Governor to seek funds for high-tech training He wants $3 million next year to create up to 5 career centers

November 10, 1995|By Ellen James Martin | Ellen James Martin,SUN STAFF

Putting high-tech training at the top of his economic development agenda, Gov. Parris N. Glendening yesterday said he will seek $3 million in funding in early 1996 to launch three to five "career technology training centers."

After 1996, the governor said, he hopes to find $5 million each year to fund the centers, which would offer "customized training" geared to the needs of sophisticated technology companies.

The centers would offer classes in such fields as injection molding, robotics and laser machining, Mr. Glendening said. Classes would be tailored to the demands of business, he said.

The dollar figures were provided by the governor in an interview after a speech before the BWI Business Partnership Inc., an association of businesses that operate in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

"We have heard very loudly from the business community that enhancing the quality of the work force through additional training is one of the most effective efforts the state can make," Mr. Glendening told more than 200 business people attending a breakfast meeting at an airport-area hotel.

Due to expected federal budget cutbacks, Maryland expects to lose 20,000 government jobs and another 20,000 to 30,000 related jobs in the private sector, the governor said, adding that most of the losses would be in the Washington suburbs.

That, combined with a projected loss of $2.8 billion to $3.5 billion in direct federal aid -- much of it to Baltimore -- means the state must go to extraordinary lengths to preserve and expand private-sector jobs, he said.

"The state simply cannot compensate for the federal cuts. We will not be able to backfill the loss of funds," he said.

Mr. Glendening called competition among states for jobs "daunting" and said Maryland must increase its "Sunny Day" fund to give businesses incentives to locate or expand here.

In the interview after his speech, Mr. Glendening offered only general details on his plans for the new "career technology training centers."

Charles Porcari, a spokesman for the Department of Business and Economic Development, said "nothing has been set in stone" for the centers.

"This is a concept that has a lot of flexibility and is still in the formative stages," Mr. Porcari said.

Neither the sites, nor the exact dates for the opening of the centers has yet been determined, he said.

"But this will be something happening in the very near future," he said.

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