EPG’s The Workforce Wire

Employ Prince George’s Workforce Wire Podcast serves as a platform to create an open dialogue between jobseekers and businesses. Join Walter L. Simmons, Executive Director of Prince George’s County Workforce Development Board and President & CEO of Employ Prince George’s Inc., as he interviews leaders in both private and public sector workforce development, education, economic and business development on key workforce issues that matter to YOU.

Please subscribe to our Podcasts via the links below.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E19: Challenges for Black Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

Becoming an entrepreneur/business owner has been a part of the “American Dream” for as long as time can tell, and a growing aspiration for many. But did you know that according to the 2018 Annual Business Survey, Black/African American owned employer businesses account for only 2.2% of the 5.7 million employer businesses in the United States? While this number has been increasing since 2002, this population is still disproportionately smaller than the population overall. Why might this be the case? Based on a poll of 400 Black business owners commissioned by Groupon and the National Black Chamber of Commerce, 80% of Black business owners said they faced significantly more challenges getting their business off the ground because of their race. This episode of The Workforce Wire features a discussion between three successful black business owners taking their seat at the table. Join us as we speak with Korey Neal, President of K. Neal Truck & Bus Center, Delegate Darryl Barnes (District 25), President of Men Aiming Higher, Inc. & Barnes International Ltd., and Laurie Sayles, President & CEO of Civility Management Solutions (Civility MS) about their experiences and challenges as Black entrepreneurs.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E18: Young Voices of Activism: A Pathway to a Career in Politics?

Youth activism has been on the rise throughout the past two decades, but COVID-19 accelerated engagement among youth in our nation. According to CNN, although the pandemic has led to community lockdowns and increased isolation among youth, “Young Americans, in particular, are showing commitment to a pragmatic center of policy priorities: affordable health care for all, environmental sustainability, international cooperation, civil rights and economic justice. Despite their current isolation, most young Americans embrace empathetic leadership, and they are devoted to serving their communities.” Join us in this episode of The Workforce Wire while we discuss this with Brandon Cooper, Richard Elliott and Janna Parker, three activists that have been using their voice to make a difference in our community, their pathway to becoming leading voices of activism in Maryland and if this is a pathway that will lead them to public office.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E17: Building Wealth in African American Communities

Slavery, Jim Crow, and decades of economic inequalities have severely impacted the earnings and wealth of black Americans. McKinsey & Company reported that the median white family had more than ten times the wealth of the median black family in 2016. Additionally, McKinsey & Company stated that, “the racial wealth gap between black and white families grew from about $100,000 in 1992 to $154,000 in 2016”. Two years later the Business Insider include the following stated in their article, “In 2018, the average black American was earning roughly 60% of the average white American, and that ratio has been largely stable throughout the past two decades.” In this episode of The Workforce Wire, Walter Simmons will be joined by Marcus N. Daniels, Associate Broker at NAI Michael, and April Richardson, CEO of DC Sweet Potato Cake to discuss strategies behind increasing the earnings of black Americans and increase the overall wealth of black America. As Money Under 30 stated, wealth meant to sustain a healthy financial future for years to come, characterized by long-term financial prosperity in combination with your total net worth. If the income gap wasn’t alarming enough, The Brookings Institution found that the net worth of a typical white family ($171,000) is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150).

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E16: The Impact of Stormwater Management on Workforce Development

What is Stormwater Management? We’re glad you asked. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Stormwater management is the effort to reduce runoff of rainwater or melted snow into streets, lawns and other sites and the improvement of water quality.  Urban or developed areas with poor Stormwater management can have flooding, erosion, turbidity (or muddiness), storm and sanitary sewer system overflow, and infrastructure damage.  A proper Stormwater management system will not only provide green infrastructure helping the environment, but also aides Workforce Development providing jobs, education & resources to the community it serves. On this episode of The Workforce Wire, Employ Prince George’s President & CEO, Walter Simmons, will facilitate a discussion between two Stormwater management experts from the Prince George’s County Clean Water Partnership (CWP). The CWP allows Prince George’s County to have access to private sector efficiencies and expertise to develop, manage, and maintain stormwater infrastructure.  Join us as we discuss the intersection of Stormwater management and Workforce Development with The Clean Water Partnership’s Community Partnership Liaison, Keisha Brown, and Mentor Protégé Program Director, Michael Burke.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E15: Falling Forward: Life After Job Loss

“Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the coronavirus recession, but for many of them the news is getting even worse: Their positions are going away forever,” according to Politico, “Permanent losses have so far made up only a fraction of the jobs that have vanished since states began shutting down their economies in March, with the vast majority of unemployed workers classified as on temporary layoff. But those numbers are steadily increasing — reaching 2.9 million in June — as companies start to move from temporary layoffs to permanent cuts." This episode will feature a discussion on this topic with Maurielle Stewart, President of Inquire within Coaching, providing a real-world and expert opinion on how to fall forward, manage a job loss, and recharge your career toward a pathway to success.  


