The new year started with a bang for Lewis-Clark State College thanks to Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s designation of $10 million towards our proposed $20 million Career-Technical Education (CTE) facility in the Lewiston Orchards. We are thrilled to receive such a strong vote of confidence from Gov. Otter and stand closer today than ever to achieving our CTE expansion goals.
Otter made the recommendation during his State of the State address at the Idaho Capitol on Jan. 9, naming the proposal among his major higher education initiatives for the 2017 legislative session. I thank him and the many Idaho legislators who expressed their support for this much-needed project during Education Week in Boise.
The idea of building a larger (100,000-square-foot) CTE facility to better accommodate our at-capacity programs, placing it adjacent to the proposed new Lewiston High School, establishing it as a regional CTE center, and tying our programming even closer to the workforce needs of industry is truly a win-win for everyone involved. LCSC career-technical students (many of whom have had to face waiting lists) will receive enhanced instruction in a roomier facility with state-of-the-art equipment, high schoolers from Lewiston and the surrounding areas will have even greater opportunities to earn college credit and take advanced coursework, and employers will be able to count on a steadier stream of qualified and skilled workers.
A primary goal is to cooperate with the Lewiston School District to create seamless CTE programs that start in high school. Programs that allow students to start their technical education in ninth grade with a facility nearby where they can take advantage of more advanced training and get a head start on obtaining a college degree. Gov. Otter has put LCSC on a great path and we believe we can count on the support of the community and local industry to make both our facility and the new high school a reality. To this end, I encourage you to watch and share a promotional video we recently created. We plan to share this video with as many community members as possible. The 10-minute piece can be viewed below and at local speaking engagements: Building for the Future. Building Together.
Speaking of videos, I’m very excited to show off a brand new package of marketing pieces put together by our College Communications team. I think the videos do a tremendous job of introducing prospective students to LCSC while highlighting some of the many reasons why Lewis-Clark State College is a great choice. This “Virtual Campus Experience,” which includes a beautiful and interactive campus map, can be viewed online as well.
In other news from January, it was my pleasure to announce the development of two new Technical & Industrial Division degrees – industrial maintenance/millwright technology and instrument mechanic technology. Both degrees, which will be available next fall, have been developed to meet specific workforce needs and we thank Clearwater Paper for collaborating closely with us to ensure that the coursework addresses the skills needed by industry.
Our advances in CTE are exciting and they do well to complement the exceptional track record we’ve enjoyed in Academic Programs for years. To be sure, LCSC is advancing on all fronts as we continue to look for the very best ways to offer students the very best degrees at the most affordable price. Thank you for your continued support.
J. Anthony Fernandez
President, Lewis-Clark State College