The Governor's Workforce Development Board began as the Governor's Employment and Training Council in March 1983. The Governor created the Council by Executive Order to be Maryland's job training coordinating council under the federal Job Training Partnership Act (P.L. 97-300). Later that year, the Council was established by statute (Chapter 268, Acts of 1983). In 1985, the Governor gave the Council additional responsibilities and, in 1987, made it part of the Department of Economic and Employment Development (Executive Order 01.01.1985.14; Executive Order 01.01.1987.24). In 1992, the Council reformed as the Workforce Investment Board (Chapter 412, Acts of 1992).

Assuming duties of the State Council on Vocational-Technical Education in 1993, the Workforce Investment Board served as Maryland's human resource investment council under the federal Job Training Partnership Act (Chapter 463, Acts of 1993), which became the Workforce Investment Act in 2001. Later in 1993, the Board was made an independent agency, separate from the Department of Economic and Employment Development (Executive Order 01.01.1993.30). In accordance with the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, the Board reorganized as the Governor's Workforce Investment Board in August 1998 (Executive Order 01.01.1998.23) and further reformed its membership in November 2004 (Executive Order 01.01.2004.60). In accordance with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, membership on the Governor's Workforce Investment Board was further amended in June 2015 (Executive Order 01.01.2015.19). In July 2016, the Board was renamed the Governor's Workforce Development Board (Chapter 344, Acts of 2016).

The Governor's Workforce Development Board helps plan, coordinate, and monitor State programs and services for workforce development. It also advises the Governor on the development, implementation, and modification of the four-year State Plan, as required by federal law. The State Plan, covering 2016 to 2020, was submitted by the Board to the Governor in March 2016.

Statewide workforce policies and programs are reviewed by the Board. Moreover, it recommends ways to improve workforce development, remove barriers to employment; support workers' transition from education and training into the workforce; provide effective outreach and access for individuals and employers; and expand sector partnerships.

To meet the needs of employers, workers, and job seekers, the Board oversees a one-stop delivery system of employment services. The Board identifies and disseminates best practices related to effective operation of one-stop centers, local boards, training programs, and placement services; and identifies technological upgrades for improving the quality of services, and access to them.

To assess the effectiveness of core programs, the Board develops and updates accountability standards. By these standards, workforce outcomes are measured, gauging short- and long-term employment rates, earnings, credential completions, skill gains, and effectiveness in serving employers.

Since 2003, the Board has been housed in the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation for administrative and budgetary purposes only.

Board membership was reconstituted in June 2015 (Executive Order 01.01.2015.19). Members include those appointed by the Governor to four-years terms, as well as one member appointed by the Senate President, and one by the House Speaker. Nine members serve ex offico. The Governor names the chair (Code Labor and Employment Article, sec. 11-505; Executive Order 01.01.2004.60; Chapter 123, Acts of 2005; Executive Order 01.01.2015.19).

In January 2018, Workforce Engagement formed.

Workforce Engagement identifies those partners essential to the mission of the Govenor's Workforce Development Board. It develops productive working relationships with those partners, State agency staff, local workforce development boards, as well as industry and educational institutions. Further, it supports the operation and activities of the Board's task forces.

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