Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan plans to spend $15 million in federal money to help local companies prepare to land contracts for government construction projects.
The Republican governor announced his “Jobs That Build” program during a State House news conference on Friday.
The program’s goal, he said, is to help construction companies build their workforce as the government ramps up spending on infrastructure projects.
Hogan said he thinks the program will make “a huge difference” for companies that are having trouble finding and keeping skilled workers. With the new federal infrastructure law providing significant sums of money for capital projects like roads, bridges, ports and airports, the labor crunch is only getting worse, Hogan said.
“I think nearly every infrastructure project in America is being slowed by the lack of construction workers,” Hogan said. “We’re still, in many cases, getting them done ahead of schedule. But I know that all of the contractors are having difficulties and it’s getting worse and being exacerbated every day.”
Participating companies will be awarded up to $10,000 per employee that can be used for costs including: housing, transportation, child care, wages during training and sign-on and retention bonuses. The money must go directly to employees.
To be eligible, companies must be based in Maryland with employees here and show that they have secured or are likely to secure contracts for government-funded infrastructure projects. They also must attest that they’re having difficulty in hiring or retaining construction workers.
Companies could receive a maximum of $300,000 to $500,000, depending on their size. Companies will be able to apply to the program through the Maryland Department of Labor.