March 12, 2008

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE $4.14 MILLION FOR MARLYAND COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Grants will support job training initiatives in Prince George's, Baltimore Counties

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that two Maryland community colleges have been awarded a total of nearly $4.14 million in competitive Community Based Job Training Grants through the U.S. Department of Labor.

"Investment in education is one of the best ways to bolster our economy and provide solid, high-paying jobs for our citizens," said Senator Cardin. "I am extremely pleased that Prince George's Community College and the Community College of Baltimore have been given this tremendous opportunity to leverage federal grant dollars for program expansions.  They will help prepare Marylanders for highly skilled and high-growth careers in the rapidly expanding industries of hospitality and energy."

"To make sure the next generation is ready for the jobs of the 21st century, we must have state-of-the-art education resources today.  Community colleges are the gateway to the future for first time students looking for an affordable college education and for mid-career students looking to get ahead in the workplace," said Senator Mikulski.  "These grants are a great example of how we can make sure we are ready for jobs of the future, and the jobs of the future are here."

The Community College of Baltimore County was awarded more than $1.9 million for a construction and energy initiative to address the shortage of skilled tradespersons and utility workers in Maryland.  The funding will be used to develop an apprenticeship program to prepare 250 people for jobs as skilled trades and utility workers in the construction and energy sectors.  It will also go toward adapting curricula for continuing education and credit courses, cultivating a more positive image of construction and energy technology as viable career options, and developing a consortium of community colleges to increase the number of participating students region-wide.

Prince George's Community College was awarded nearly $2.24 million for a hospitality initiative to address the unprecedented growth in the industry in the county and the National Capital Region.  The funding will be used to hire a project manager, a culinary arts faculty member and a part-time marketing coordinator.  It will go toward making two commercial culinary kitchens available through Prince George's County Public Schools, as well as purchasing equipment and technology to allow students to experience real-time restaurant and guest services operations.  The grant will also support scholarships targeted to at-risk youth and hard-to-serve adult populations in Prince George's County.

The Community Based Job Training Grant Program is specifically designed to provide community colleges with the funding to train workers for jobs in high-growth, high-demand industries, such as advanced manufacturing, construction, and health care.  Since 2005, six Maryland colleges have received more than of $12 million, including today's announcements.