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Carroll Community College Receives Over $2.8 Million Grant for Applied Technology and Trades Center

July 1, 2024
Westminster, Maryland – Carroll Community College is thrilled to announce it has been awarded a significant grant totaling over $2.8 million to establish an Applied Technology and Trades Center. This grant, provided by the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, marks a pivotal moment for the college and the community at large. 

The Ratcliffe Foundation provides funds to colleges and other non-profit organizations that support job creation. Its focus is on filling gaps in the labor market through skilled trades training or entrepreneurship. The Ratcliffe Foundation strives to integrate its programs with local communities through internships, apprenticeships, and local stakeholder involvement. 

“We are incredibly grateful to the Ratcliffe Foundation for their generous support and commitment to advancing education and workforce development in our community,” said Dr. James Ball, President of Carroll Community College.  “This grant will enable us to expand our capacity to train students in high-demand fields, empowering them to succeed in rewarding careers while meeting the needs of local employers.” 

The new Ratcliffe Applied Technology and Trades Center aims to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in Carroll County’s expanding industrial sector. This state-of-the-art facility will offer training programs in fields such as welding, automotive technology, HVAC, manufacturing, plumbing, carpentry, animal grooming, and entrepreneurship, equipping students with the hands-on experience and technical expertise needed to thrive in today’s competitive job market. The grant will also reduce barriers for students by providing direct aid through scholarships, stipends, and tools.

“Through the Ratcliffe Foundation’s generous grant, Carroll Community College is excited to make learning and opportunity more accessible. This program will equip people, families, and, ultimately, communities with strong earning potential and career longevity,” said Kelly Koermer, Vice President of Workforce, Business & Community Education at Carroll Community College. “Our students will gain cutting-edge skills while the community and surrounding region benefit from a skilled workforce that drives economic growth. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Ratcliffe Foundation for their unwavering commitment to education and prosperity,” she said.

The center will feature equipment and facilities, ensuring that students receive training that meets industry standards and prepares them for immediate employment upon graduation. Additionally, the center will serve as a hub for innovation and collaboration between the college, industry partners, and the community to build and strengthen clear training pathways to rewarding professions, fostering economic growth and prosperity. 

“We are pleased to partner with Carroll Community College to provide resources and training that will equip individuals with technical skills to meet the labor demands of local industry in the region,” said Carlene Cassidy, CEO of the Ratcliffe Foundation.

“Carroll has demonstrated a strong commitment to workforce training and entrepreneurship.  We are confident that they will build on their current programs to set the next generation of learners up for success in their chosen fields.  Making education and skilled trades training accessible and offering entrepreneurship opportunities are goals our founders wholeheartedly supported,” Cassidy said.



Carroll Community College’s mission is Empowering learners. Changing lives. Building community. Carroll Community College (Carroll) provides accessible, high-quality educational opportunities to advance careers, enrich lives, and strengthen the community we serve. Carroll offers academic and career preparation leading to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, and for direct entry into professional opportunities. Carroll Community College is located at 1601 Washington Road, Westminster, Md., 21157. Visit us on our website at