The BWI Business Partnership Inc. has given Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) its Employer of the Year award for establishing a major presence in the BWI business district and providing distinguished service to area citizens and regional businesses.
The partnership is a nonprofit economic development and transportation management association with more than 200 members representing companies in the Baltimore-Washington area. The award is presented each year to an employer to recognize contributions to the BWI area.
Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and Samuel F. Heffner, chairman of the partnership board, presented the award to Martha A. Smith, Ph.D., AACC president, at the partnership’s annual membership meeting.
“The college clearly recognizes that it is an important player in economic development and understand that an educated workforce is key to attracting and retaining businesses,” said Linda Greene, partnership executive director. “It is known for its efforts in workforce development that directly benefit our member businesses.”
Founded in 1961, AACC enrolls more than 50,000 students annually in some 2,700 credit and noncredit continuing education classes. A 2003 analysis of the college’s socioeconomic benefits shows AACC pays $57.1 million annually in direct faculty and staff wages, salaries and benefits and accounts for an additional $298.1 million in earnings off campus.
The partnership cited numerous factors for honoring the college. First was AACC’s partnership with the county, Arundel Mills and the AACC Foundation Inc. in opening AACC at Arundel Mills in the BWI business district. A second factor was its partnership in a University Consortium with the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, McDaniel College, University of Baltimore and University College of the University of Maryland that gives residents the opportunity to undertake four-year and graduate degrees at AACC.
The college also was praised for having a strong commitment to area employers and the workforce through specialized training developed by AACC’s new Center for Workforce Solutions with employers for their employees.
The center provides contract education and training solutions, job-training programs for high demand industries and information technology certification programs. It serves the business community with skills-based training and business solutions tailored to a client’s particular needs.