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Awarded Grant by the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund

November 8, 2019

EASTON, MD (November 4, 2019) – The Arc Central Chesapeake Region (The Arc CCR), a nonprofit committed to providing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) the opportunity to gain independence, today announced that it has been awarded a $40,000 grant by the Maryland Agriculture Education and Rural Assistance Fund (MAERDAF).

“We’re honored to receive such a notable MAERDAF grant, which will help The Arc CCR research and understand the network and complexities of employment trends in rural communities and form partnerships with other businesses in the 5 surrounding counties we serve,” said Jonathon Rondeau, CEO, The Arc Central Chesapeake Region. “Ultimately, it is our goal that the partnerships created within the scope of this grant work will not only help raise awareness of the employability of people with I/DD in the community but create a synergy that will lead to an increase of successful employment outcomes.”

The Arc CCR will utilize funding towards hiring a Workforce Strategy Consultant to research and analyze employment trends in the 5 counties of the Upper Eastern Shore (Talbot, Queen Anne, Kent, Caroline and Dorchester counties). This would include a comprehensive approach towards increasing employment to meet the critical need for Direct Support Professionals and increase meaningful and equitable employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Workforce Strategist would focus on understanding the network and complexities of employment in rural communities and create awareness of the employability of people with I/DD.

The Workforce Strategist would also form partnerships with businesses in the 5 counties, developing a network aimed at helping people connect, share resources and build capacity in the region. They will establish a coalition of thought leaders to participate in a needs assessment and collaborate in a partnership capacity.

MAERDAF provides grants to rural-serving nonprofit organizations that promote statewide and regional planning, economic and community development, and agricultural and forestry education. The Fund’s goal is to increase the overall capacity of rural-serving nonprofit organizations and community colleges to meet a multitude of rural development challenges and to help them establish new public/private partnerships for leveraging non-state sources of funding. The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) serves as the administrative agency in receiving the applications and disbursing the grants to the successful applicants.

For more information about The Arc CCR, please visit:

About The Arc Central Chesapeake Region
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region provides services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through living options, workforce development and fiscal management services. Serving Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, The Arc provides an innovative, person-directed approach across the arc of a person’s life with a focus on equity and self-determination.


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