October 04, 2010

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE FEDERAL GRANT AWARDS TO COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN WESTERN MARYLAND

Allegany College, Garrett College win federal funding to improve technology on campus

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded Allegany College and Garrett College competitive federal grant funds to upgrade on-campus facilities, providing better opportunities to students and making them more prepared to enter the workforce.

"Education is the key to economic success and our local colleges are on the frontlines providing the training and skills that are needed to succeed," said Senator Cardin. "Residents of Western Maryland need access to the high-level technology that is needed for the workforce and these grants will ensure that our local colleges can provide the training that is needed for jobs of the future."

 "To help make sure all Americans are ready for the jobs of the 21st century, we must have state-of-the-art education resources today," Senator Mikulski said. "Community colleges are providing the 21 st century education we need to have a 21 st century workforce. Technology is the tool and empowerment is the objective, and this money is a federal investment to do just that."

Allegany College was awarded $54,000 for the Workforce Development Through Smart Classroom Technology program, designed to improve and upgrade worker training programs at the college by turning ordinary classrooms into "smart" classrooms that include computers, projector screens and interactive audience tools. Allegany College expects to use the new facility to train more than 200 workers in healthcare and general office/business skills within the next year.

A second grant in the amount of $30,000 was awarded to Allegany College to upgrade six computer labs used for science and continuing education, providing an additional 700 students with the most current technology.

Garrett College was awarded $75,000 to make equipment purchases and train faculty in its Networking Program, enhancing the curriculum to offer multiple, industry-recognized certifications and training in the advanced technical skills necessary to manage computer networks using Cisco, a leading computer networking software. This new training capability will enable students to pursue and obtain better employment.

The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.