Canton Group lands $12M MARS deal with state education dept. - Baltimore


Jun. 27, 2014 12:45 pm

Canton Group lands $12M MARS deal with state education dept.

The Canton-based IT firm will be making sure needy kids stay fed, by supporting the back end of major school nutrition programs.

MARS manages financial claims relating to the state's School and Community Nutrition Programs.

A cafeteria in Silver Spring, MD. (Photo by Flickr user @USDAgov, used under a Creative Commons license)

IT consulting firm The Canton Group was awarded a five-year state contract, company officials announced last week.

The $12 million deal with the Maryland State Department of Education puts the Canton-based firm in charge of IT support and web maintenance for the Maryland Accountability and Reporting System (MARS).

The system manages financial claims relating to the state’s School and Community Nutrition Programs. The Canton Group will be tasked with modifying source code, enhancing the agency’s intranet and extranet solutions and solving support concerns.

“The Canton Group is honored to have been selected by the Maryland State Department of Education to support the MARS System,” CEO Ethan Kazi said in a release. “This contract award reinforces The Canton Group’s expertise in supporting large scale mission critical web based systems.”

“There are new programs, new functions that they want to add to the system,” said Amjad Nagrah, IT director for The Canton Group. “I think the system initially … wasn’t a good system.”

Nagrah said the group’s goal under the contract will be to improve server reliability and performance while a separate team builds out future enhancements.

Nagrah said the contract is one of two current MSDE contracts the company has. The group has also tackled other state and local projects for agencies including the Charm City Circulator, Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Energy Administration, according to its website.

Tyler Waldman

Tyler Waldman is a contributor for Baltimore. A Towson University graduate and former local editor for, Tyler has also written and photographed for publications including the Baltimore Brew, Howard County Times and Towson Times. He lives in Charles Village.

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