The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Construction Workforce Partnership for Southern Maryland was awarded a $150,000 EARN grant from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to provide full tuition assistance for 40 individuals pursuing a career in the skilled trades via CSM’s Pre-apprenticeship program. Grant funds will also enable CSM to expand our Construction Safety course offerings and provide safety classes for several dozen incumbent construction professionals.
The EARN Maryland program invests in strategic industry partnerships from key economic sectors in every region, according to the DLLR website. “The partnerships use the power of coordination across education, workforce and economic development initiatives to address the multiple needs of each company, starting with the training of skilled workers.”
“This grant program is aimed at helping the construction and energy industries to build a nationwide skilled workforce,” explained Vice President of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Dr. Dan Mosser. “We are thrilled to work with our partners to apply for and receive this important funding.”
The Construction Workforce Partnership includes CSM, SMECO, Chaney Enterprises, the Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s County’s Chambers of Commerce, Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).
“There has never been a better time to be in the trades,” said Mosser when he recently announced the funding to CTET first-time students at their welcome reception. “The nationwide shortage of skilled craft professional- carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, HVAC technicians and all the trades exceeds one million positions.”
In September, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan toured CSM’s Regional Hughesville Campus Center for Trades and Energy Training (CTET) to share his support of community colleges and announce the state’s intention to award the grant to CSM.
“It is great to join students, faculty and staff for a tour of the Center for Trades and Energy Training at the College of Southern Maryland Hughesville campus,” Hogan said during the visit. “We are incredibly excited that our nationally recognized EARN Program will be working with the college and the Construction Workforce Partnership for Southern Maryland to ensure our students have the skills they need to enter the workforce.”
For CSM, the EARN Program grant will provide full tuition assistance for 20 entry-level, pre-apprentices each year for two years. The grant becomes available in January 2019 and CSM is seeking students to apply.