Howard Community College Receives $1.2 Million in Donations Supporting Campaign for Skilled Trades

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Howard Community College’s Workforce Development and Skilled Trades Center

A rendering of Howard Community College's Workforce Development and Skilled Trades Center, which will break ground in Fall 2024. The 50,000 square foot facility will will train future professionals in welding, plumbing, HVAC, automotive trades, and more.
A rendering of Howard Community College’s Workforce Development and Skilled Trades Center, which will break ground in Fall 2024. The 50,000 square foot facility will will train future professionals in welding, plumbing, HVAC, automotive trades, and more.

Columbia, Maryland, May 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Howard Community College President Daria J. Willis today announced two major gifts totaling $1.2 million to support construction and programming of the college’s Workforce Development and Skilled Trades Center (WDTC), a historic project that will break ground this fall. 

 “This is a truly historic day for our campus community and for Howard County,” said Dr. Willis. “To have raised more than $42 million in less than six months through proposed funding from our county government, preauthorized funding from the State of Maryland, and from community members supporting us in equal fashion is both gratifying and humbling. This community believes in workforce development as an anti-poverty, anti-racism catalyst for success among all residents. We could not be prouder to anchor this county as the premier resource for teaching, learning, training, and culture.”

 A Columbia-based family donated $1 million and Apple Ford Lincoln of Columbia committed $200,000 to the WDTC. President of Apple Ford Lincoln, Chip Doetsch, who serves as a member of the WDTC Capital Campaign advisory council, says the gift will support the building of the 50,000 square foot facility that will train future professionals in welding, plumbing, HVAC, automotive trades, and more.

“Howard County is a strong economy powered by great and long-standing companies and led by people who truly care about this community,” said Doetsch. “The trajectory of this college and this community are limitless, and we are proud to be a part of its exceptional future.”

The shortage of skilled workers in trades and technical fields is a pressing challenge in today’s economy. According to college leaders, the center will play a pivotal role in addressing this gap by equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in high-demand careers. Students from all backgrounds will have opportunities closer to home to gain valuable skills, achieve financial stability, and a pathway to success. 

Maryland is an emerging national leader in green industrial evolution. From automotive manufacturing to sustainable approaches to construction, the state and its corporations will need a workforce that is agile towards 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 and managerial talent in these areas.  

The WDTC will be the second project to break ground in three years at the college, following the 160,000 square foot Kahlert Foundation Complex, which will open in January 2025. The complex is a hybrid facility that will house HCC’s mathematics department, and its training and competition facilities for men’s and women’s basketball. The complex is named for The Kahlert Foundation, which donated $2 million to the college in 2022 – the largest gift in the history of the college.

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. HCC enrolls nearly 22,000 credit and non-credit 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.

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CONTACT: Jarrett Carter Howard Community College 443-518-1800 [email protected] 

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