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Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 22, 2024

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Andrew Friedson on April 20 joined Montgomery College President Jermaine Williams, chair of the Montgomery College Board of Trustees Michael Brintnall and State and County elected officials, community leaders and residents to celebrate the opening of the college’s East County Education Center in Silver Spring. The East County Education Center is an important part of the County's commitment to providing accessible education and career opportunities to all residents.

Among those also attending the ceremonies were County Councilmembers Will Jawando and Kristin Mink and Maryland State Delegates Bernice Mireku-North, Pamela Queen and Jheanelle Wilkins.

The Center is located at Westech Corner (2221 Broadbirch Drive) in Silver Spring, near U.S. Rt. 29 in an area that is an economic anchor for East County and it will assist the County’s workforce development efforts, provide easier access to education and training to East County residents and help spur more economic development throughout this region.

"The East County Education Center is evidence of our unwavering dedication to uplift our community," said County Executive Elrich. “Since taking office, I have been pushing this effort, and I am happy we are now able to expand East County's educational opportunities. I would like to thank Montgomery College and our dedicated partnerships for their commitment to improving East County.” 

The East County Center will serve about 1,000 students in its first year. The three other campuses are in Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring. The college also has Workforce Development and Continuing Education Centers in Gaithersburg and Wheaton.

“The new East County Educational Center enables greater access to higher education and career-readiness training for talented students in the area," said Council President Friedson. "This strategic investment represents an important step toward enhanced economic mobility and expanded opportunities to live, learn, work and raise a family in East County and across Montgomery County."

County Executive Elrich has included more than $60 million in recommended funding in the County’s Fiscal Years 2025-30 Capital Improvement Program to begin planning a full-service East County campus. The Council has tentatively approved these funds.

“Montgomery College is thrilled to be opening this new center, filled with expanded opportunities for education and training in the East County," said College President Williams. "Residents can now study and train closer to home, for skilled jobs in the region. This innovative partnership is the result of tireless efforts by County Executive Marc Elrich, the County Council, the State of Maryland and local employers to create an ecosystem of equitable opportunity and success for residents in this region. Creating pathways to jobs with family-sustaining wages is part Montgomery College’s focus and this new center is just the beginning.”   

The East County Education Center is a 55,000-square-foot building that consists of:

  • 11 classrooms
  • 10 labs (six allied health labs, three computer labs and one career training education lab)
  • Raptor Center (a one-stop shop for admissions, enrollment and visitor services)
  • Community Engagement Center
  • Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center
  • Learning Center
  • Library
  • Event spaces
  • Worksource Montgomery
  • Student Wellness Center
  • Study rooms and lounges

“The new East County Education Center is a significant milestone that shows our commitment to providing the high quality, affordable education our residents deserve,” said Councilmember Jawando. “This expansion is an investment not only in our students, but also in the economic development and overall well-being of the entire East County. I firmly believe in the potential of every individual, and I know that this expansion will provide the necessary tools and support for our students to achieve that potential. Today, let's celebrate this big step toward building a stronger, more inclusive and more prosperous Montgomery County.”

In addition to the East County Education Center, the County recently celebrated other investments including the opening of Sprouts Farmers Market in the newly renovated Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Center.

"East County residents have long advocated for expanded access to higher education and workforce training on our side of the County,” said Councilmember Mink. "I'm grateful that Montgomery College, as well as my colleagues on the Council and in the State Legislature, recognize that need, and we are taking action. Thanks to this beautiful new facility, populated with top-tier instructors and programming, residents of East County are already registering for classes and entering the pipeline into careers in nursing, cybersecurity, criminal justice, and other in-demand fields."

The White Oak area in East County also will be seeing improvements. The County announced revitalization efforts for storefront facades and sidewalk improvements in the commercial area along Lockwood Drive.

A facade improvement project was recently completed in Hillandale, near the Hillandale Gateway currently under development. The County operates a Flash Bus Rapid Transit line on U.S. Rt. 29 (Colesville Road/Columbia Pike). Plans are also underway to increase the availability of affordable senior and mixed-income housing in East County.

"I am happy to celebrate the opening of the East County Education Center,” said  Jewru Bandeh, East County regional director. “This is a testament to our collective efforts to bring positive change to the area.”

Subscribe to the East County Regional Services Center newsletter to stay updated on what’s happening in the area.

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Release ID: 24-188
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 301-529-7669
Categories: Education