Md. awards $865,000 to colleges for BRAC jobs training

$865,000 in grants issued to help fill hiring demand

December 16, 2009|By Childs Walker | childs.walker@baltsun.com

Eleven colleges and universities around Maryland will receive $865,000 in grants to help fill jobs created by the military base realignment and closure, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown announced Tuesday.

The grants, ranging from $44,000 to $93,000, will help the institutions create training programs in the high-tech skills required for communications and intelligence jobs at Maryland's expanding military bases.

"It is only through our partnerships that Maryland will reap every benefit of BRAC," Brown said in a statement announcing the grants.

"Through these new and expanded innovative programs at Maryland's institutions of higher education, we are making a critical investment in the future of our work force, spurring job creation and economic development, and ensuring that our students are fully educated and prepared for the jobs of tomorrow," Brown said.

The base realignments, announced in 2005, are expected to create 60,000 jobs in the state, Brown said.

Morgan State University will receive $87,350 to create an online electrical engineering program designed to churn out entry-level engineers for the bases.

"The manpower need for electrical engineering associated with BRAC is probably the most pressing in the state, and this grant will provide resources Morgan needs to extend the program from campus to the areas that will be affected by BRAC," said Morgan President Earl S. Richardson.

Many of the grants relate to growing concerns about online sabotage:

•The University of Maryland, Baltimore County will receive $83,280 to create a center for cyber-security training.

•Howard Community College will receive $78,697 to expand its training programs in network security.

•Baltimore City Community College will receive $50,054 to create a certification program for security specialists.

•Anne Arundel Community College will receive $80,234 to create a forensics program focused on mobile devices such as cell phones.

Other programs are intended simply to help working students bone up on their computer skills.

Loyola University will receive $43,615 to create a boot camp for adults who want to learn software development, while Towson University will get $44,908 to develop certification programs in technical writing and editing.

Several presidents said the state's BRAC education funding, down from $2 million last year, is a perfect way to funnel more Maryland students directly into high-paying jobs.

Carolane Williams, president of Baltimore City Community College, called the grants "a wonderful opportunity for more students to train or retool themselves for great jobs in high-demand information technology career fields."

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