Education Is Key To Employment Growth, JCC's President Says

Education Is Key To Employment Growth, JCC's President Says

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If you're an adult who's hesitant about going back to school, Jefferson Community College President Dr. Ty Stone knows how you feel.

"I was one of those people," she said. "I didn't get my first degree until I was 38 years old."

Stone addressed college staff and members of the community Friday morning to outline her priorities for the campus. One of them is to help prepare the region's workforce for the future.

Stone, who became JCC's president in July, said that the college offers certificate programs in at least 10 of the top 25 thriving industries nationwide, including agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and tourism.

Part of the problem, she said, is that 50,000 people between the ages of 25 and 64 in Jefferson and Lewis counties don't have any form of education past high school.

"We've just got to get people to understand first of all that as an adult you can come back to school," she said. "It might be a little sacrifice of time, but you can go back to school and you can get it done."

Many programs and many people, she said, are eligible for financial aid. 

Stone also talked about JCC's possible role in the downtown Watertown revitalization that's being fueled by a $10 million state grant.

One of the preliminary ideas, she said, is for a tech space the college would host.

"So, if we can be downtown and have some site downtown that we could take to the community I think that will be really important and really helpful in getting more people engaged in what we do."

The space could house what she calls a "fab lab" that would include 3D printers. It would be part of an entrepreneurial center for use by businesses that can't afford the high-tech equipment.

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