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Howard Community College part of state consortium receiving $14 million

Howard Community College is one of 14 Maryland community colleges that have partnered together to receive nearly $15 million in federal grant funding to create cyber technology training programs, according to a release from the college.

The funding — from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) competitive grant program — will create the Cyber Technology Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) Consortium, which will lead the expansion of career pathways to address workforce need by working to close the skills gap and connect more residents to high-quality employment, according to the release.

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The 14 community colleges from across the state will work in partnership with key employers, including IBM, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, Booz Allen, MedStar and a number of hospitals to develop training pathways for low-income workers with minimal prior education or experience in information technology or cybersecurity.

Maryland lawmakers lauded the funds to state community colleges, which were announced Monday in Washington as part of more than $450 million in grants distributed to nearly 270 community colleges across the nation.

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"Maryland is on the leading edge of cyber technology innovation. I am proud of our network of community colleges that are an integral part of training students in the fields that are in-demand right now. Federal investment in inventive programs like CPAM increase the value of a two-year degree while strengthening our economy," U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said in a statement.

HCC President Kathleen Hetherington and Sharon Schmickley, chair of the Business and Computers Division, joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Washington for the announcement.

Montgomery College is the lead college in the CPAM Consortium. Howard Community College will receive $824,339 from the grant to update select computer forensics and cyber curriculum courses with networking, Linux, open source, cell phone, and malware infusion learning modules.

HCC will also purchase equipment that will facilitate the virtualization of computer operating systems for training and the funds will assist with increasing in-person mentors implementing online support throughout the academic program.

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