In September 2021, Frostburg State University received the state of Maryland’s first-ever ARC POWER implementation grant. The $1,480,979 award helped continue the development of the Advanced Technology Center at Frostburg’s Innovation Park, which works to strengthen Western Maryland’s economy by creating new job opportunities and supporting local industry growth.
Students at the center explore fields important to the future of the region’s economy, including information technology, renewable and resilient energy, green construction materials manufacturing, environmental hazard removal, and biotechnology.
The 2021 grant followed a successful Phase I of the project – also funded by ARC and the Maryland Department of Commerce – and helped Frostburg State University progress into Phase II. POWER support is helping Frostburg launch and grow four specific work programs:
- The Remote Work Center, which provides training and education to individuals throughout the region about how to conduct remote work, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic;
- The Renewable and Resilient Energy Center of Excellence, which addresses the shortage of a trained workforce to maintain renewable systems and aims to demonstrate and advocate for expansion of renewable energy in Appalachia;
- The Waste to Value Center of Excellence, which is establishing a new industry sector that uses technology to transform and re-manufacture waste into useful materials like green cement; and
- The Center for Product Design and Manufacturing, which bridges the gap between Frostburg and industry needs in the region to deploy solutions for commercialization through engineering design and prototyping projects.
The facility will benefit residents of all three Maryland counties in the ARC footprint – Alleghany, Garrett, and Washington – by training and educating the workforce in these new technologies.
The project is expected to have a significant impact on the region – creating 18 new businesses and 125 new jobs, retaining 230 jobs, assisting 40 existing businesses with access to highly skilled workers, and leveraging $2.5 million in private infrastructure investment.