Howard Community College Partners with 13 Maryland Community Colleges on $15 Million U.S. Department of Labor Grant
Howard Community College is one of the 14 Maryland community colleges that have partnered to receive nearly $15 million in federal grant funding from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) competitive grant program. Dr. Kathleen Hetherington, president of Howard Community College, and Sharon Schmickley, chair of the Business and Computers Division, joined U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Monday at the announcement of the winners of $450 million in job-driven training grants to nearly 270 community colleges across the country.
Maryland is a national center of cybersecurity with over 130,000 information technology jobs—49 percent above the national average—yet many workers find these careers difficult to enter. The Maryland grant award will create the Cyber Technology Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) Consortium, which will spearhead the expansion of career pathways to address workforce need by working to close the skills gap and connecting more residents to high-quality employment. Montgomery College is the lead college in the consortium. Howard Community College will receive $824,339.
The 14 community colleges from across the state will work in partnership with key employers, including IBM, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, Booz Allen, MedStar and a number of hospitals to develop training pathways for low-income workers with minimal prior education or experience in information technology or cybersecurity. To increase the likelihood of student success, participants will get upfront assessments, career planning, and job search support. Students will have the opportunity to accelerate through a two-year degree that is aligned with National Security Agency guidelines for security and information assurance programs. In the next three years, the program intends to graduate nearly 2,000 students and employer partners have already committed to interviewing qualified graduates.
For its role in the grant, Howard Community College will update select computer forensics and cyber curriculum courses with networking, Linux, open source, cell phone, and malware infusion learning modules. In addition, Howard Community College will purchase equipment that will facilitate the virtualization of computer operating systems for training. Funding also will assist with increasing in-person mentors and implementing online support throughout the academic program.