In January 2004, the Montgomery College Board of Trustees and the Montgomery County Board of Education approved the creation of the Montgomery County Collaboration Board (MCCB) as an overarching body to foster collaboration among career advisory groups within the two educational entities and business and industry in the region. Predating the creation of MCCB, there did exist one, overarching body, the Montgomery County Advisory Council for Career and Technology Education (MCACTE), which was mandated by state legislation in 1978 and reconfirmed in 1985. According to state law, the role of the Council is to "advise the county board of education and each institution of post-secondary education in the county that receives federal support (through the Perkins Grant) for a vocational-technical program on: 1) the distribution of vocational-technical funds; 2) county vocational-technical education program accountability reports; 3) county job needs; and 4) the adequacy of vocational-technical programs being offered." The scope of this Council role extended beyond its mandated duties to consider the spectrum of career education in the County and its relations to county workforce needs.
Montgomery College (MC) and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) had representation on the MCACTE. Faculty from MCPS listened to advice from business and industry. Similarly, faculty from MC listened to advice and guidance emanating from business and industry. But, the two educational entities didn't listen to business and industry together. With the creation of MCCB and the PACs, an opportunity presented itself to permit this collaboration.
MCCB was introduced to MC faculty and staff in 2004. Organized meetings of the PACs, with representation from both MC and MCPS and business leadership, were part of each meeting. PAC structure was comprised of 11 career advisory groups, which reflected the State's reconstituted business and industry cluster configuration. It was agreed by planners from MC and MCPS that the new structure would be an efficient, collaborative model. The following 11 PACs were ultimately established and still exist:
Each of the 11 boards consists of 15 to 18 business, industry, and community representatives. Each committee has a convener from MC and MCPS. These co-conveners are responsible for linking with their constituents from MC and MCPS. The president from each PAC comes from business and industry, serving a one-year term. Each committee meets at least twice a year. By-laws have governed the activities of the PACs since inception of the MCCB.