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Keyword: economic and workforce development

County Executive Announces Baltimore County College Promise Program

In a transformative move that would help make college a reality for hundreds of recent high school graduates, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced this morning at CCBC Essex that his FY 19 budget proposal will include a request for a Baltimore County College Promise program. If approved by the County Council, this new need-based scholarship program, will begin with the Fall 2018 semester, and will cover tuition and mandatory fees at CCBC to enable eligible Baltimore County residents to complete an associate’s degree or workplace and certification program, up to a maximum of three years.

“This is a real game-changer for students from low or moderate income families for whom the benefits of a college education might otherwise be out of reach,” Kamenetz said. “It opens up a lifetime of career income opportunities.”

The Baltimore County College Promise program guarantees that CCBC college tuition will be free for eligible recent high school graduates who live in Baltimore County. It applies to students pursuing an associate’s degree or a licensure or certification program. The scholarship goes beyond federal, state and private scholarships to provide full tuition for qualified students to pursue and complete their education at CCBC. 

“The Baltimore County College Promise program is truly something to celebrate,” exclaimed CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “It will increase access to higher education for hard-working Baltimore County students who otherwise might struggle to meet the financial obligation of going to college.  Students who receive a Promise Scholarship must be college ready, doubling the value of this investment. We are fortunate to have a County Executive who believes in the importance of public higher education and not only ‘talks the talk,’ but ‘walks the walk.’ The Baltimore County College Promise program is an investment in the future of Baltimore County students and our local economy.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our recent graduates, especially those with financial constraints, to take full advantage of the tremendous education and career-advancing opportunities at CCBC,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White.

College Promise has Widespread Support Among County Council Members

“I know firsthand how much the people in my district value CCBC Catonsville,” said 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk. “To give individuals who might not be able to afford to go to college the opportunity to do so is vital to our future as a county, and frankly, as a nation. This is about family stability and economic growth.”

“There is nothing more important to a person than a good job, and access to higher education is vital in opening up opportunities for individuals,” said 2nd District Councilwoman Vicki Almond. “This is a very good day for Baltimore County.”

“Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.  This announcement is about jobs pure and simple,” said Council Chair Julian E. Jones, Jr.  “Helping people get the education they need to succeed is exactly what government ought to do.”

“For people in my district, this announcement will be a true lifesaver,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins. “Free college tuition will open up doors that otherwise would be closed. I am so proud to be a part of this effort.”

“Both the Essex and Dundalk campuses of CCBC are important resources in my community,” said 7th District Councilman Todd Crandell.  “Making college more affordable to those who struggle to make ends meet is a very good thing.”

Qualifications and Requirements

To be eligible, students must live in Baltimore County and have an adjusted household income of $69,000 or less, which is the median income for Baltimore County residents. Students must have graduated from a public, parochial or home school within the past two years with a GPA of 2.5 or better and complete a federal financial aid (FAFSA form). Baltimore County College Promise students must enroll full-time and be college-ready. They must maintain full-time enrollment and a GPA of at least 2.5. The scholarship applies only to the student’s first credential or degree. More details on eligibility and program parameters can be found on the attached fact sheet

How to Apply

Students who wish to learn more about the Baltimore County College Promise may visit the College Promise page on CCBC’s website

Program Cost

The current cost for full-time CCBC students taking 12 credits per semester is $1,865 in tuition and fees. The Baltimore County College Promise scholarship is calculated as a “last dollar in” award, meaning that it is applied after all other financial awards like Pell grants and state aid (not including loans) have been utilized. For example, students with $1,000 in financial aid would receive $865 from this new program to fill the gap.

CCBC estimates that approximately 1,100 students, who graduated in the past two years, are eligible for the first year of the program, and the projected cost for the first year is $980,000. Costs for years two and three are estimated at $1.8 million and $2.3 million respectively.  Baltimore County government will provide the funding for the Baltimore County College Promise scholarship from its operating budget that will be presented to the County Council for approval this April.

Current CCBC Student Enrollment

Currently, 67 percent of CCBC’s student population are Baltimore County residents and 95 percent of its graduates remain in the Baltimore region, benefitting local economies and communities. Some 46 percent of CCBC students receive financial aid, and 53 percent work at least 20 hours per week.

The Value of Education for Graduates and Society

Studies show that the average CCBC associate’s degree graduate working to their full potential will see an increase in earnings of $10,400 each year. Over a lifetime, this translates to more than $300,000 in additional earnings.

In addition to higher earnings, the scholarship improves college graduation rates, which promotes a stronger economy by enhancing the skills and job-readiness of the County’s workforce. A better educated labor pool increases the attractiveness of the region to employers, fueling economic growth, prosperity and overall quality of life.

The County Executive will present his budget to the County Council on April 12.  The County Council will vote on the budget on May 24.


by Todd Dolbin, Baltimore County Department of Economic & Workforce Development

Malik was a resident at the Westside Men’s shelter in Catonsville. After long unemployment, he was ready to find a good job, move out of the shelter and move on with his life. His goal: start fresh and pursue a commercial driver’s license.

So where did Malik start? How could Baltimore County help? The first step was a visit to Baltimore County’s Hunt Valley American Job Center, one of three centers serving the County.

