Salisbury, MD (August 22, 2007) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown along with members of the Wicomico County Council, Worcester County Commissioners and Lower Shore Delegation today participated in the ribbon cutting and dedication of Wor-Wic Community College’s Workforce Development Center. Governor Martin O’Malley asked the Lt. Governor to play a leading role on higher education and workforce creation issues and recently emphasized his commitment to a stronger Maryland workforce.
“Our higher education system is the foundation of our ability to compete in the knowledge-based economy,” said Governor O’Malley. “We will soon be proposing a new covenant with higher education that targets State investment to help our colleges and universities meet specific demands of the new economy, to ensure that we have world class research and world class graduates.”
Lt. Governor Brown said that we already have a strong foundation for education and workforce creation in Maryland, but noted that with Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 jobs headed for Maryland, there are challenges as well as opportunities.
“Maryland must be able to train a sustainable workforce to prepare for arrival of 28,000 new households and 60,000 new jobs that are already coming to the State as a part of BRAC,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “The hub of that sustainable workforce training exists on the campuses of Maryland’s community colleges. These institutions, led by dedicated teachers and administrators, are working tirelessly to meet the immediate needs of this workforce.”
The new 48,000 square foot workforce development center, which will include a 75-seat convertible lecture room, 12 additional classrooms, three computer labs, a resource center, a culinary lab, a hotel-motel-restaurant lab, a student lounge, study areas, meeting rooms and faculty offices, will open in time for Fall 2007 classes. The $17.8 million building, $12.5 million in which the State funded, will help meet the demand of increased enrollment and expanded programs at Wor-Wic Community College.
“To entice, grow and retain businesses in our region, there is a need for continual workforce training and development in both the private and public sectors of the economy,” said Wor-Wic Community College President Dr. Ray Hoy. “We are uniquely suited to meet this demand, especially since we are flexible and responsive to changing business and community needs. This state-of-the-art facility gives us the ability to respond to the local needs for a trained workforce.”