Isothermal Community College needs to be a leader in economic recoveryPublished 3:44pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Here in Polk County, Isothermal sees opportunities in addressing what we have already coupled with expected growth. Kate Barkschat, the Polk campus director, wants to be on the forefront of anticipating new jobs and being the best at supplying that training. On the Possibility List are such program offerings as a Professional Arts & Crafts program, recognizing the growing interest here in heritage crafts; and an Equine Studies program to fill the growing need for trained personnel on farms and facilities; a vet assistant program; and an outdoor recreation management program.
All of this is strategic economic development thinking. Good programs, ones that attain national recognition as the best among the best, will draw students here from other places. It will set Isothermal apart from other community colleges in offering a menu of curriculum and program offerings that are not offered everywhere else.
It is vital that our county invest in our community college. It appears we are moving out of the recession into an era of economic uncertainty. Community colleges have already proven to be important players on the road to recovery, and there’s little reason to doubt that they cannot be the catalyst to better days.