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The Rural Maryland Council has awarded Harford Community College (HCC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) a $225,000 grant to provide programming and community resources that focus on entrepreneurship activities and support for business and workforce development in the Edgewood area. The new grant will provide an opportunity to expand the regional economy and partner with government, nonprofit, academic, and private sector resources for innovation, entrepreneurship, and career exploration.

"A key component of this grant is to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs and accelerate existing businesses through specialized programming as well as increase opportunities for career changers in the southeastern Route 40 corridor," commented Amy Wallace Yingling, Regional Director, SBDC Northern Region.

HCC and SBDC staff will leverage this new funding from The Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund to increase access and provide hands-on learning to entry-level manufacturing, construction trades, healthcare and technology training. These classes will be offered in the Edgewood area in partnership with the Harford County Public Library Edgewood Branch and the Boys and Girls Clubs in Edgewood.

HCC Interim President Jacqueline S. Jackson remarked, "Receiving this funding from the Rural Maryland Council is another boost in helping HCC at Edgewood to meet students where they are in the community."

Founded in 1994, the Rural Maryland Council serves as the state’s federally-designated rural development council and functions as a voice for rural Maryland, advocating, educating, and helping rural communities and businesses across the state to flourish.

For more information regarding the programming in the southeastern Route 40 corridor, contact Dr. Austin Hill at auhill@harford.edu.

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