1. EDC position on Community College Legislation

    The Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC) firmly believes that the extensive changes to our community college system proposed in “outside section #30” of the Governor’s budget (House Bill #2) are inappropriate and unnecessary. We are concerned that this is another example of the “what’s good for Boston is good for the state” mentality that consistently results in uneven economic growth around the Commonwealth. To the extent that the issue needs to be debated at all, we believe that it demands a more thorough debate than can be accomplished during consideration of the budget. We therefore urge that “outside section #30” be defeated.

    The EDC acknowledges the important role that the three community colleges in our region play in the preparation of our current and future workforce. We believe our region’s community colleges are effective and deserving of increased funding to accomplish their missions. They have been consistently collaborative with the business community, always seeking information about business trends and future employment requirements. The Presidents of all three institutions serve as members and/or directors of the EDC. Their local boards of Trustees are very effective in setting priorities that reflect local and regional needs. Most encouraging is the level of cooperation between and among the institutions as they work together to meet the region’s workforce and higher education pipeline needs.

    We believe many of the goals set out in the referenced outside section are already underway in our area through this collaboration. We believe that the goals in the budget proposal can be realized more effectively and efficiently with the existing governance structure in place.

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