Maryland GEAR UP Workforce Employability and Leadership Skills Program (WELSP)

Overview:  The Workforce Employability and Leadership Skills Program (WELSP) centers on career exploration and educational planning that promotes self-efficacy, supports the advance of leadership curricula, connects youth to professional sectors, and offers the opportunity to build transferable skills required to secure and sustain employment. WELSP has a strong focus of outlining the benefits of postsecondary education, and is designed to train students to understand their core values, sharpen their soft skills, set obtainable goals, and hone their interests and leadership capacities through career and job exploration. 

Funded Activities: The GEAR UP Workforce Employability and Leadership Skills Program supports Maryland’s GEAR UP goals and objectives to increase the number of economically disadvantaged students who intend to pursue postsecondary education. Funded activities are intended to provide in-school soft skill and leadership workshops, career exploration counseling, summer programs, and workplace readiness training and youth employment, while educating students and their families about the advantage of postsecondary education and college financing options. ​

Eligibility: An accredited public or not for profit independent two- or four-year Institution of Higher Education (IHE) in partnership with Local Education Agency (LEA).

Service Regions: Maryland GEAR UP school districts: Baltimore City, Dorchester, and Wicomico counties. 

Project Period: November 23, 2020 to September 15, 2021.  
Award Range: Up to $90,000 per institution. Five or more awards are anticipated. 

Application Due Date: November 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM (electronic and paper submission). 

Send application to: ​

Kendall Cook
GEAR UP Coordinator
Maryland Higher Education Commission 
6 N. Liberty Street, 10th Floor 
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-7269




Final Report​​ (pdf) 

FY Project Abstracts

FY 2020​ (pdf)