On December 16th, JOTF partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond to host a forum on jobs and the economy in Maryland. The forum featured a presentation by Andy Bauer, a Regional Economist with the Fed, and responses from two panelists – Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Alex Sanchez, and JOTF Executive Director Jason Perkins-Cohen. Stakeholders from workforce development agencies, social service providers, business groups, and government agencies attended to hear thoughts on the direction of the local economy, and to discuss next steps for getting Marylanders back to work.
Bauer’s presentation focused on recent labor force trends in Maryland, and concluded with thoughts on the trajectory of the economy over the next decade. While Maryland has fared better than most states through the recession, Bauer projected that the recovery would still be slow. As we begin to see new job growth, it will be concentrated in fields requiring at least some post-secondary education. Laid off workers may have to build new skill sets to move into these industries. Sanchez responded with an overview of DLLR’s priorities for the year, and fielded questions on what the state can do to get Marylanders back to work. Perkins-Cohen concluded with thoughts on where policymakers should focus their efforts to improve conditions for workers in the state, including strengthening the unemployment insurance system and improving the coordination of workforce development in the region.
To request materials or a DVD recording of the event, please contact Andrea Payne Roethke by e-mail or by phone at 410-234-8303.