ELYRIA — Ohio’s economic future hinges on education, and Lorain County Community College is serving as an example for the rest of the state in meeting both the educational needs of today’s workers and the workers of the future, Gov. Ted Strickland said Thursday.
The governor’s praise came during a two-hour dedication program Thursday for the Entrepreneurship Innovation Center at Lorain County Community College that served up a veritable who’s who in government, education and business.
“This college is a remarkable institution with a remarkable president,” Strickland said, referring to LCCC President Roy Church. “He’s widely recognized around the state for his creative leadership.”
For the state to reach its full potential, Ohioans must support people who are innovative and take risks — the foundation of the Entrepreneurship Center, Strickland said.
The center, located in the Great Lake Technology Park on the LCCC campus, provides educational and start-up resources for new businesses, including business plan and review services, business strategy coaching and mentoring, and venture capital for technology companies.
The 45,000-square-foot center also provides work force development support through business and information technology training, human resource development and technical training.
The center enables growing companies to acquire reasonably priced space to lease while they work to make businesses grow.
The center, coupled with the college’s new alliance with the University of Akron to offer specialized degree programs, makes Lorain County a vital part of the overall education system in Ohio, Strickland said.
“Learning is all about changing the way we think; it’s about new ideas and new risks,” and LCCC is a leader in bringing those things to the forefront, Strickland said.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, drew a laugh when he told the gathering of about
500 people that he’s been to the LCCC campus about 300 times, and he still gets lost.
“Every time you come to Lorain County Community College, there’s a new building,” Brown joked.
On a serious note, Brown said there was no better place in the state or country where education and government have come together.
Brown was referring to the partnership between the college and local governments, along with the college’s GLIDE (Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise) program, which last year was designated one of 12 Edison incubator centers in Ohio for new businesses.
During the dedication, Church recognized people who have played roles in helping the college achieve its educational and economic development efforts.
When Lt. Gov. Lee Fishercame to the podium, he joked that he would like to know from Church who’s not at the event.
Fisher also praised LCCC for its innovations in education and economic development.
“This is where ideas incubate and grow. That will change the landscape of not just the community but the state,” Fisher said. “The economy has changed dramatically. You’ve not only stayed up with it, but are ahead of it.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it, and that’s what we’re doing today,” Fisher said.
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