department of Budget and Management will work to recruit and market roles to job seekers who are what they call Skilled Through Alternative Routes, or STARs.
STARs are 25 or older, employed, have a high school diploma or equivalent and have “developed their skills through alternative routes such as community college, apprenticeships, military service, boot camps, and most commonly, on-the-job,” a statement from the governor’s office said.
Officials estimate that more than 1.3 million, or 47%, of Maryland workers fall into this category.
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The state budget and management office will partner with a workforce development organization called Opportunity@Work to identify candidates for jobs in IT, customer service and administration.
“Governor Hogan and his administration are making clear that Maryland values all the skills of its diverse workforce. This will enable more Marylanders to work, learn and earn to their fullest potential and is a promising model for other states and employers to follow,” Opportunity@Work CEO Byron Auguste said.