With Malik’s career goal in mind, counselors connected him to a commercial driver’s license information session. As with any job, there were deadlines, documentation and applications for the All-State Career program. Malik also needed a current Maryland driver’s license. The pieces were not in place and the deadline for the session passed. But Malik didn’t give up and neither did Baltimore County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development.  

County career counselors stayed in contact with Malik and encouraged him to compile the required eligibility documents and resolve his driver’s license issue. With the County’s training and career connections, support and coaching, Malik did the work and was accepted into the CDL program, where he completed the written and driving training and received resume and interviewing assistance.

Today, Malik holds a CDL diploma from All-State Career, has passed the Maryland CDL certification exam, and now holds a Maryland Class B license with a passenger endorsement. He is currently pursuing several job leads and looks forward to starting work soon. 

Help with the job of finding a job                                         

So, how about you?  Interested in a career move or jumping back into the workforce?  Has it been a few too many years since you’ve written your resume and interviewed for a job? Not sure where to begin?   

Baltimore County provides guided employment and support resources to help you achieve your own employment goals. Eligible job seekers meet with professional consultants to explore career paths, get referrals to training programs, job fairs and comprehensive online job boards. Join workshops to enhance job seeking skills and work readiness. Take your job search to a convenient American Job Center where you can use computers and printers with on-line access, individual work spaces with telephones, and a variety of job search resource materials to speed your success.

Free workshops for job seekers

Every month, Baltimore County’s American Job Centers in Hunt Valley, Liberty Center and Eastpoint offer free boot camp-style workshops for eligible job seekers.

  • Job Readiness Strategies
  • Basic Computer Strategies
  • Résumé and Cover Letter Strategies
  • Interviewing Strategies
  • Social Media Strategies 

Training scholarships in high demand fields

Get training in the fields where Baltimore County companies are hiring. Occupational training scholarships in these high demand fields are available for eligible job seekers. A Baltimore County career counselor can help you decide if one of these skills enhancement training programs is right for you:  

  • Healthcare
  • Transportation, distribution and logistics
  • Information technology
  • Corporate operations center
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Business, financial and educational services

Baltimore County stands ready to help you with the job of finding a job. Let’s get to work!


Public-private partnership cuts upfront costs

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that the County is moving forward with a program to help property and business owners more easily afford building energy improvements like energy-efficient HVAC and lighting upgrades, in addition to renewable energy projects like  solar and geothermal.

Yesterday evening, the Baltimore County Council approved the County’s PACE loan program, enabling property and business owners in the County to take advantage of Maryland’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (MD-PACE) program. MD-PACE is an innovative and affordable way for commercial building owners to pay for energy improvements.

Through MD-PACE, commercial, industrial, and nonprofit properties use private capital to finance 100% of efficiency and renewable energy upgrades which are then repaid as a long-term surcharge on their real property tax bill, for terms up to 20 years.  This kind of voluntary surcharge added to a property’s tax bill is similar to a surcharge for a sewer or water line. This approach makes energy upgrades accessible, allowing owners to reduce energy and operational costs and improve overall the value of their buildings. 

The County selected PACE Financial Servicing (PFS) to administer the program, coordinating with commercial property owners, lenders and contractors throughout the PACE loan approval process. Their services are provided at no cost to the County.

“By instituting our PACE loan program, we are removing a major barrier for businesses that want to significantly cut their operating energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “It’s another way that we are partnering with the private sector to create positive economic results and it’s another of our Clean Green County initiatives.” 

“This is a great real-world solution that helps businesses quickly improve their bottom line while having a positive effect on the environment,” said County Council Chair Vicki Almond.

PACE loans benefit businesses and the environment

Nationally, PACE loan programs are active in more than 15 states, have contributed to the creation of 3,600 jobs and have led to more than $300 million of green energy investments in commercial buildings. Baltimore County’s PACE loans are available countywide to commercial, industrial, agricultural, hospitality, retail and multifamily properties to access funding for energy-efficient and renewable energy upgrades. The loans can also be used to finance energy projects for new construction.

“Business owners are responding with strong interest to this new program because it allows them to achieve long-term energy cost reductions without the challenge of covering upfront installation costs in the short-term,” said Baltimore County Economic and Workforce Director, Will Anderson.  

The MD-PACE Program is a partnership between the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), the statewide sponsor of the program, and PACE Financing Servicing (PFS), which administers the program.

“By joining the MD-PACE program, Baltimore County has become the largest jurisdiction in the metro area to enable PACE financing for its business community.  We have received a lot of interest from the private sector and we believe the County is on its way to become a leading PACE market,” said Gerard Neely, Manager of Maryland’s Commercial PACE Programs for PFS.

Enabling businesses to invest in renewable energy projects helps diversify local energy sources and complements the County’s solar projects, as 21 MW of solar projects were announced last summer. Public and private sector renewable energy projects alike help increase community resilience to climate change, while also reduces pressure on the electric grid.

Baltimore County’s PACE loan terms

The commercial PACE loans are secured through private lenders, must have a minimum value of $5,000 and may not be more than 20% of the full cash value of the property, as determined by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. Loans would be nonaccelerating for terms up to 20 years, and repayable through a surcharge on the real property tax bill. If a property owner defaults on their PACE loan, the County would not be responsible in any way to cover the deficit.

Commercial property owners, contractors and capital providers interested in MD-PACE, should visit www.md-pace.com or call the Maryland Clean Energy Center at 443-949-8505.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017