Re: Sheridan College bonds
Sheridan College, which has been a valuable part of this community for over six decades, is putting forth to Sheridan County voters a bond initiative on Aug. 20 to fund the renovation and expansion of the Technical Education Center (Tech Center). The Tech Center project is the next step in the college’s strategic plan for improving its aging facilities to better serve the needs of our students and community.
Asking for public support of this initiative is not something done lightly, but this project is of such great importance to the future of our community that we can ill afford to miss this opportunity. Projections show that by 2020, 65 percent of the jobs in Wyoming will require some form of post-secondary education or training, yet only 34 percent of adults in Wyoming have an Associate Degree or higher. Furthermore, we will have an estimated 1,359 job openings in diesel, welding, machining and construction jobs in Wyoming over the next 10 years due to a retiring workforce. If we do not provide the training to fill these jobs, we risk losing these jobs altogether.
The proposed renovation and expansion of the Tech Center will allow for up to 500 students per year to pursue education through the tech programs. The project will accommodate those students we are already turning away, and will allow capacity for future growth and changes in these programs as technology advances and the educational needs of our students evolve.
This initiative, if approved, would mean an increase of roughly $2.09 per $100,000 of property value (per month) for the next 16 years. In practical terms, supporting this initiative means foregoing one cup of coffee per month in order to give our school one of the most critical means of providing education/training to tomorrow’s workforce.
In closing, I am asking Sheridan County citizens to think hard on the renovation and expansion of our Tech Center. It is such an important vote. We must give all of our students now and those of the future the skills to compete in the 21st century.
A “yes” vote goes a long way in fulfilling career aspirations.