Ready to help

By Community College of Baltimore County

Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is offering assistance to students, employees and the community impacted by the collapse of the Key Bridge. A wide-ranging list of strategies have been implemented to help ease the challenges of those in need.

With its Dundalk campus less than five miles from the Key Bridge, the true impact of CCBC and the surrounding community is not truly known; however, CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis didn’t hesitate to find ways to offer relief in areas where she felt the college could be helpful.

“When faced with a challenge, we do what we always do,” Kurtinitis said. “We face it, and in this case, we do what we must do to help those around us whose world has been altered by an unanticipated crisis.”

While those based at CCBC Dundalk may feel stronger ramifications, the collapse of the bridge has a far-reaching impact affecting the entire college community in a multitude of ways including travel, financial and emotional. A kaleidoscope of initiatives is already underway to address.

Students facing challenges will find CCBC reviewing class start times when possible, being flexible with arrivals due to new traffic patterns, seeking ways to decrease financial burdens brought on by the collapse and increasing awareness of available support resources like mental health services and student food lockers and pantries.

CCBC employees directly impacted can expect flexible work options to improve commutes as appropriate and financial assistance for families experiencing a loss of income associated with the bridge collapse.

Additionally, CCBC is offering assistance to the community. The Small Business Administration has opened one of their Business Recovery Centers at CCBC Dundalk. Located in the Garden Annex Building, the Center offers low interest loans to small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the bridge collapse. CCBC also is exploring other ways to help the community, such as hosting or providing space for job fairs and offering programs that could provide training, retraining or upskilling for those facing job displacement.

According to Kurtinitis, “The long reach of this disaster goes well beyond CCBC Dundalk and the local Dundalk community. CCBC is a well-known and welcome presence at the Port, at Tradepoint Atlantic, and in every Dundalk neighborhood. This is yet another moment in our college’s life cycle where we can consciously animate the meaning of the word ‘community’ in our name: Community College of Baltimore County. We have capacity, and we have commitment. We stand ready to help!”

This article originally appeared here.

Community College of Baltimore County

is located in Baltimore, Maryland.