Baltimore businessman and Maryland gubernatorial candidate Mike Rosenbaum released an economic plan Thursday that would help 250,000 residents receive not only steady employment, but also offer child care incentives and increase travel options to particular jobs.
The residents would be those unemployed or underemployed in a program called “Transform Maryland 2030” with careers focused on technology, health care, manufacturing and trade jobs.
Rosenbaum said in an interview anyone in the program would receive a $2,000 “forgivable loan” while receiving job training and apprenticeships. When a person begins a skills development or apprenticeship program, they would receive an hourly wage of at least $15.
The goal would be for each person to move into a career within the first four years of the program and raise wages by an average of more than $38,000 a year.
He said the plan summarizes work he’s done with software firms he founded, Catalyte and Arena, which help assess, process and create thousands of jobs nationwide.
“Maryland has an unemployment rate worse than 39 other states. At the same time today, we have 100,000 open jobs in industries that provide a pathway that pays up to $65,000 a year without a college degree,” he said. “We need folks to exercise their superpowers. The talent can be unlocked for everyone.”
The plan proposes that portions of it would be paid for through President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan and funding through the American Rescue Plan.
In addition, the state anticipates a $5 billion budget surplus by 2023 that could help cover some initial expenses to help cover a person’s health insurance and child care.
With more people being able to work, Rosenbaum said it would require less economic support from the state that could free up at least $2 billion.
Another part of the proposal would be to help fund public transportation that includes dedicated funding for Metro.
This would help residents who live close to Metrorail stations and ensure they have reliable and safe transportation, he said. The proposal outlines how program participants would receive free public transportation during their involvement and for another year after completion.
But he said accountability and transparency within agencies such as Metro remain essential to rebuilding public trust.
“One of the things I find just mind-blowing is the lack of transparency and accountability that exist in certain quasi-public entities. If I had run private companies that seem to exist in certain quasi-public entities, I would have been out of business in a minute,” he said. “We [must] make transparency and accountability a part of our investment. That is the central point.”
Rosenbaum is among a crowded field of eight other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. The official deadline for filing to run before the June 28 primary is Feb. 22.
To view Rosenbaum’s plan, go to mikerosenbaum.com/jobs.