City Residents Celebrate Successful Pathway Out of Poverty!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 26, 2014
CONTACTS: Brice Freeman, Communications, 410-396-1910,[email protected]
Patrick D. Onley, Media & Community Relations, 410-209-6040, [email protected]


 City Residents Celebrate Successful Pathway Out of Poverty!

MOED and BCCC host ceremony for 43 graduates of first Accelerated Connections to Employment (ACE) training in health care   
Baltimore, Maryland (September 26, 2014) – Today, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) and Baltimore City Community College hosted theAccelerated Connections to Employment (ACE) graduation. The event celebrates the first graduation class of 43 participants who have gained technical training and are ready to begin to work as pharmacy technicians, multi-skilled medical technicians, medical billers and dietary aides.

“This is a special day for all the participants who persevered and completed the ACE training,” said MOED Director Karen Sitnick. “These graduates are off to a great start, through our partnership with BCCC, and they now have the skills to build productive and long-lasting careers benefiting Baltimore’s businesses interested in hiring a talented workforce.”   

Pegeen Townsend, corporate vice president, Government Affairs at MedStar Health, provided the keynote address, congratulating the students and their instructors.

 ACE is an accelerated training program that integrates basic skills/ESL and occupational skills development, employing the Maryland Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (MI-BEST) model. MOED and BCCC work in partnership to prepare participants for success by providing support services and career guidance in the high-growth field of health care. Maryland is one of four states to operate ACE with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Baltimore City Community College takes pride in creating pathways to meaningful employment through innovative workforce training,” stated Dr. Gordon F. May, BCCC president. “We are proud of the substantial student success clearly generated by the ACE program approach to short-term skills development.” 

Two Baltimore City graduates recognized today have already obtained permanent employment. Sherie Hopkins is a geriatric nursing assistant (GNA) at Frederick Villa, and Othniel Hutchinson is employed as a nutrition assistant at Sheppard Pratt Hospital. Both spoke at the graduation.

The ACE initiative has been launched at nine other community colleges in Maryland, Connecticut, Georgia, and Texas. The grant also funds a career navigator who provides workforce development support for to help ensure participants’ job readiness and employment placement.


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