For Simeon Kakpovi, the last year has been busy. A full-time student at Howard University, he also completed Montgomery College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education CyberAdvantage program. The skills he learned in the specialized two-semester program helped Kakpovi land an internship with employer partner Lockheed Martin, where he now works part-time as he finishes his last year at Howard.
But Kakpovi says he could not have enrolled without the dramatically reduced tuition made possible by the College’s 2014 Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program.
Kakpovi will be in good company. The College was recently awarded a $5.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) America’s Promise Job-Driven Grant Program. The grant program is designed to increase the technical skills of American workers and decrease reliance on temporary visa programs.
Montgomery College will be the lead on the four-year “Capital Region Collaborative: Jobs in Technical Careers” (CRC), a regional partnership to offer tuition-free training and support services to students seeking employment in the computer programming, information technology, and cybersecurity fields.
The demand for workers in cybersecurity is critical, with almost 20,000 jobs in Maryland going unfilled for lack of qualified workers. Matching skilled workers to in-demand jobs in Montgomery County is a critical mission at Montgomery College.
Partners include Frederick Community College and Prince George’s Community College. The $5.6 million grant will allow the three colleges to offer intensive short-term trainings (boot camps) aimed at providing skilled IT and cybersecurity workers for local companies and helping employers and employees to both thrive in the global economy.
The College will also work with a number of industry partners, including Infosys, United Solutions, Daly Enterprise IT Solutions, Cautela, Black Ice Communications, Leidos, and VillageWorks Communications. Other critical partners are the Tech Council of Maryland, AFCEA-Bethesda, Fort Meade Alliance, and the Capitol Region Community Foundation.
This is the third in a series of awards to the College from the Department of Labor since 2014 including a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant and a TechHire grant. The College is now able to provide a pipeline of skilled IT and cyber workers with industry-recognized credentials to regional businesses—from entry-level to highly skilled employees.