Press Release

September 16, 2009
Program will prepare students for jobs in the skilled construction trades

U.S. Senators and Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) announced today that the Associated Builders & Contractors Cumberland Valley Chapter (ABC CVC) has been awarded a $25,000 grant to expand its MERIT High School-Age Program. MERIT is an apprenticeship program designed to bring more students into the skilled construction trades.


This grant will enable a total of 20 students to complete the 2009-2010 High School-Age Program and be ready to enroll in the ABC MERIT apprentice program and be hired by one of the local ABC contractors.


 “Education is the cornerstone of the American Dream and this ARC grant will provide an important boost for Washington County students as they prepare for their future,” Senator Cardin said.  “This grant will enable Washington County to expand current programs to include apprenticeship programs for students who are interested careers in the construction trade.”


“Grants like these help us invest in workers and businesses that are ready for the future,” Senator Mikulski said.  “I’m pleased these funds will give more students in Washington County the skills training they need to launch their careers. This will help build Maryland’s workforce and power its economy.”


The MERIT High School-Age Program is run by the Washington County Public Schools and the local chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. The program helps prepare students for jobs in which there are current and projected skill shortages. Students get both classroom and hands-on skills training in the MERIT Program to prepare them for jobs in the local area.


In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $156,466 bringing the total project funding to $181,466. 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.