Howard Community College Announces New State-Funded Grant for Apprenticeship Expansion
COLUMBIA, MD – In partnership with the Maryland State Department of Labor, Howard Community College (HCC) has announced the expansion of its highly-regarded apprenticeship programs, which will include two new career pathways for students and aspiring professionals. The college will create a new surgical technician apprenticeship program to support the increased demand for skilled workers in healthcare and a new CompTIA technology support apprenticeship program, which aligns with the continued growth of information technology services across a multitude of industries. The announcement was made at a college on-campus event yesterday, November 18, 2021, in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week.
The expansion of HCC’s apprenticeship program will be facilitated through a $250,000 grant awarded by the Maryland State Department of Labor that aims to cultivate a new generation of skilled and trained professionals to fill high-demand roles in today’s workforce. HCC’s apprenticeship program was founded in 2018 when the college welcomed its first cohort of HVACR (heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration) apprentices. Since then, the college has positioned itself as a pioneer and leader in this space, gradually adding more apprenticeship programs to its academic service offerings. Today, HCC students can choose from six different apprenticeship programs and 11 career concentrations. Apprentices benefit from an “earn while you learn” approach to college, devoting time each week to both traditional coursework in the classroom and paid, on-the-job training, in collaboration with HCC apprenticeship program business partners.
“HCC is committed to providing our students with pathways for success, and the exponential growth of our apprenticeship programs over the past two years demonstrates one very important way we are accomplishing that,” said Lynn Coleman, Interim President of HCC. “We are incredibly grateful for the grant support we have received from the State of Maryland to expand our model and create even more opportunities for students with a wider range of interests and career goals. We are excited about the positive impact HCC can have on the healthcare and information technology fields through the introduction of our two new apprenticeship programs.”
Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson attended the National Apprenticeship Week celebration event at HCC. After presenting a proclamation from the State of Maryland to recognize HCC during National Apprenticeship Week, she shared the importance of and value of HCC’s apprenticeship programs.
“HCC has looked past the traditional community college role of providing credit and noncredit education, and instead imbedded apprenticeship into their institution,” said Robinson. “These new grant funds will not only support the registration of an additional 75 apprentices, but will allow our residents to launch careers where they will become some of the most highly-skilled workers in their industries, and they will do so with no college debt.”
As the college works to build the two newest apprenticeships, it will collaborate with business partners to assure solid continuity between coursework and field work requirements and experiences. Both the University of Maryland Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital will collaborate with HCC to facilitate the surgical technician apprenticeship program. The business partner for the CompTIA technology support apprenticeship is under development.
“Surgical technologists and technology support specialists are in high demand, and research shows that both fields will grow tremendously over the next ten years,” said Minah Woo, associate vice president of continuing education and workforce development, who leads the college’s apprenticeship initiative. “Our new apprenticeship programs will arm students with the right knowledge, resources, tools, and connections to fill these roles and be successful, with the potential to grow both personally and professionally. We take a lot of pride in our work because we see the positive impact our programs have on people as well as workforce dynamics.”
Howard Community College currently supports apprenticeships in the following industries: biomedical equipment technology, construction management, electrical, HVACR, information technology, and software development. All the apprenticeship programs are registered with the state of Maryland.
To learn more about apprenticeship programs at Howard Community College, visit howardcc.edu/apprenticeships.