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New MC Course Focuses On Serving An Aging Population

By 2040, one in five residents in Montgomery County will be 65 or older, and one out of three will be over the age of 55. This extraordinary growth in the senior population signals a growing need to refine and enhance the leadership and supervisory skills of those who work with the county’s aging in senior living facilities. To meet that workforce need, the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA), in collaboration with Montgomery College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education (WD&CE) program, have developed a yearlong course called “Understanding Aging: A Leadership Training Certificate Course for Senior Housing Staff.”

Clarence Snuggs, director of the DHCA (left), and Dr. Stephen Cain, Montgomery College acting president (right), greet each other during the ribbon-cutting ceremony

“I am proud we are launching this training partnership with Montgomery College,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Together, we are strengthening expertise among managers and service coordinators at senior living communities across Montgomery County.”

MC Launches the Center for Training Excellence

With 11 new classrooms and a computer lab, the Center for Training Excellence represents an expansion of the College’s capacity to provide vital training to local government agencies, to businesses, and to nonprofits, providing critical skills and relevant industry knowledge to the workforce. “It has been completely redesigned specifically to serve workforce development courses, among other needs,” Acting President Stephen Cain said.

The start of the course, on Sept. 12, was followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the College’s new Center for Training Excellence at the Mannakee Building in Rockville. DHCA is the first county government agency, and first organization overall, to use the new center to train its employees.

“Every day in the United States 10,000 people turn 65. The senior population is the fastest growing population in the county,” said Clarence Snuggs, director of the DHCA. “They want to live here and thrive here so this program is meant to respond to those changing needs.”

Eighteen students are attending this first course, which will stretch out for 24 hours total. An additional course is set to start in October.

Clarence Snuggs, director of the DHCA

“Montgomery College is excited about this new partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Affairs,” said Acting MC President Stephen Cain. “Through this novel training program, the College is helping to grow skilled practitioners who will serve an important, and growing, population—those in assisted living facilities. Customized programs like this one enhance the relevance and training of the valuable workforce in the county.”

Over the last year, DHCA subject matter experts worked with WD&CE faculty and staff to develop a very targeted and customized program. “Understanding Aging” addresses leadership skills in general, but also tailors to the particular environment of assisted living while identifying the realities of interacting with seniors in those facilities. Together, the county and the College developed the curriculum of the yearlong program that will stretch into 2019.

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