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January 13, 2000

UMBC Announces Computer Training Company

Baltimore, Md. -The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the launch of an associated commercial venture specializing in computer certification training. The new company provides an opportunity for aggressive expansion of UMBC's leadership in the local computer training market, fueled by a combination of private investment and the University's information technology expertise.

"This is the next step toward UMBC's goal of providing the workforce training that Baltimore-Washington businesses need," said UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. "Converting to an LLC structure allows the company to more swiftly match educational offerings with the rapid pace of the information economy."

The headquarters for the new UMBC programs will be located in Executive Park West, at 3108 Timanus Lane in Windsor Mill, MD. UMBC anticipates opening the new facility in January 2001, and offering its first classes in A+ Computer Repair, Network+, i-Net+, various Microsoft Certifications, desktop applications and the Certified Cisco Network Administrator in February 2001.

Operating under the flexible model of a commercial training operation, the company will build on UMBC's previously successful industry collaboration with a Virginia-based training corporation. Faculty in UMBC's department of information systems will continue to review and approve the curricula for the training courses.

The company benefits from the capital of Allegiance Capital (a minority member), the Abell Foundation, and SunTrust Bank. The Board of Directors will include representatives from UMBC, the UMBC Research Park and the public and private sectors.

"What we're doing today shows how UMBC is at the forefront of progressive models in higher education," said Dr. Craig Weidemann, Vice Provost and Executive Assistant to the President at UMBC. "Now the company can constantly reinvest to expand quality, service and product line," Weidemann said.

"The company will continue to focus on affordable computer training for the general public," said Doug Kendzierski, Associate Vice Provost of UMBC's Division of Professional Education & Training. Kendzierski has been selected as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the new company.

"The UMBC Research Park Corporation is delighted to be an equity holder in this promising company," said Ellen Wiggins, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "The new company is an important regional economic development initiative which we believe will have substantive links to bwtech@UMBC and Technology Center tenants."

"We plan to eventually serve the entire region through a network of satellite locations and distance education initiatives," said Kendzierski. "We've performed well in the market over the last several years. We are now able to establish a more impressive presence under the same management team, at a new, state-of-the-art facility, utilizing the best talent available in the marketplace. Long story short: same brand, better location, even higher quality, and a lot of very satisfied and qualified employees for the workplace," Kendzierski said.

Weidemann, who will chair the Company's Board of Directors, said that the new LLC model is the first of many more to come as UMBC looks to expand its regional market impact.

"This new company is the result of a carefully calculated and meticulously researched strategy to establish UMBC as a national brand leader in technology training and workforce development," Weidemann said. "We are hopeful that our success will motivate other public institutions to follow suit, resulting in a large network of qualified educators directly and dramatically impacting the nation's ability to maintain an adequate supply of talented IT workers."

The new company's 18,500 square feet of office, classroom and labs are located adjacent to Lockheed-Martin, Sylvan Learning Systems, and Thomson-Prometric, with easy access off of either the Liberty Road or Security Boulevard exits of I-695. As such, the new location offers a convenient commute for students from Baltimore, Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs.

Posted by dwinds1 at January 13, 2000 12:00 AM