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2. Create 100,000 Jobs in 100 Weeks in Industries of the Future 

The Franchot administration will create 100,000 family supporting jobs in 100 weeks through (i) targeted investment in productive infrastructure projects, (ii) the creation of a statewide jobs training program in partnership with the private sector and unions, and (iii) the dramatic improvement of the operating environment for small businesses via more efficient government services, streamlined and coordinated regulation, and better access to capital.

 

When Maryland invests in infrastructure that serves all of our communities, there is also an opportunity to spur a multitude of benefits:

 

  1. Core assets like municipal broadband, world-class public transportation, and renewable energy infrastructure will improve Maryland’s competitiveness while also protecting and restoring the environment. 

  2. The building and maintaining of 21st Century infrastructure will create good-paying jobs that offer the security of health care coverage, retirement benefits, and pathways to home ownership. 

  3. Infrastructure projects can serve as a funnel to train Marylanders in new vocational skills and connect them with organized labor, an ally that is vital to ensuring Maryland workers have fair pay and job opportunities in the future. 

  4. The investment in world-class infrastructure will create downstream economic growth that stems from dense, transit-oriented development, a nation-leading embrace of renewable energy, and entrepreneur-friendly services like 5G and high-speed internet.

 

Achieving these outcomes requires a thoughtful framework beyond identifying key infrastructure needs and the state’s upfront investments. The Franchot administration will pair a bold expansion of Maryland’s public works with a commitment to robust Project Labor Agreements and Community Benefits Agreements and negotiations with the private sector on every project. A special emphasis in these agreements will be placed on apprenticeship training and local hiring. 

 

Rather than leave training and placement in these jobs up to chance or require job seekers to navigate a hodgepodge of state and local bureaucracies, the Franchot administration will establish a one-stop-shop employment program that houses, trains, and places job seekers in these emerging opportunities in partnership with the private sector and unions. Marylanders seeking new career opportunities will be eligible to enroll in the intensive multi-month program, and those exiting the criminal justice system will be offered this program in concert with their release. Facilities associated with the program will be paid for through municipal bonds and partnerships with the federal government, private sector and unions.  

 

Maryland also has a fantastic opportunity to leverage its existing assets to achieve these same goals. To that end, the Franchot administration will resource and expand the Maryland Port Administration’s Vision 2025 Plan to ensure state-of-the-art facilities give the Port of Baltimore a competitive advantage and augment the transportation infrastructure that serves the Port and connects it with traditional manufacturing hubs like Dundalk. Moreover, the Franchot administration will leverage the BWI Marshall Airport using successful economic growth and value capture models from industry leading airports like Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson in order to ensure travelers are spending money locally while facilitating business access to the capital and outside markets that travelers represent. 

 

In addition to targeted and stimulative investment in infrastructure, the Franchot administration will champion the interests of the state’s small businesses that are the backbone of the state’s economy. The Franchot administration will achieve this by creating a culture of service and responsiveness towards the state’s small businesses, and in particular, ensure they have better access to capital as well as state and federal contracts. For far too long, Maryland’s state and local governments have prioritized big business at the expense of the small businesses that employ the majority of Maryland’s workers. This will change under a Franchot administration.

 

To that end, a Franchot administration will review all government regulatory processes and fees that impact small businesses to ensure that bureaucratic red tape and associated costs are not disproportionately or unnecessarily impacting small businesses. In addition, the Franchot administration will prioritize the allocation of state contracts to Maryland small businesses wherever possible and work with the federal government to explore a broader application of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 that requires federal contracts to be allocated to low income members of the community in which the contracts are targeted. The Franchot administration will also explore depositing state capital into local community banks and credit unions that are geared towards lending to small businesses within the state of Maryland, and the creation of a state-owned bank designed to ensure access to credit for Maryland small businesses, in particular minority-owned businesses. In summary, the Franchot administration will ensure access to capital for small businesses and clear out government-related impediments to small business formation and growth.

 

In addition, the Franchot administration, in consultation with employers and organized labor, will:

 

  • Expand the new Maryland $aves retirement program to allow opt-in for those who may not qualify under the current rubric, such as the self-employed or independent contractors. 

  • Increase the state’s MWBE goals by 50%, in order to bring our goals more in line with Maryland’s demography.

  • Consolidate, streamline, and expand the populations served by the State of Maryland’s youth employment programs, which are currently scattered across multiple agencies such as the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Natural Resources, with an often narrow criteria of eligibility and poor user interface. 

  • Guarantee employment in the six-week Conservation Jobs Corp Program for all interested Marylanders under the age of 22, expand the program’s purview to include industries of the future, and facilitate placement for participants over the age of 18 in a related field with state or local agencies, or organized labor. 

  • Allow all public employees the right to organize. 

  • Cut the red tape associated with starting a business, and expand access by guaranteeing translation services for ESOL entrepreneurs.  

  • Make it easier for cooperative business models to secure small business loans.

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