Everyone has New Year's resolutions, and with the current economic climate, many of those resolutions involve regaining employment and financial stability. However, for some, the goal is to stop being an employee and become an entrepreneur. Becoming a business owner can be much harder than many know. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses remain in business after 15 years or more. This episode of The Workforce Wire features three extraordinary CEOs who have already taken the leap into entrepreneurship. Not only are these leaders’ entrepreneurs and CEOs, they are also millennials! Join us as we speak with Korey Neal, President of K. Neal Truck & Bus Center, Hope Wiseman, CEO of Mary & Main, and Davion Percy, Managing Director of Percy Public Affairs about their journey to become CEOs, how they balance running a company as young professionals, and what advice and tips they have for the next generation of CEOs.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E13: COVID-19: A Conversation on How Small Business Can Achieve Success in this New Normal

The Coronavirus brought the United States to a standstill! Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic, but America’s small business community may see the greatest impacts. In April, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that 24% of small businesses were temporarily closed and 43% of small business owners believed that they had less than six months until they would have to permanently close their businesses. As small businesses around the Country struggle to survive, we’re talking with small business expert, Michael Burke, CEO of Quest Consulting, and one of the DC Metropolitan Area’s most successful and innovative entrepreneurs, April Richardson, President of Culinary Partnerships LLC, Food Opportunity LLC, and Savor at Studio 3807, about strategies small businesses can implement to survive. We will also discuss the opportunities that may present themselves to small businesses, how small businesses can create their own opportunities, and how small businesses can best position themselves to take advantage of all opportunities made available to them. 

The Workforce Wire Season 2 E12: Walking in My Shoes: Transitioning from Prison to the Community - Part 5 Huwe Burton

In the final episode of the Walk in My Shoe series, we will explore the life of a returning citizen who was convicted of a crime, served time, and was INNOCENT! Part 5 features Huwe Burton, a Bronx native, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his mother in 1991 and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison at just 16 years old. After spending more than 20 years wrongfully incarcerated, Burton was released on parole in 2009 with the help of the famed Innocence Project. In January 2019, Burton was finally exonerated.  Learn about Huwe’s experience, journey, and reflection as a wrongfully convicted returning citizen.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E11: COVID-19: Challenges & Opportunities for Nonprofits (Part I)

What is the state of the nonprofit sector? What is the future of the nonprofit sector? How can nonprofit boards and leaders lead their organizations out of the pandemic and ensure their long-term sustainability? This episode will discuss these topics, and features Tonia Wellons, Tom Morley & Tiffany Turner, three nonprofit experts and industry leaders providing expert opinions and advice on understanding the impacts of the Coronavirus, how nonprofits can navigate challenges, and how they can identify and maximize the opportunities.

The Workforce Wire Season 2 E10: Walking in My Shoes: Transitioning from Prison to the Community - Part 4

Part 4 features entrepreneur & justice reform advocate, Marcus Bullock. Following his 2004 release from prison, Marcus Bullock launched a construction business that grew to employ other returning citizens. Bullock is also the Founder & CEO of Flikshop, Inc., a software company that builds tools to help incarcerated people stay connected to their families and build community. He is also a member of the Justice Policy Institute's Board of Directors and serves as an advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E9: COVID-19: Preparing for Workforce Development Funding in the New Normal

The Coronavirus has changed the landscape of workforce development for the short term and foreseeable future. Due to the recession caused by the Coronavirus, Local Workforce Development Boards and workforce development service providers are expecting millions of dollars in available funding. This episode features grant writer, trainer, workforce development consultant, and National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Board Member, Tressa Dorsey. Tressa Dorsey, President of TAD Grants, will discuss how to prepare for increased funding, modifying existing programs, improving organizational operations, and engaging your board to prepare, and apply, for new funding.

The Workforce Wire Season 2 E8: Discussing Racism in the Workplace – Part II

Join Walter Simmons, as he hosts a business owner, human resources executive, and diversity expert in a discussion about racism in the workplace on the Workforce Wire, finalizing the two-part series on Discussing Racism in the Workplace. Podcast Guests: Adrienne L. Stay, Chief Human Resources Officer, Employ Prince George’s and Nithya Pramekumar, Senior Consultant, Thomas P. Miller & Associates.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E7: Walking in My Shoes: Transitioning from Prison to the Community-Part III With Councilman Calvin Hawkins

Part 3 features Prince George’s County Council Member Calvin S. Hawkins, II.  Elected by Prince George’s County voters as one of the inaugural Prince George’s County Council At-Large seats in November 2018, Councilmen Hawkins has successfully transitioned from the prison to the highest levels of local government. From civic activities, to political engagement, to community preparedness for emergencies, he has been involved in multiples facet of local government in Prince George's County and the Washington Metropolitan Region over the last 28 years. Committed to servant leadership, Council Member Hawkins is a strong supporter of progressive initiatives for seniors, working families and youth, while fighting for practical and sustaining programs for returning citizens. Learn about his pathway from prison to elected office.

