DLLR at Your Door - A Monthly Update from DLLR Secretary Thomas E. Perez

A Message from Secretary Perez

Recently, at a conference in Chicago, I met a woman who had worked in both the adult literacy system and the workforce system in a community college setting. She said to me “I am bilingual…I speak the language of workforce and I speak the language of adult education.”

In July the Workforce Creation and Adult Education Transition Council held its first meeting. The Council was created by Senate Bill 203 to help align adult and correctional education program with workforce programs in Maryland. It will report back to Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly by the end of the year with a plan for a smooth program transfer in July 2009.

As DLLR prepares to take over the administration of adult and correctional education, I’ve been working hard to become bilingual, to develop a better understanding and appreciation for the culture, the language and the ethos of the adult literacy community, and I know my friends in the adult literacy community have been doing the same. The community of adult learners that we all serve, and that we all want to serve better, needs one language – the language of adult learning. As the Transition Council continues its work through December, we will all be working hard to speak the same language. For more information about the Council's first meeting and to learn more about it's work visit the DLLR website.

State Department of Labor, License and Regulation Warn Against Internet Preying on Unemployed

Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez reminds Internet users that Maryland’s official unemployment insurance benefits website, www.mdunemployment.com (wwwdotmdunemploymentdotcom) does not charge for its services and will never ask for a credit card number.

State services are free and there is never a charge to file a Maryland unemployment insurance claim. However, a private company bought the url www.md.unemployment.com (wwwdotmddot unemployment dotcom). This company is charging individuals $19.95 to file their claims. 

DLLR has received complaints; in fact, one individual had his credit card charged twice. This external site may look official, but it is not.

For information about Maryland’s unemployment insurance benefits go to www.mdunemployment.com or call 410-949-0022 in the Baltimore area, or toll free at 1-800-827-4839.

First Class in the Nation to Conclude New Pre-Apprenticeship Program
PROGRAM IN SKILLED CONSTRUCTION TRADES FOR DJS YOUTH Dept. of Juvenile Services Secretary Donald DeVore and DLLR Secretary Thomas E. Perez

Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez and Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Donald DeVore recognized 11 youth in the juvenile justice system who successfully completed and graduated from the nation’s first Pre-Apprenticeship Program in skilled construction trades. The youth, who are residents of the Victor Cullen Center for boys successfully completed the 10 week program that started on May 19.

The apprenticeship program included 84 hours of introductory training from 25 trade union workers from skilled construction trades including bricklayers, carpenters, electrical workers, masons, plumbers, roofers and sheet metal workers. The program curriculum was created in collaboration with the Apprenticeship and Training Division for the Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 24, who facilitated the program. DLLR's Commissioner of Labor and Industry, Ron DeJuliius

Through this program youth gained an understanding of how they can “earn as they learn” through apprenticeships that provide the optimum blend of on-the-job training, classroom instruction and a sound starting salary. They learned about job benefits, including health care, pensions, profit-sharing, paid vacations and how their salaries can increase as they gain proficiency towards becoming journeypersons. Youth also discovered how to enter management fields, become licensed and own their own businesses. Each graduate earned 3 college credits from the National Labor College and certifications in CPR, First Aid and OSHA. Joining the Secretaries at today’s event were President of the National Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO Mark Ayres and the Maryland Area Union Building Trades Apprenticeship Personnel.


UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EXTENSION: A thirteen week extension of unemployment insurance benefits was enacted by Congress. 46,000 letters were mailed beginning July 17, 2008 to individuals who were potentially eligible for the extension program. The letter contained instructions on how and when to file the claim. Two weeks later, Secretary Perez announced that $8,183,763 in benefits have been paid  to unemployed Marylanders under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Maryland had taken 13,229 EUC claims in the first two weeks of the program, with almost 10,000 of the claims taken during the first week.

FORECLOSURE UPDATE: DLLR continues to offer informational forums and town hall meetings to help homeowners find alternatives to foreclosure and to educate them on the new rights and protections under the Governor’s foreclosure legislation. In July DLLR helped the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs with their Foreclosure Event at St. Catherine Laboure: July 29th. Other events included Congressman Cummings' Foreclosure Prevention Event at Morgan State on July 19th and a home buying seminar hosted by New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore on July 19th.  To view upcoming events go to MDHope.

ADULT EDUCATION TRANSITION COUNCIL: On July 29th, the first of four Workforce Creation and Adult Education Transition Council meetings took place in Baltimore. Considerable input was gathered from the 100-plus stakeholders attending. Over the next five months the Council will work to develop a new framework for adult and correctional education and prepare a report for Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly.
Click here for more information on the Transition Council.

State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
500 N. Calvert Street / Baltimore, Maryland 21202