Last month, Harford Community College was presented with the findings of a study conducted by MGT Consulting Group to determine the feasibility of a satellite campus on the southern Route 40 corridor. The proposed satellite campus would address obstacles faced by students in the southernmost reaches of Harford County, including limited public transportation options to HCC’s main campus in Bel Air and a lack of workforce training options in the Edgewood-Joppa-Abingdon area.

The feasibility study was funded by the College, in equal partnership with local businesses and the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development. The study focused on the area comprising Harford, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Cecil counties, as well as New Castle, DE and York, PA. MGT reviewed population growth trends and evaluated levels of income, unemployment, and education in the study area. MGT also interviewed more than 60 stakeholders from the business community, local government, Harford County Public Schools, nonprofit organizations, and the College itself. 

“MGT gave us a number of observations to consider that point to the success of a satellite campus in [the Edgewood-Joppa-Abingdon] area,” said Dr. Dianna G. Phillips, president of Harford Community College. Dr. Phillips cited “aggressive redevelopment” in the area, including an increased Department of Defense presence, as well as the strength of the existing manufacturing and distribution sectors. The proposed satellite campus would “support building and maintaining a stronger workforce” in southern Harford County. Many HCC students come from Edgewood, Joppa, Belcamp, and Aberdeen, four areas with significant income disparities per capita when compared to the rest of Harford County and the state of Maryland as a whole. A satellite campus on the southern Route 40 corridor could provide a socioeconomic boost to the area.

Harford Community College has an extensive portfolio of degree and certificate programs in a variety of trade and technical areas. The proposed satellite campus would build upon these offerings and make them more accessible to local underserved populations. Programming options at the satellite campus may include Advanced/Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) and Mechatronics, Heavy Equipment Operations, Logistics, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, and Automotive Technology. A Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp is also being considered, along with entry-level workforce and academic classes (including business management), Adult Basic Education (ABE) options, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.

The College continues to work with Harford County and area businesses to determine the best course of action for a satellite campus, with fiscal 2020 serving as a planning year. Community and business leaders interested in sponsoring this project can contact Denise Carnaggio at 443-412-2102, or Denise Dregier at 443-412-2428.