The Workforce Wire Season 2 E6: COVID-19: Virtual Learning With Kids at Home

The Coronavirus has changed the landscape of workforce development, shutting down American Job Centers and limiting face to face interactions for workforce development providers across the United States. To stop the spread of the Coronavirus and the new social distancing “norm”, most workforce providers are transitioning to virtual services, and educational institutions are transitioning to online learning. This episode will feature Employ Prince George’s own Education & Training Manager, Martin Copeland, and Community Development Director, Jamie Gunnell, sharing first-hand experience & advice for virtual learning with kids at home.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E5: Discussing Racism in the Workplace – Part I

The death of George Floyd reinvigorated the pulsating Black Lives Matter Movement, catapulting discussions on racism, police brutality, police reform and equality to the national stage. As protest and riots erupted across the United States, people have been forced to have uncomfortable discussions on race. How should these discussions take place in the workplace, though? Join host Walter Simmons, as he and multiple guests, discuss the discussion of racism in the workplace in a Workforce Wire two-part series. Guests featured on this episode:  1. Max F. Douge, Business and Employment Consultant, Workforce Services, Frederick County Government 2. Doug Foresta, Director of Podcast Services and Communications, Workforce180 3. Matthew Anselmo, Tour Guide, Palmetto Carriage Works  

The Workforce Wire Season 2 E4: "Walking In My Shoes" - Joseph Tolbert III

The Workforce Wire podcast series, “Walking in My Shoes”, features returning citizens who have successfully transitioned from incarceration and identify, in their words, why they were successful, why many are not successful, and what can be done to decrease the recidivism rates of returning citizens. Part II features Joseph Tolbert, a father and Community Activist from Prince George’s County, Maryland.  After his release from prison, Joseph graduated from DC Central Kitchen and started a career in the hospitality industry.  Eventually seeing many problems in his community, Joseph became a Community Activist, fighting on the behalf of concerned residents, returning citizens and youth.  In 2019 Joseph launched a clothing company, Been There Done That (BTDT), and became a board member at DC Central Kitchen.

EPG’S THE WORKFORCE WIRE SEASON 2 E3: COVID-19: Transitioning from In-Person to Virtual Workforce Development Services

Join Employ Prince George's and the Workforce Wire Podcast as we feature virtual workforce development and training experts, Joseph “Joe" Alteri and Harrison Tonne, providing expert opinions and best practice on planning for, building, and implementing a successful transition from in-person to virtual services.

The Workforce Wire Season 2 E2: "Walking In My Shoes" - Qiana Johnson

Part 1 of Walking in My Shoes features Qiana Johnson, founder of Life After Release, Inc. Life After Release provides reentry services to formerly incarcerated Prince George's County residents and was founded by Qiana after she couldn't find the services she needed once released from incarceration.

Join The Workforce Wire as Qiana shares her story of incarceration and subsequent return to the community. Discover the policy changes that need to happen to help individuals successfully integrate back into society upon release from imprisonment and the support that is needed from the community.


Join The Workforce Wire as President & CEO, Walter Simmons, and the Honorable Candace B. Hollingsworth, Mayor, City of Hyattsville, engage in a candid discussion on what will change, the role of black elected officials, and policy recommendations to decrease systemic racism.


Join President & CEO, Walter Simmons and EPG’s Education and Training Manager, Martin Copeland III tomorrow as they discuss LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace, what people are experiencing and pathways and resources to make changes that prepare and protect everyone in the workplace.


According to the Washington Post, Latinos make up for 10% of the population and third of all Coronavirus cases in the DC Metropolitan Region.

This episode includes the expert opinion of Prince George’s County District Two Council member, The Honorable Deni L. Taveras, in a discussion about why the Coronavirus is disproportionately affecting the Latino Community, the lasting impacts of the virus, and what can be done to prevent the spread.


The Prince George’s County Local Workforce Development Board in partnership with Employ Prince George’s (EPG) dedicates the month of March as ReEntry Month in Prince George’s County, Maryland by hosting a series of events dedicated to helping returning citizens get back into the workforce. This year we decided to interview former returning citizens, Sheldon McDowell and Dajaune Goode, that have completed the Employ Prince George’s Pathway to Success Program and have transitioned successfully back into society. The interview is conducted by ReEntry Coordinator Provider, Pete Goodson, and Community Outreach specialist, Lawrence Barbour.


