Carroll Community College Business Solutions Team Triumphs in National Entrepreneurship Pitch, Secures $12,000 for Electric Vehicle Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2023
Westminster, MD– Carroll Community College is proud to announce that its Business Solutions team has secured $12,000 in funding from the Philip E. & Carol R. Ratcliffe Foundation after competing in the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Pitch for the Trades competition held in Nashville, TN. This victory, announced on October 31, marks a significant stride for the college’s electric vehicle program.
Dressed in a ‘Back to the Future’ theme, the Carroll Community College Business Solutions team – spearheaded by the Maryland Small Business Development Center Northern Region (SBDC) – presented their innovative pitch, emphasizing the importance of advancing electric vehicle maintenance and repair trade certification through Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) here in the county. The funding will be instrumental in purchasing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) L4 ASE Training Calibration Simulators, setting a new standard in electric vehicle education and training.
“Securing funding from NACCE and the Philip E. & Carol R. Ratcliffe Foundation for the Pitch for the Trades is not just a financial win; it’s a transformative leap forward for Carroll Community College’s Electric Vehicle Repair and Maintenance training program,” said Dr. Kelly Koermer, Vice President of Continuing Education & Training at Carroll Community College. “This support doesn’t just benefit students – it sparks the ignition for local small automotive repair businesses, powering them with the skilled workforce they need to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry. Beyond the funds, the invaluable mentorship from these organizations fuels our entrepreneurial programs. It’s about nurturing dreams, fueling innovation, and driving our community towards a sustainable and electric future.”
With 97% of vehicles on the road today utilizing at least one ADAS component and an expected rise to 54 million electric vehicles by 2025, the need for skilled technicians in this field is pressing. Most independently owned automotive shops send 90% of ADAS work to dealerships, missing out on significant revenue opportunities.
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The college’s existing ASE Industry Certification Programs for Auto Tech and EV have been supported by the Rural MD Council, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund, the Maryland Business Opportunity Center, and the Carroll Community College Foundation. The Maryland SBDC already assists 58 automotive shops with free consulting and diagnostic tools. This funding will enable Carroll Community College to place 20 students in jobs and work with 15 more businesses in the first year alone. It’s a giant leap in preparing high school graduates, justice-involved citizens, and small businesses with the necessary skills for today’s demanding auto repair industry.
For more information about the NACCE Pitch for the Trades competition, please visit https://www.nacce.com/pitchforthetrades.
PHOTO CAPTION: On October 31, 2023, Carroll Community College Business Solutions team secured $12,000 in funding for the college’s electric vehicle program from the Philip E. & Carol R. Ratcliffe Foundation after competing in the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Pitch for the Trades competition. Pictured (from left to right): Bryan Laing, SBDC Maryland; Angelica Carter, Business Solutions; Amy Yingling, SBDC Maryland; Kelly Koermer, Vice President of Continuing Education and Training; and Carlene Cassidy, Chief Executive Officer, Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation.