HCC awarded $797,916 U.S. Dept. of Labor grant

(Release: September 30, 2014) – Hagerstown Community College will receive $797,916 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to help fund its cybersecurity curriculum. HCC is one of 14 community colleges in Maryland to benefit from $15 million in grant funding to support job training programs.

This award is part of $450 million in job-driven training grants being awarded to nearly 270 community colleges across the country, as announced by Vice President Biden, Secretary Tom E. Perez, and Secretary Arne Duncan at the White House on Monday. The funding is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) competitive grant program, which is co-administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Education.
“This is very exciting news for the cybersecurity program at HCC, especially following the recent award from the National Science Foundation for HCC to partner with Johns Hopkins University,” said HCC President Guy Altieri. “This latest grant will help us connect even more local residents to resources needed to train for good jobs in the growing field of cybersecurity and help grow Maryland’s economy.”

Maryland is a national center of cybersecurity with over 130,000 IT jobs – 49 percent above the national average – yet many workers find these careers difficult to enter. The grant creates the Cyber Technology Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) Consortium consisting of 14 of the state’s community colleges to spearhead the expansion of career pathways to help close the skills gap and connect more residents to high-quality employment. An emphasis will be placed on bringing women and underrepresented populations into the field, including TAA workers, veterans, the un- and under-employed, and other low-skilled adults. In the next three years, the program intends to graduate nearly 2,000 students, and employer partners have already committed to interviewing qualified graduates.

HCC and other community colleges from across the state of Maryland will work in partnership with key employers, including a number of hospitals statewide and computer-related firms such as IBM, to develop training pathways for low-income workers with minimal prior education or experience in information technology or cybersecurity. HCC will also develop new offerings on topics such as bring your own device (BYOD), cloud computing, and background check/clearance awareness.

“The $15 million in investments in Maryland announced today will help prepare local workers with the skills needed for in-demand careers and advance the role of community colleges as engines of economic growth,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Over the last four years, the U.S. Department of Labor has invested nearly $27 million in Maryland – part of a long-term commitment to ensure that workers have access to training for the specific skills employers need to stay competitive in the global economy.”

HCC received a three-year, $713,996 grant earlier this summer from the National Science Foundation to support a partnership with the Johns Hopkins University to offer research opportunities and hands-on training to students studying cybersecurity at HCC. In 2011, HCC received a $650,000 grant from the NSF to help grow the program after its initial implementation.

HCC offers two associate degrees and a number of specialized certificates in cybersecurity. High school students enrolled in the STEMM Technical Middle College can chose cybersecurity as one of 14 career pathways.

In 2010, HCC was one of the first community colleges in the nation to be named as a Center of Academic Excellence for Two-Year Education in information assurance (CAE2Y) by the National Security Agency. HCC cybersecurity courses are aligned with Cyberwatch, a consortium of over 40 colleges, businesses, and government agencies. This alignment assists HCC students in transferring their college credits to four-year schools.

To learn more about HCC’s cybersecurity program, visit www.hagerstowncc.edu/cyber.