In this episode, you’ll discover how to use social media in your job search. Discover dos and don’ts when it comes to using social media as a jobseeker, and nontraditional methods of searching for employment. You’ll also learn about DMV Job Connections, a Facebook group with over 60,000 members, that can assist you in your search for employment.

EPG's The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E10: Tips & Techniques for Securing a Federal Job

Many people dream of obtaining a federal job, and many people achieve this dream, but many don’t. This episode will discuss tools and tips to help jobseekers successfully gain employment with the federal government. The guest is Kathryn Troutman, President, The Resume Place.

EPG's The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E09: Registered Apprenticeships 101

“Apprenticeship" is arguably the most popular word in workforce development today. But what is an Apprenticeship? More importantly, what is a Registered Apprenticeship? This episode will discuss registered apprenticeships, types of registered apprenticeships and implementing registered apprenticeships locally.

EPG's The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E08: Nontraditional Apprenticeships - Diversity In Trades

Commonly, people associate apprenticeships with the building trades and men. This episode will discuss nontraditional apprenticeship occupations and how to integrate women, minorities and other demographics into apprenticeships. The guest is Emma Brennan, Women in the Trades Project Manager at Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO.

EPG's The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E07: Organizational Development- Building a Strong Nonprofit

Wendy Wolff, Director of Strategic Engagement for Maryland Nonprofits, joins the program to discuss the mission and vision of her organization, as well as the various opportunities that are available working with nonprofits in the region. Wendy speaks about the Standards for Excellence accreditation and the benefits of that accreditation for nonprofits. She also reveals the most common mistakes that nonprofits make when incorporating, and what you need to consider when starting a nonprofit.

EPG's The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E06: The Successful Millennial: Government Officials

Millennials are commonly the reference of negative connotations in today's workforce. The Success Millennial is a New Wire series dedicated to highlighting successful millennials while providing tips to assist in the development and growth of millennials in the workforce. This episode will discuss careers in government and how millennials can achieve success with the public sector.
This episode features an interview with Erin Roth, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor & Ryan Middleton, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Office of the Prince George's County Executive.

EPG's The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E05: The Art of the Hustle

E05: The Art of The Hustle- Meet Daquanna Harrison, Founder, Elevation Educational Consulting Group

This episode features an interview with Daquanna Harrison, Founder, Elevation Educational Consulting Group as she discusses her journey as an entrepreneur, and tips and takeaways for finding success when starting your own business.

EPG’s The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E04: The Successful Millennial (Elected Officials Edition)

#Millennials are commonly the reference of negative stereotypes in today’s workforce. At the #WorkforceWire, Employ Prince George’s in-house produced podcast series, we’re debunking the myths that surround Millennials by showcasing Successful Millennials in Government, Nonprofit and Workforce Development.

Episode 4 of EPG’s the Workforce Wire, features a candid conversation between Three successful male Millennials working in Prince George’s County: the Honorable Shawn Maldon, Mayor of Capitol Heights, MD, the Honorable Jazz Lewis, Delegate, District 24, Maryland House of Delegates and Walter Simmons, President & CEO of Employ Prince George’s.

This episode will discuss the process and effort it takes to become an elected official and what happens after becoming elected.

EPG’s The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E03: Engaging & Preparing Disconnected Youth for Employment

#TheWorkforceWire, we feature Employ Prince George’s in house youth expert Martin Copeland III, who discusses tips and techniques to engage and prepare Out of School Youth for employment!

So who are out of school or disconnected #youth? They are youth ages 18 to 24 who are not enrolled in school or employed. They became priorities of workforce systems across the country with the enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. So, how do we engage and prepare our disconnected youth for employment? Listen below to find out!

EPG’s The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E02: Industry Spotlight: Advanced Manufacturing

This episode features an interview with Shay Curry, Manager of Human Resources, Aerospace Group – Fluid and Electrical Distribution Division at Eaton Manufacturing.

Discover the opportunities and career pathways within advanced manufacturing, the positions that Eaton Aerospace posts most frequently, and what makes advanced manufacturing different from other jobs and industries.

EPG's The Workforce Wire SEASON 1 E01: 2020 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Update

This episode features an interview with Tiffany Harvey, Legislative Director, Office of the Prince George's County Executive. Tiffany provides an overview of the outcomes of the 2019 Maryland General Assembly, including the laws that were passed, the laws that weren't passed and the laws that were pushed for 2020. The discussion includes a conversation about the positive and negative effects of these outcomes.

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