Before leaving office at the end of his term earlier this month, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan touted recent advancements for the Maryland Total Human Services Integrated Network (MD THINK) platform.
MD THINK is cloud-based platform that delivers integrated health and human services programs.
Specifically, Gov. Hogan praised the platform’s new MD Job Genie to help better connect job seekers to employers that are ready to hire.
“MD THINK has completely revolutionized our ability to deliver services by breaking down traditional barriers between agencies, and providing one-stop constituent access,” said Gov. Hogan. “I am proud that as a result of a lot of hard work, MD THINK has allowed us to make first-in-the-nation advancements in customer service and workforce development. This is another way we truly have changed Maryland for the better.”
First announced in 2017, the platform has modernized IT applications at the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) into a “more flexible and secure cloud based environment.” The governor’s office said the platform will allow DHS to unplug and decommission its legacy mainframe system.
In a press release, the state said that completing the modernization effort has allowed multiple state agencies to leverage the capabilities on MD THINK and effect measurable improvements to customer service.
Gov. Hogan’s office cited the Department of Labor partnering with the non-profit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL) to introduce the MD Job Genie. RIPL is a tech-for-social-impact nonprofit that works with governments to help them use data, science, and technology to improve public policy and lives.
“We are excited to partner with MD THINK and RIPL to provide our constituents with the MD Job Genie,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson. “It is our mission to expand opportunity by giving workers in Maryland the ability to highlight and market the skills they have perfected throughout their careers and the MD Job Genie will help them do just that.”
The MD Job Genie is an upgrade to the state’s existing job-search function in that it uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing to analyze a user’s unique skills and then recommend career transitions that have resulted in empirically validated increases in earnings for Marylanders with similar skill sets.
“Having the opportunity to work on the first of its kind MD THINK platform and deliver this data-driven, personalized, and easy-to-use career matching tool for Marylanders has been a tremendous honor for RIPL,” said RIPL CEO and vice president of external affairs Scott Jensen. “The MD Job Genie achieves the Department of Labor’s goal of reducing the number of doors a jobseeker must open to find opportunities that lead to lasting careers.”
In addition to the Department of Labor capitalizing on the MD THINK platform, the state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) has partnered with MD THINK to create a Maryland Re-Entry Passport for returning citizens transitioning from Maryland’s correctional facilities.
The Re-entry Passport allows individuals to safely and securely connect to an online portal after release where they can access critical documents like their social security card or their birth certificate. Gov. Hogan’s office explained that the Re-entry Passport will give previously incarcerated individuals with the ability to access this information in one secure portal. “Improving an individual’s access to critical documents helps to ensure a successful re-entry process,” the governor’s office said in a press release. DPSCS will be piloting the program at two of its correctional facilities, before expanding access across the entire Division of Correction.