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Through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, Continuing Education & Workforce Development at Garrett College can now offer scholarships for area businesses wishing to provide employees with the opportunity to obtain industry required professional certification or licensure.

The GEER Fund is a federal grant fund for Governors’ to support and assist local education agencies, institutions of higher education, and other educational entities with emergency assistance due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Governor Hogan allocated $10,000,000 of the Maryland GEER Fund to community colleges to provide workforce development courses and continuing professional education leading to government or industry required certification or licensure.

According to Julie Yoder, GC’s dean of continuing education and workforce development, the primary goal of the College’s CEWD division is to be responsive to industry partners and develop programs that meet their needs.

“Being able to offer the GEER funding to help offset a large portion of the cost of the training is an added bonus during these challenging times,” Yoder noted.  “We hope other employers will take advantage of this opportunity to train their new hires or incumbent workers.

Six employees of Rush Services in McHenry are enrolling in GC’s newest career training program – heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) – starting on September 29th.

“We at Rush Services are very thankful that Garrett College has put this program together, every company in the mechanical field is seeing a decline in senior qualified technicians,” stated Josh Rush, service and sales manager of Rush Services.  “We have a great group of younger employees that need quality training – what better place to get the training we need than in our own county.”

The HVAC program includes three courses -OSHA 10, electrical theory and application for HVAC, and CFC EPA 608 refrigerant recovery – and can be completed in as little as three months.  A high school diploma or equivalent is required for entry to the program.

Upon completion of the program, students will receive an ESCO Group-Employment Ready Certification.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Outlook, a 15% growth among the region is expected, with annual wages ranging from $39,000 to $67,000, for HVAC installers and HVAC mechanics.

HVAC is an important part of residential structures including: single-family homes, apartment buildings, hotels, senior living facilities, and medium-to-large industrial and office buildings and hospitals. Vehicles such as cars, trains, airplanes, ships and submarines – where safe and healthy building conditions are regulated with respect to temperature and humidity, using fresh air from outdoors – are also critical components of HVAC system design.

In addition to the HVAC program, Garrett College offers the following workforce programs that are also eligible for scholarship opportunities through the GEER Fund: certificate in apartment/building maintenance (CAMT), certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA), certified medical administrative assistant (CMAA), certified nursing assistant (CNA), commercial driver’s license (CDL), CDL learners prep, diesel mechanic, emergency medical technician, machining – CNC and manual, medical coding & medical billing, paramedic, phlebotomy – venipuncture technician, veterinary assistant, and welding.

For additional information on scholarship opportunities available for businesses, contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.