MT. AIRY, MD – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, and U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (all D-Md.), today broke ground on a new allied health care education center in Mount Airy. The new center, called the Mid-Maryland Community College Allied Healthcare Education Center, will cost a total of $5.5 million over five years and will train up to 500 students a year when at full capacity.
In December 2009, Senators Cardin and Mikulski and Congressman Sarbanes awarded Howard Community College in partnership with Frederick and Carroll County community colleges $1 million in federal funds to complete construction of the Mid-Maryland Community College Allied Healthcare Education Center in Mount Airy, Maryland. The funding was approved as part of Congress’ Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Bill.
The Allied Healthcare Education Center (AHEC) is a cooperative effort between Frederick Community College, Howard Community College and Carroll Community College, whose partnership allows students to receive training in allied health occupations at any of the three campuses and still pay in-county tuition.
“The health care industry is one of our state’s largest growth industries, with more than 55,000 new jobs in the health care field expected to be needed by 2018,” said Senator Cardin. “This new health care education center is a cooperative effort with Carroll, Frederick and Howard community colleges that will help to train the thousands of Marylanders who will be needed for the health care jobs of the future.”
“This is about jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s about giving people the tools they need to keep the jobs they have and it’s about preparing people who need jobs for jobs that are available in Maryland today,” said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who fought to put funds in the federal checkbook for AHEC. “With these funds, Frederick, Howard and Carroll Community Colleges will train a new pipeline of workers to fill jobs in health care fields that are needed now and will be needed even more in the future. This is a win-win opportunity to help save lives, transform lives and transform communities.”
“Health care reform must include a strong commitment to increasing the number of health care professionals nationwide,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I have made addressing the shortage of medical professionals in this country a top priority of mine in the Congress and Howard Community College is at the forefront of this effort.”
When complete, the Allied Healthcare Education Center will house science, computer and medical simulation laboratories and classrooms for allied health education programs. The center will also partner with Howard County General Hospital, Carroll Hospital Center, Frederick Memorial Hospital and the Town of Mt. Airy, Maryland, helping students to develop the practical skills necessary to alleviate the shortage of health care workers in Maryland.
Maryland is experiencing a gap between the demand and supply in a number of critical healthcare professions, including registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, dental assistants, and pharmacy technicians. The Governor’s Workforce Investment Board estimates that by 2018 more than 55,000 new jobs in the health care field in Maryland will be created to meet that need.