U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.)  announced an award of $500,000 in American Rescue Plan funding to the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA).

The infusion will go toward continuing developing its Maryland Cyber Workforce Solutions (Solutions) project on behalf of a coalition of Maryland local governments, including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Charles County, Harford County, Howard County, Frederick County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County.

The grant was awarded through Phase 1 of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) “Build Back Better Regional Challenge.” By competing successfully for a Phase 1 grant, Howard County and its partners will have the opportunity to further develop specific project ideas and compete for a larger amount of funding for implementation in Phase 2.

The proposal from the HCEDA aims to leverage Maryland’s strength as a leader in cybersecurity and to open up more pathways for workers to enter into this field and contribute to its continued growth and innovation.

The Phase 1 award granted to the HCEDA Solutions project is an outcome of a highly-competitive process in which 529 applications were submitted to the organization, highlighting the strong interest and need across the country for concerted economic development planning on a regional scale.

Phase 1 of the challenge required regions to submit unique plans that will develop industry, train the local workforce and build economies. As a finalist, the HCEDA Authority will compete for Phase 2 of the challenge for an award of $100 million for 3-8 projects across Maryland that support an industry sector.