East Montgomery County College is expanding its new education center


Montgomery College will expand to include a new academic facility in Silver Spring, bringing much-needed services to the eastern part of Montgomery County, college leaders and county board members announced Wednesday.

The East County Community College Education Center, set to open next fall, is expected to serve more than 1,000 students in its first year. County leaders say the center will expand access to education and “serve as an anchor institution” in the part of the county it serves.

County Executive Marc Elrich and council members approved the expansion as a way to increase educational opportunities and secure jobs for county residents. Elrich sent a message to the center as a message to the residents of the eastern county “about you and that you have the resources … that everyone else is getting.”

“We want to make sure that people who live here can work here,” Elrich (D) said at a news conference outside the new center, a building undergoing renovations near the White Oak neighborhood.

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In East Montgomery County, 73 percent of residents identify as a person of color, and the population is projected to diversify, according to a feasibility study conducted last year on a new facility opening in the eastern part of the county. The same study found that more than 25 percent of the county’s new residents are immigrants from outside the United States.

Within the county, traditional resources in the west have benefited from funding in the east, creating pockets of need in a county where the median family income is $111,812, according to the Census Bureau.

Council member Nancy Navarro, who represented the east side of the county before the boundaries, was changed in 2012; Montgomery College proposed to expand He said the county has been working toward that end for more than a decade but has postponed the retirement plan. When he describes the disparity between the different parts of the county, he shows the students who worked hard I’m trying to find opportunities because of the lack of a job center in the area.

“This is going to make such a difference for all those families,” Navarro (D-District 4) said. “To transfer this question of financial adequacy.”

The center will offer both credit and non-credit courses health care, early childhood education and cyber security, among others. It will also offer English courses for nonnative speakers.

Montgomery College President Jermaine F. Williams said the new center will help provide “a connection where we can all have a transformational impact.” The community college has an ongoing partnership with the Gaithersburg-based non-profit organization Adventist Healthcare. The new center is located around the corner from the White Oak Medical Center organization.

Montgomery County has pockets of affluent poverty, especially in the east

“Local businesses rely on employees whose skills match their needs – in health care, information technology, hospitality services and more,” said Williams. “Our local neighbors are trying to get involved in these activities and with the right education and training they can.”

Montgomery College has campuses in Germany, Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, and two centers in Gaithersburg and Wheaton. The East County Education Center will be the college’s largest community center, at 55,193 square feet, and will include classrooms, training labs and student counseling space.

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