August 09, 2022

Van Hollen, U.S. Department of Commerce Announce $5.8 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Transportation and Construction Trades Workforce Development in Hagerstown, Maryland

Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in announcing that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5.8 million grant to Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown, Maryland, to fund the renovation of a building needed to house workforce training programs to help diversify and grow the economy in a region impacted by the declining use of coal. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This EDA investment will boost Hagerstown Community College’s capacity to train and prepare students for good-paying jobs in construction and commercial vehicle operation. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.5 million in local funds.

“The American Rescue Plan has driven our pandemic recovery by putting people first, including investing in workforce training to help Americans grow their skills and succeed in today’s economy,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “These federal funds for Hagerstown Community College will boost their ability to provide training to Marylanders that will open more doors to good-paying jobs in new industries. I will continue working to expand economic opportunities for communities in Western Maryland and across our state.”

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to communities to build a better America after the economic injury of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will facilitate hands-on training in a modern, innovative space, allowing for the expansion of the region’s workforce to create new opportunity for local businesses and workers.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting local economic development strategies designed to boost regional economic growth and resiliency,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will enhance Hagerstown Community College’s workforce development efforts, providing the hands-on training and certification that students need to secure good-paying jobs.”

“The expanded capacity at Hagerstown Community College made possible by this $5.8 million federal investment will help many Marylanders acquire new skills that lead to and protect well-paying jobs. This EDA grant is exactly the type of community strengthening action we in Congress envisioned when shaping the American Rescue Plan,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “Not only will the major renovation work on campus mean a significant boost in local employment, the courses offered in the completed building will mean a greater number of skilled workers to carry forward the regional economy in the years ahead. This is a win-win for the short- and long-term future of Washington County – and beyond.” 

“The American Rescue Plan continues to invest in hardworking Marylanders and rebuild our economy,” said Congressman David Trone (MD-06). “This new funding for Hagerstown Community College will help us build a stronger economy that is more resilient, equitable, and accessible to all. It’s clear that workforce training programs are the key to success, and I’m proud to say that this new funding will lead to many more job opportunities for folks in our state.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.