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Partnership for Workforce Quality (PWQ)

​​​​​​PWQ provides matching training grants and support services targeted to improve the competitive position of small and mid-sized manufacturing and technology companies. Grants are used to increase the skills of existing workers for new technologies and production processes, improve employee productivity and increase employment stability.


Matching grant funds are used to reimburse up to 50% of the costs of qualified projects.


Applicants must be a Maryland employer, may not be in arrears with any State taxing agency, and not be in default with any Commerce program.

Applicants should have a minimum of ten full-time employees. At least 60% of available funds must be awarded to employers with 150 or fewer employees in the State. The Program encourages the participation of small and minority-owned businesses.

Priority will be given to manufacturing and technology companies. In regions of the State where regionally important industries have been identified beyond manufacturing and technology, justification should be provided to approve PWQ funding.


To apply for PWQ funding, contact the regional representative from the Maryland Department of Commerce who covers the county or region where you are located. 




Please contact the Commerce Regional Representative for your county to apply.​


  • What is the Partnership for Workforce Quality Program (PWQ)?
    • ​PWQ is an incumbent worker training program established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1989 and administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce.  PWQ was developed to encourage Maryland companies, especially manufacturing and technology companies, to invest in incumbent worker training for job-specific skills to upgrade or retain full-time, Maryland-based employees.​​​

  • What are the goals of the Program?
    • ​The goals of the Program are to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the State’s workforce and business community; upgrade incumbent worker skills for new technologies or production processes; promote employment stability.​

  • What is the benefit of the Program to employers?
    • ​Employers who qualify for the Program may be reimbursed for up to 50% of qualified direct costs of worker training that increases business efficiency and competitive advantages.​

  • Who qualifies for the Program?
    • ​The Program primarily supports small businesses, as at least 60% of PWQ funds must be awarded to businesses with no more than 150 employees. The primary target industries include manufacturing and technology.​

  • What types of training qualify for funding?
    • ​PWQ encourages funding for formal, third party, classroom and/or on-the-job training.  The Program will reimburse 50 percent of the direct training cost for such projects.  Eligible costs typically include curriculum development, course books and materials, and instructor salary and expenses.​

  • How much funding is my project eligible for?
    • ​The minimum grant award is $10,000, which means the total cost of the training project must be at least $20,000. By statute an employer may not receive more than $200,000 per year from the Program.​

  • How do I apply for funding under the Program?