The Chaney Enterprises Foundation Fund awarded the College of Southern Maryland $25,000 in scholarships for students who want to enter the workforce as pre-apprentices or earn a certified commercial driver’s license. To support this effort, a CSM Chaney Enterprises Workforce Pathway Program has been established that will map out the student’s course of study upon completion of their apprenticeship to help guide their career path and employment possibilities.

“Your efforts are well-placed and our community is well-served by your commitment to student success, our communities and the region’s economic development,” shared Chaney Enterprises Director Bill Childs when presenting the check to CSM leadership at the Regional Hughesville Campus, Center for Trades and Energy Training. “CSM has done a fine job of serving the students in the Southern Maryland region.”

Childs also praised CSM’s Center for Transportation for “opening up a whole new world” for the region with its outstanding transportation curriculum. CSM recently reported that the need for truck drivers with commercial driver’s licenses in Southern Maryland and beyond is loud and clear at the CSM. Enrollment is steady, but more than that, employers are knocking on the doors of CSM students.

“Our transportation center would not have happened without our long history with Chaney Enterprises and their incredible generosity,” offered CSM President Maureen Murphy at the July check presentation. “We remain grateful for our partnership.”

“The average person in Charles County earned $38,000 in 2017,” Childs said. “And the average salary of an employee at Chaney is about $72,900 — that’s about 80 percent above the local average. We are able to offer that competitive salary because of the education CSM provides to our employees. A solid education is the backbone of our success.”

To help focus students as they begin their coursework at CSM, the college’s 92 programs were placed within six program clusters earlier this year. Called ‘Guided Pathways,’ this approach helps simplify the process for students to identify the credit or non-credit program that’s right for them by grouping similar programs.

The six pathways include: art and humanities; business and information systems; education and public service; health; science, technology, engineering and math; and trades, transportation and energy.

The CSM Chaney Enterprises Workforce Pathway Program will fall under the trades transportation and energy pathway and allows students to enter the workforce at entry level, early specialized trade specific and as certified welders or with a valid CDL-A license. This will increase the student’s employability, and fills a needed pipeline of skilled workers to local businesses in a short period of time. Once employed, students will become eligible for registered apprentice status based on employer practices and preferences. Upon completion of their apprenticeship, students can proceed on the pathway to academic programs at both the two- and four-year institutions.

Last fall, the Chaney Enterprises Foundation Fund awarded CSM $10,000 to create a Workforce Development Scholarship for students pursuing skilled trades at CTET. That gift was announced Sept. 20 in conjunction with the announcement that CSM’s Construction Workforce Partnership for Southern Maryland was awarded a $150,000 EARN grant from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to provide full tuition assistance for 40 individuals pursuing a career in the skilled trades.

The Construction Workforce Partnership includes CSM, SMECO, Chaney Enterprises, the Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s County’s chambers of commerce, Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors and the Independent Electrical Contractors.

To learn more about CTET and the pathway and certificates available for skilled trades, or additional information, call 301-539-4733 or 301-539-4370. To learn more about the scholarships, contact the CSM Foundation at 301-934-7649.