CUMBERLAND — In a presentation to the school’s board of trustees, Allegany College of Maryland Foundation members announced on Monday that it funded $587,000 in scholarships last year, the highest amount ever, and remains strong with $9.7 million in net assets.
Foundation President Audie Klingler and Executive Director David Jones, utilizing the entity’s annual report, recounted their successes, including more than $2.1 million in contributions received in the latest fiscal year.
“We have to thank our great donors. They really keep Allegany College in mind. It’s a fantastic thing,” said Klingler.
“We gave out around 1,300 scholarships last year,” said Jones.
“Our assets include endowment funds of $8.5 million. Donors wanted it endowed so it would continue in perpetuity,” said Jones in an interview following the meeting.
The foundation’s assets are in a managed fund with similar assets from other schools that is valued at about $1 billion, according to Jones.
Student enrollment for the spring semester was 3,150, according to ACM President Cynthia Bambara. That figure is the total for all three campuses: Cumberland, Everett, Pa., and Somerset.
Representatives of Lakes Entertainment, the entity that is transforming Rocky Gap into a casino, will hold a job fair this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the ACM Continuing Education building.
The Rocky Gap resort is in the process of hiring 250 full- and part-time people to work in a variety of capacities at the casino, which will have 550 slots, 10 gaming tables and two restaurants.
Bambara said ACM is continuing to work with Lakes Entertainment to provide educational opportunities that match the positions needed at the resort.
“We are gearing up to work with them on some training opportunities,” said Bambara.
Lakes Entertainment also plans to speak to ACM students this Friday from 10 a.m. to noon to answer questions about the resort.
Bambara also said the college could benefit from grant funds from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which is considering infusing $2.5 million into community colleges across the state once they survey industry to find out the areas of employment they most need.
“It’s a pilot program and it will be geographically distributed. They will go through industry who will apply for the money and then partner with the community colleges,” said Bambara. No official timeline has been set for the grant process.
A group of 15 students accompanied by Shauna McQuade, Eric Yokum and Cheri Snyder, staff members at ACM, visited Annapolis recently as part of Student Advocacy Day.
Described as a lesson in democracy, many students found the day to be a positive experience, including Harley Brooks and Deb Mayer who spoke at the meeting.
“It was a moving day. I had no interest at first. It blew my mind that many of the delegates, senators and representatives that were their started in community college. I was glad I went,” said Brooks.
Brooks was able to ask questions to Sen. George Edwards.
“The tuition is affordable but the books are what kill you. One human service book was $189 and we can’t sell it back,” said Brooks.
He asked Edwards to find a way to implement the costs of books into tuition so one only has one cost to worry about.
“I also like the the program that if you sign up for a tutor and maintain a 2.5 GPA, you can get free books,” said Brooks.
Klingler said the foundation has an emergency fund set aside for those needing help covering the cost of books.
Greg Larry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org