Nonprofit hosts information session on community college plan
This article was originally written by Kevin Flowers and published on GoErie.com.
Empower Erie, the nonprofit behind efforts to create an Erie County community college, hosted an event Thursday evening aimed at giving business and community leaders an opportunity to learn more about the plan.
The event took place at Erie Insurance at East Sixth and French streets, and Roy Church was the featured speaker. Church, the retired president of Lorain County Community College, near Cleveland, is helping Empower Erie develop its community college plan.
Others expected to attend included Empower Erie's chairman, lawyer Ronald DiNicola; Erie County Council chairman and Erie mayoral candidate Jay Breneman; County Council members Andre Horton, Kathy Fatica and Fiore Leone; and Mike Batchelor, president of the Erie Community Foundation.
County Council on Dec. 21 signed off on allocating $60,000 to study whether creating an Erie County community college is feasible. Previous efforts to organize a local community college failed for lack of a prime financial sponsor.
Empower Erie plans to hire a consulting firm familiar with community colleges to conduct the state-required feasibility study that will look at possible locations for the school; staffing requirements; community needs; accreditation; funding sources, and other factors.
The nonprofit's plan has support from the Erie Community Foundation, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority and the Susan Hirt Hagen Fund for Transformational Philanthropy, which has contributed $300,000 toward the effort.
The Hagen Fund and ECGRA have promised an additional $3.7 million if Erie County Council ultimately votes to create a community college.
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