The Aegis
Harford County

Workforce training center launched in Edgewood, will provide free job training for unemployed, underemployed

A new workforce training center was unveiled Friday morning in Edgewood and will offer education opportunities at little to no cost for residents seeking career advancement, officials say.

Located at the Boys & Girls Club of Harford & Cecil Counties, the Harford’s Leading Edge Training Center Powered by the Ratcliffe Foundation will provide job training ranging from welding to warehousing and equipment operation to entrepreneurship.


Theresa B. Felder, the president of Harford Community College, and County Executive Barry Glassman were among those who gave opening remarks during the center’s ribbon cutting Friday.


“This is a culmination of a couple of years of work, listening to the community and seeing where the need is, and coming together as a community to meet these needs,” Felder told the crowd.

Despite the rainy weather, Glassman declared ”The sun’s due back out in the afternoon, and it certainly will shine upon Edgewood and Harford County as this center begins to exist.”

Glassman also noted Harford Community College is considered a “linchpin” and center of the county’s workforce development. The college, he said, is a partner “ … not only in economic development, but in providing opportunities for folks to go to school that may not be able to afford a four-year college up front, those older individuals returning to continue education or those expanding their opportunities.”

The initial welcome was followed by tours of the new facilities and demonstrations of equipment including welding, heavy machining and driving simulators, as well as 3D printers. Attendees could also visit the maker space, and classrooms where entrepreneurship education and business acceleration programming will take place.

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Felder told The Aegis one thing that makes her excited about the Leading Edge Training Center is that it is the product of a collaboration between multiple agencies.

“It’s our business community; It’s nonprofit agencies; it’s community agencies like the Boys & Girls Club. It’s our nonprofit agencies like the Ratcliffe Foundation,” Felder said.

She said the college conducted a feasibility study to determine the primary issues the community had with pursuing higher education, and that this center will address many of them. Residents of southeastern Harford County’s ability to physically access the Harford Community College’s campus topped the list.

“To be able to make a connection between those that are unemployed or underemployed with businesses that need workers … we can make that connection by providing training. So that’s very, very exciting. We’re solving a problem by having this training center here,” Felder said.


The programs include credentialing in heavy equipment operations, welding, machining and forklift certifications. Warehousing, supply chain and logistics training will also be offered, as will electrical and HVAC pre-apprenticeship programs.

The classes offered, as well as many of the individual tools needed to complete them, will be free to those who enroll, funded by a grant from the Annapolis-based Philip E. and Carol R. Ratcliffe Foundation, a philanthropic organization which focuses on entrepreneurship-based endeavors.

Enrollment for new students begins in January.