Diversity & Inclusion

Maryland’s Howard Community College got a federal grant to expand its cybersecurity programs

The grant came as part of the Economic Development Administration's inaugural STEM Talent Challenge to boost the STEM workforce across the U.S.

Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. (Photo via twitter.com/HowardCC)

Columbia, Maryland-based Howard Community College (HCC) secured a grant worth more than $600,000 as part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) inaugural STEM Talent Challenge.

EDA launched this new challenge to expand the STEM talent pipeline across the U.S. by awarding funding to improve STEM programs. The search for grant recipients began last August with more than 80 applicants. With $2 million to disperse, EDA ultimately chose seven grant awardees. Public and private sector entities gave an additional $2.3 million in funding to fuel the challenge.

“Strong STEM talent fuels innovation and entrepreneurship in regional innovation economies across America,” said Dana Gartzke, Department of Commerce’s assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, in a news release. “This grant challenge invests in workers through work-and-learn programs and apprenticeships, and these individuals become the backbone of robust innovative and entrepreneurial economies.”

Maryland is known for its robust cybersecurity industry. HCC’s grant — which includes $300,000 from the federal agency and $302,936 from a local match — will allow it to expand cybersecurity and IT work-and-learn programs in Columbia, as well as provide free entrepreneurial consulting and support for local IT businesses. Businesses that receive support from HCC will agree to employ one professional from the work-and-learn programs. Over two years, HCC plans to attract 100 participants to its work-and-learn programs.

The grant will also bolster the college’s already established information security program, early college cybersecurity program and its new IT apprenticeship program launched last year.

EDA awarded grants in six other areas:

  • Aeronautics at the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government in St. Paul Island, Alaska
  • Space commerce research at Expanding Frontiers in Brownsville, Texas
  • Renewable energy, artificial intelligence and machine learning programs at the Maui Economic Development Board in Kihei, Hawaii
  • Digital manufacturing and smart factories at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
  • Biotechnology and cell and gene therapy at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia
  • Advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Companies: Howard Community College

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