July 23 – Hagerstown, MD. Antietam Broadband and OnTrack announced today a multi-year partnership to support the mission of OnTrack whose focus is to build an educated workforce. Antietam will donate $150,000 in cash and in-kind over the next three years. Antietam Broadband will deploy a full slate of marketing, social media and video support to promote the work of OnTrack in Washington County. The majority of the donation will be used to support the hiring of an Executive Director.
“As a growing technology company in Washington County we’re interested in supporting organizations that prepare our future employees, said Brian Lynch, President of Antietam Broadband. “To be competitive Washington County must embrace and support initiatives that will develop the skills for tomorrow’s workforce”, said Lynch. “We recognize a growing national skills gap as technology impacts our economy, and the need for the business community to take an active role in developing our future workforce.”
OnTrack is a coalition of 37 community partners focused on creating an educational movement and a network of support from cradle to career. The goal is to empower citizens to acquire the educational or vocational training necessary for lifelong success.
“Antietam Broadband is not only a valued partner, but they have shown true leadership with their Challenge Grant. Not only does this grant support our need for an Executive Director, but it helps us to enhance and expand the collective impact of our coalition on college and career readiness”, said Jim Kercheval, Acting Executive Director of OnTrack.
National research by the Lumina Foundation supports the need for OnTrack:
- Within the next 10 years 60% of citizens will need a two-year college degree or higher or an advanced vocational certificate
- Only about 32.7% of Washington County residents have this education level o 42.5% in the US; 48.9% in Maryland OnTrack’s role is to:
- Facilitate a community vision and agenda for college and career readiness.
- Define and articulate the educational and vocational challenges facing the community.
- Establish shared measurements and local benchmarks for college and career readiness and advance evidence-based decision making among stakeholder organizations.
- Encourage and facilitate collaborations and strategic action designed to address the educational and vocational challenges.
An example of OnTrack’s activities in Washington County was the recent 7th Grade Career Exploration Day at Hagerstown Community College on June 6th. This event introduced more than 1500 students to over 50 local business professionals from a variety of disciplines and industries. The goal of the event was to inspire students to pursue local careers.