Featured on the National Emergency Management Association webpage, Executive Director, Kathy Francis, co-authored an article sharing information on our new emergency management apprenticeship program.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management (MACEM) at Frederick Community College, in partnership with Maryland Colleges, have created a new emergency management apprenticeship program.The emergency management apprenticeship program is the first of its kind in Maryland. Through collaboration, Maryland will fill a gap in the emergency management workforce while providing employers, from around the state, with a trained pool of potential employees. “I am truly excited about this new opportunity,” said Russell Strickland, executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. “This is another gateway for those who are interested in a career in the ever-expanding field of emergency management.”

The MACEM serves as the program sponsor and leads the Maryland Emergency Management Registered Apprenticeship Advisory Committee. This three-year program includes 2,000 hours per year of on-the-job training, mentor support, 145 hours of college-level instruction, competencies assessment, and formal evaluations. Learning expectations have been constructed using the Building Blocks Model and include personal effectiveness competencies; academic competencies; workplace competencies; industry-wide technical competencies, and industry-sector (Maryland) technical competencies. “It has been a rewarding experience to connect Maryland’s emergency management industry and academic leaders for the purpose of developing a cutting-edge program to transfer knowledge to the next generation of emergency managers,” said Kathy Francis, Executive Director of the MACEM. The program culminates in valued industry credentials including a college-level certificate in Emergency Management and a Maryland Emergency Management Registered Apprentice Certification.

Every aspect of the emergency management apprenticeship program provides benefits to those involved. The program benefits the employee by providing them with the opportunity to earn an income and learn about the field of emergency management while gaining experience in the workplace. The employee also receives training and develops skills through work in a real-life application environment. Another valuable benefit to the program is the ability of the employee to interact with seasoned emergency management professionals and ultimately join a fast growing and evolving profession.

Not only does the program benefit the employee but also the employer. Through this program the employer gains the ability to hire an emergency management-related position with a subsidized salary. They also get to develop an employee with organizational specific knowledge, culture, and commitment and that provides the possibility to retain a permanent highly trained employee. Interaction with the upcoming workforce and exposure to the latest emergency management academic principles are two other benefits that make this program unique.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the program is the advances it makes to the emergency management profession. Through this program communities perpetuate an emergency management succession system within their organizations. The profession also demonstrates the “whole community” principles by forming new collaborations with business, industry, nonprofits, and higher education institutions. This program allows for the development of rounded professionals with experience, training, and higher education as well as building the concept of emergency management as a profession. Overall this program ensures a safer, more competent emergency management workforce which leads to safer and more resilient communities.

The program will combine academic courses with on-the-job training completed at the employer’s work site. It is geared toward individuals looking to gain full-time employment and academic credentials in the field of emergency management. Currently, Maryland is seeking employers from any type of business or organization that is in need of emergency management support located in the state. Contact Kathy Francis, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management at Frederick Community College at 240-629-7804 or kfrancis@frederick.edu.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Maryland Emergency Management Registered Apprenticeship Advisory Committee welcome the opportunity to share best practices with other states looking to implement a similar program. Contact Donald “Doc” Lumpkins at donald.lumpkins@maryland.gov or Committee Chairperson Mr. Stephen Carter at scarter@frederick.edu for information.

(https://www.nemaweb.org/index.php/117-2018-em-advocate/1022-maryland-creates-new-emergency-management-specialist-registered-apprenticeship-program)

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