Allegany College of Maryland Manufacturing Training Program: Western Maryland Works

Western Maryland Works is a full-service makerspace, small-business incubator project that provides access to technology and equipment, and training facility focusing on machining, welding, and industrial maintenance. With ARC support, Western Maryland Works purchased state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment such as computers, electronic classroom systems, general furnishings, equipment for wood working, 3-D printers, and other makerspace items. The Allegany College of Maryland Continuing Education Industrial Manufacturing program is the primary tenant of the Western Maryland Works facility and in 2020 increased their capacity from just 39 trainees annually on campus to 68 in the new facility.

With ARC funds, the Western Maryland Works expanded their course offerings to ensure that students and dislocated workers can earn a certificate in Electrical Discharge Machining and National Institute for Metalworking Skills credentials. In addition, four small incubator units were established to house small, growing companies who wish to utilize shared office, clerical, and meeting room space. These incubator spaces encourage entrepreneurship and growth in Allegany County as new businesses develop and grow through this innovative approach to providing office space and access to machinery and tools to help them along the way.

In 2019, 40 local workers earned accreditation during a ceremony at Western Maryland Works. The workers earned credentials in nine different areas including welding, mechanical systems and machining. Many of them are training for new careers and job opportunities around the region thanks to the state, local and federal partnerships that helped to create Western Maryland Works. According to National Salary data, accredited machinist positions can earn anywhere in the mid $40,000 range to exceeding $90,000 a year.