There are some institutions in town that do a better job than others at connecting to the business community. There also are some that have as much or more of an impact on our economic development as the institutions that are more connected to the business community.
Let’s talk about Pikes Peak Community College.
PPCC was established in 1968. Enrollment is about 17,000, and there are three campuses. PPCC is the second largest community college in the state. The economic impact of the college is almost $134 million annually, according to a study released in June 2005.
PPCC offers an array of career and technical education programs, including two-year transfer programs which qualifying students for admission to the junior year of four-year institutions and many lifelong learning opportunities.
What about the impact PPCC on economic development? I would think the training available at college would come into play when the Economic Development Corp. is pitching some company the benefits of coming to the Springs or launching an office here.
So, since we should all support our higher learning institutions, don’t forget PPCC. It just so happens there is an upcoming event that deserves your support.
Save the date for the PPCC Foundation’s “Fund for the Future” Breakfast: The 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Pikes Peak Community College Foundation at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 31 in the Atrium at the Centennial Campus.
Nancy Lewis, a PPCC alumnus, will be hosting the breakfast. E-mail Debbie.mccarty@ppcc.edu for reservations.
Contact Debbie and come out in support of and learn more about all the great things that are happening at our local community college. It would be nice if some members of the State Board of Community Colleges would come from Denver and see the good things being done at PPCC.
Dr. Tony Kinkel has been chosen as the new president of PPCC.
Kinkel was formerly the chancellor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.
“I am honored by the trust placed in me by the Presidential Search Committee and by Dr. McCallin,” he said in a statement issued by PPCC. “I am anxious to earn the trust of the campus and excited to be at a college so committed to serving its community. This is a great state and a great community. Pikes Peak Community College is at the forefront of offering hope and opportunity for the people of Colorado Springs. I have dedicated my career to making community colleges the college of ‘first choice.’ It’s clear that Pikes Peak Community College is the first choice of many students in the region.”
A foundation was formed in 1981 to support the college’s mission, with a focus on high quality educational opportunities available to all, student success and community needs.
The foundation has about $1.9 million in its investment portfolio and has four giving priorities: expanding scholarship assistance, creating a learning culture that enhances student success, empowering faculty to pursue academic innovation and transforming the college’s physical learning environments and learning technologies.
The business community, while continuing to support the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, should also consider supporting PPCC.
“The Pikes Peak Community College is a vital part of EDC’s economic development strategy,” said David White, vice president of marketing at the EDC. “For specialized industries like medical device manufacturing and data storage, there is a need for a variety of skilled workers from the associate degree level to Ph.D. engineers and scientists. The region will continue to require skilled machinists and lab workers, the type of skilled candidates which PPCC can supply.”
Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.