WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen announced $110,543 in federal funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to Garrett College. This investment will provide $60,543 for the College to purchase state-of-the-art STEM equipment and $50,000 to improve internet access and IT infrastructure.
“ARC has been a crucial federal partner in supporting growth and development in Western Maryland. This grant will help Garret College prepare its students to compete in the 21st century workforce and industries that are the success of our national and state economies. Investments into STEM education are the first step in securing a bright future for our students and our state,” said Senator Ben Cardin a member of the Senate Finance Committee and champion of STEM program funding for Maryland colleges and universities.
“A strong economy in Garrett County and across the state starts with a strong education. This funding achieves two important goals. It will allow Garrett College to better serve its students and the community through upgraded technology and IT infrastructure, and it will ensure access to STEM education that will put our students on the path to high-paying, in-demand careers,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees. “We fought hard to secure full funding for ARC in the Appropriations Committee, and I was proud to support these specific requests for funding. I will continue to work for federal investments to benefit our local communities.”
The $60,543 investment will allow Garrett College to purchase healthcare training equipment for its new STEM building, which is scheduled to open in September 2018. This new facility will bring together STEM equipment and programming to serve over 700 students in the first three years alone. The new healthcare training equipment will not only serve Garrett College students but will also allow regional and local hospitals, including the Western Maryland Health System, Garrett Regional Medical Center, and Potomac Valley Hospital, to train and retrain their health professionals.
The $50,000 investment will allow Garrett College to upgrade its information technology equipment to improve internet speed, access, security, and reliability across campus. The project will focus on expanding wireless coverage for students and community members who use the campus to host community events. The project is expected to serve 5,700 students and 500 community members annually.
ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by Congress in 1965, ARC is comprised of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the President. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen advocated and secured significant funding for the program in the FY 2018 Omnibus, despite ARC’s being eliminated in the President’s FY18 budget.