Hagerstown Community College is set to open a workforce training center that will house all of their off campus programs, including their truck driving program. The Bowman Family Foundation has pledged $1,000,000 to this project and foundation Manager, Linda Ebersole, spoke about the importance of this center at the groundbreaking.
“Over sixty years ago, my dad Don Bowman started driving a truck. I remember how he would work on the weekends, make repairs himself and complete paperwork in his spare time. He could have continued in that manner, and quietly retired at age 65. But anyone who knows dad knows that is not how it has worked out.
Through the years he, along with my brother, have been very successful in building not just a trucking company, but also a trailer leasing company, real estate development company, and logistics and warehousing companies. All these required good employees. They needed truck drivers, mechanics, forklift drivers, and construction workers. They needed folks with training, and a lot of the time, took the training upon themselves. The Bowman Group of companies has been fortunate through the years to find people who had – or were willing to learn – the necessary skills.
Dad has always felt very passionate about training to the point that D. M. Bowman became known as a ‘training company’ for truck drivers. Where other companies only hire experienced drivers, D. M. Bowman is known in the industry as a place for drivers to start their career on the right foot and provide them with a foundation to be successful. D. M. Bowman teaches drivers to be safe and respectful on the road and they are known and recognized in the industry for those skills.
I think that is why our family feels so passionate about this project and the great training it can provide. Truck drivers and these other skill sets are vital, not just to our businesses, but to our local economy. Many of our local industries need a skilled workforce – to help build trucks at Volvo, to build railcars at Hitachi, to work in distribution facilities, and to transport goods. In return, these skills allow individuals a career with a good paying wage.
We need quality individuals trained properly and this center will provide that workforce. And, even more importantly, it will provide hope to the youth of Washington County. This project, along with the scholarship funds that have been raised during this 75th anniversary year, gives Hagerstown Community College the opportunity to offer hope to all children in Washington County – especially those who come from families with limited means. This center means that all children desiring to have skills training after high school will have the chance to get that training.
It is an opportunity for those of us here today to ensure that the children in Washington County know – as early as possible, and as often as possible – that their future education or workforce training is not limited to their family’s ability to pay. Every child in our county needs to know at an early age that HCC is here to provide that training and that there will be scholarships available to assist, no matter if they choose to attend community college or receive a certificate in a skilled job.
The Jone L. Bowman Family Foundation is thrilled to be part of this vision. We understand the importance and need for this center in our community. And all the Bowman businesses, as well as many businesses in attendance today, look forward to taking advantage of this skilled workforce.
Thank you to Dr. Klauber, the HCC staff, and the HCC Foundation Board for their forward thinking and enthusiasm with this workforce training center.”