HCC Launches $11 Million Campaign for Workforce Development & Skills Trades Center

Columbia, MD, Oct. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Howard Community College (HCC) President Daria J. Willis announced the launch of an $11 million capital campaign in support of a new campus-based workforce development and skilled trades center. The trades center will be the first of its kind in the county and will directly address a growing statewide shortage of skilled workers in trades and technical fields.

"One of my priorities as president is to establish the trades center as a direct anti-poverty and racial equity resource for Howard County," said Dr. Willis. "Neighbors and communities in the county have been long underserved by the absence of this critical wealth-building and career-development hub. Today was a bold step on behalf of their bright futures."

Officials announced the campaign during a breakfast meeting hosting more than 70 members of county and state legislature, business owners, college donors, and corporate engagement leads from several of the region's largest employers. Dr. Willis presented the case for the 50,000 square foot facility and targeted 2026 as an intended completion date. The facility will offer practical training in automotive, manufacturing, mechatronics, green technology, cybersecurity, construction trades, and more.

"Maryland is an emerging national leader in workforce innovation," said Minah Woo, HCC Vice President of Workforce, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships. "The state and its corporations will need a workforce that is agile to changing technology and environmental laws. Howard Community College seeks to be the leading industry partner in helping corporations set expectations for hiring, retaining, and developing entry level to managerial talent in these areas." 

Local business leaders Zack Shariff, CEO of the Allen+Shariff Corporation, and Ben Nichols, President of Harkins Builders, Inc., were named as co-chairmen of the campaign council. They jointly pledged $50,000 to support the campaign and encouraged guests to serve as benefactors and advocates of the center.

Howard Community College was recently named among the nation's top two-year colleges by Niche, an online college selection and data resource for families. HCC ranked #92 among all two-year institutions and the top community college in the Baltimore-metropolitan area. It is the third top-ranking announcement for HCC in recent weeks, as the college was also named among the nation's best schools for international students by Study International, and one of the nation's best two-year colleges by Wallet Hub.

HCC enrolls more than 20,000 credit and non-credited students of all ages from more than 104 countries and yields more than $343 million in economic impact as one of Howard County's largest employers. To learn more about the Workforce Development & Skilled Trades Center capital campaign, please visit our website.

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Since 1970, Howard Community College (HCC) has been a preferred college choice for students and families in Howard County, Maryland. A public community college, HCC offers associate degree and certificate programs, as well as workforce development training and continuing education classes, to nearly 22,000 credit and noncredit students each year. HCC received the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s only presidential-level honor for performance excellence in organizations.


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