Donors James and Janet Clauson, of Crownsville, have made a commitment of $1 million to support the construction of a Center for Innovation and Skilled Trades on Anne Arundel Community College’s (AACC) Arnold campus. In recognition of this gift, the center will bear their name.

The 12,000-square-foot building will be designed to accommodate programming that adapts to job market demands; if sufficient demand exists to expand the facility, it could be expanded to reach 36,000-square-feet. The college and the AACC Foundation are engaged in a private fundraising campaign to raise philanthropic support to construct and equip the Clauson Center, which will cost approximately $5 million and is slated to open in 2021.

Skilled trade positions have been identified as the most difficult positions for employers to fill in the United States, according to various research. Programs at the Clauson Center will support the development of those with talent and abilities to excel in these fields. AACC plans to launch six inaugural programs when it opens: electrical, forklift operator, HVAC, plumbing, welding and general contracting.

“We recognize that not every student is interested [in], or needs to attain, a bachelor’s degree in order to be successful in their field of study,” said Dawn Lindsay, president of AACC. “By expanding our workforce development programs, we can support the needs of our employers and our local economy while helping people start and maintain successful careers.”